Quality Inn & Conference Centre Festival (formerly "The Festival Inn") is pleased to offered preferred rates for Mission: Empowerment guests. Rooms start at $109 + taxes. A block of rooms has been set aside for this event, up until September 27, 2019. For reservations, call 1-800-463-3581 or 519-273-1150 and quote "Mission Empowerment Block".  For other accommodation options, visit

1) To register online and pay with credit or debit, 
click here **

​​**Please note that an Eventbrite fee is added when registering online and paying by credit/debit/paypal.  To avoid this fee, register using one of the below options        

​​​​Instructor: Robert T. Muller, PhD​
Location: Quality Inn & Conference Centre Festival (formerly "The Festival Inn"), 
1144 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON​
Early Bird Cost: $379 CAD + 13% HST (=$428.27) by Sept 27, 2019
Regular Cost: $409 CAD + 13% HST (=$462.17) after Sept 27, 2019

*Includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments AND a copy of Dr. Muller's new book: Trauma & The Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery & Growth. 

**All prices are in CAD$. American Patrons - your dollar goes further! $1 CAD = $0.75 USD (as of Jan 14, 2019 - check online for current exchange rate) 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 21, 2019 at 4pm

* For information about Group Rates and Discounts 
click here.

2) To register and pay with cheque or email money transfer, click here ​to download the registration form and follow the instructions on the form.

(**Please note - only CAD currency is accepted with cheque or e-transfer so this option is for those with CAD bank accounts only)

To download the poster, 
click here

Trauma & The Struggle to Open Up: Relational Strategies to Effectively Treat Challenging Trauma Clients

October 28-29, 2019, 9:00am - 4:00pm

Cancellation Policy

An administrative fee of $50 will be charged for all cancellations.  Cancellation 14 or more days prior to the workshop date – receive a refund, less $50 administration fee. Cancellation less than 14 days prior to the workshop date – receive a credit, less $50 administration fee, to be applied to a future workshop. No credit or refund will be issued if you do not notify us in advance of the workshop date. You may transfer your registration to another person without prior notice.  The organizers reserve the right to cancel the event due to under-enrollment, instructor illness or inclement weather.  If a workshop is cancelled, any payment will be returned in full.

About the Presenter

Robert T. Muller, Ph.D., trained at Harvard, was on Faculty at the University of Massachusetts, and is currently at York University in Toronto. Dr. Muller is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & dissociation (ISSTD) for his work on trauma treatment. His psychotherapy bestseller,
Trauma and the Avoidant Client, has been translated widely and won the 2011 ISSTD award for the year's best written work on trauma. Dr. Muller's newest book is titled Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery and Growth.

As lead investigator on several multi-site programs to treat interpersonal trauma, Dr. Muller has lectured internationally (Australia, UK, Europe, USA), and has been Keynote Speaker at mental health conferences in New Zealand and Canada. He founded an online magazine, "
The Trauma & Mental Health Report," that is now visited by over 100,000 readers a year. With over 25 years in the field, he practices in Toronto.​

​​​​​​Workshop Description

This practical workshop, led by a leading expert on trauma and based on the book Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up, will address ways to effectively navigate the therapeutic relationship with trauma survivors to help facilitate recovery and growth while avoiding common pitfalls.

The therapeutic relationship is of utmost importance in all helper-client interactions, but it is especially important when working with trauma survivors - who often bring with them some unique challenges. For example, trauma clients may:

  • Have more difficulty trusting the therapist/helper
  • Minimize their own traumatic experiences
  • Become help-rejecting
  • Either avoid trauma work or rush too quickly into the work
  • Be more likely to experience transference and to enact past relationships within the therapeutic relationship

These challenges can make it difficult for helpers to find point of entry and ways to connect, as well as putting us at risk for unknowingly rupturing the relationship. Having closely examined the ups and downs of the therapy relationship with trauma survivors, Dr. Muller will address the following questions:

  • How can we tell when we've unknowingly compromised safety in the relationship?
  • What happens to the relationship when clients or therapists rush into the process, and how can this be addressed?
  • How can subtle conflicts in the relationship become useful in treatment?

Dr. Muller points to the different choices therapists make in navigating the relationship - choices that can have a strong impact on outcome.  The workshop also acknowledges that recovery from trauma is a deceptively complicated process. When clients reveal too much, too soon, they may feel worse - making the pacing of therapy critical. Here too, the key is in the therapist-client relationship.  On the other hand, sometimes clients and helpers avoid talking about the trauma for fear that it will be too scary to handle. Dr. Muller walks us through the relational approaches that help pace the process of opening up - so that clients find the experience helpful, not harmful. Throughout the workshop, theory is complemented by case examples, practical exercises, and segments from Dr. Muller's own treatment sessions.  The workshop focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in our work as helpers.

Participants will learn how to:   

  1. ​Help clients pace the process of opening up
  2. Bring safety to the therapeutic relationship early on
  3. Navigate and use conflicts in the relationship
  4. Recognize their own feelings in the treatment (e.g., the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it)
  5. Help clients mourn traumatic losses to bring posttraumatic growth

    For a detailed schedule,
    click here

​Note:  Workshop registration includes a copy of Dr. Muller's new book: Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up:  From Avoidance to Recovery & Growth.  The book complements the workshop, providing material for attendees to further their learning.

Who Should Attend?

Counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologist, psychiatrists, helping professionals working in health, education and social service settings and in private practice, and who have a core professional training.