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Training Opportunity! Seven Steps for Transforming Emotional Reactivity

Below you will find all the information to attend a great training opppurtunity here in Santa Barbara at Cottage Hospital. I will be going and will blog what I learn about, so keep an eye out!


Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Center for Psychiatry and Behavioral Healthcare invites you to attend its August 2013 presentation for the healthcare community.  Grand Rounds will take place in the Burtness Auditorium at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital – A buffet lunch and beverages will be provided.  No RSVP or advance registration is required.


                    FEATURED SPEAKER:

Jim Piekarski, MFT, Clinical Director of Phoenix of Santa Barbara, Author of Mastering Your Emotions with Your Spouse and Others: Seven Steps for Transforming Emotional Reactivity.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy has become a popular treatment for those with borderline personality disorders.   However, we can all become emotionally reactive in interpersonal situations.   We don’t have to have a psychiatric diagnosis to have this problem. Specific people or certain topics can trigger us emotionally.   Emotional reactivity, a term explored and developed by Murray Bowen (the “father” of family therapy), is a very common phenomenon and can occur in couples, in family relationships and even at work.   Transference and counter-transference experienced in psychotherapy can be seen as specific variations of emotional reactivity.

Interactions between people can trigger many different emotions, including: anger, guilt, fear, shame, and hurt.   These emotions can be triggered quickly and acted on with little conscious choice or awareness of the emotions being triggered.   This leads to actions that are not in our best interest.   Focusing on emotional reactivity can bring these emotional reactions into consciousness and creates an opportunity for a person to act more effectively.

This presentation will focus on clarifying the nature of emotional reactivity and how it differs from healthy emotion.   We will explore how it typically presents itself in relationships. Emotional reactivity can be a core problem that is associated with many other difficulties, such as marital problems, work problems, codependency, violence, and can be a trigger for relapse from addiction.

At the conclusion of the presentation the participants will be able to:

·         Understand the common occurrences of this phenomena, clarify the nature of emotional reactivity and the benefits in psychotherapy of focusing on this issue.


·         Identify the factors that distinguish emotional reactivity from the healthy expression of emotion.


·         Understand some of the basic skills to help individuals overcome this problem in individuals, marital and family work.


Jim Piekarski, MFTis the Clinical Director of Phoenix of Santa Barbara, a local non-profit with two residential programs and two outpatient programs serving the needs of adults with mental disorders.  He received his M.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1987 and has worked in mental health and addiction programs in both New Mexico and California before joining the staff of Phoenix of Santa Barbara in 2004. Jim is the author of the book, Mastering Your Emotions with Your Spouse and Others: Seven Steps for Transforming Emotional Reactivity. He also supervises counselor interns and trainees at the Salvation Army Hospitality House in Santa Barbara.


Physicians: Please note that due to changes in the 2013 requirements to qualify for CME’s, Psychiatric Grand Rounds is no longer able to offer CME’s.

Course meets the qualifications for 1 hour of CE credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Provider # PCE 741) and Provider approved for 1 contact hour for RNs by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #00252), through the Education Department, Cottage Health System.

Free of charge for CHS Employees and professionals affiliated to Cottage Health System. Others: $18 unit.  For any questions please contact Craig Park at (805) 682-7111.