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A Day with Janina Fisher: Wisdom, Warmth, and the Power of Playfulness in Couples Therapy



Sometimes the universe conspires to give you one of those days that feel surreal, a day that reminds you why you chose your career path. My recent experience attending a couple's workshopby nScience “When Intimacy feels unsafe”, led by none other than the inspirational psychologist Janina Fisher, was one of those extraordinary days. What followed was a dinner with warm conversations, laughter and generous sharing of wisdom from TIST practitioners and Janina herself.


The Workshop: Where Science Meets Heart


Janina Fisher has this remarkable ability to balance scientific insights with heartwarming connection, and this was evident from the moment she began the workshop. She masterfully dissected complex psychological theories and trauma-based models, making them accessible for everyone in the room.


One of the key elements that she emphasized is the importance of understanding and addressing attachment styles in therapy. Attachment issues can manifest in a variety of ways within relationships, affecting everything from communication to emotional intimacy. Janina used the concepts from attachment theory to illustrate how to help couples understand their emotional responses and patterns of interaction.


Fisher also incorporated mindfulness and somatic approaches in her presentation: teaching couples how to be 'present' in the moment and to understand how their bodies respond to stress or triggers. These techniques are valuable for individuals, but when applied in the context of couples therapy, they can help both partners become more attuned to each other's emotional states.


Also, given her background in trauma work, Fisher provided unique insights into how unresolved trauma can impact relationships. She advocated for an understanding of how the nervous system responds to trauma and how those responses can interfere with a couple's ability to connect or resolve conflicts. She suggested that her emphasis on psychoeducation could help couples understand their reactions and foster a more empathetic relationship environment.



Breaking Bread: An Extension of the Learning Experience


The workshop was enlightening, but the post-conference dinner felt like a Masterclass on how to be human first and a therapist second. Janina’s generous spirit was infectious; her wisdom unfolded as she discussed her perspectives on therapy, mental health, and even everyday life. She shared her wisdom with such warmth and good humor that you'd forget you were sitting next to a figure of her professional magnitude.


The Power of Playfulness


One of the most significant takeaways from the day was how Janina emphasized the role of playfulness in therapy. She mentioned, "This work is so much easier when we can find moments to be playful." The idea resonated deeply with me, and I immediately thought of how humor can be a therapeutic technique to foster connection and reduce tension. This nugget of wisdom was not only a learning moment but a true testament to Janina’s all-encompassing approach to healing and connection. One, that she herself lives and breathes.


The Human Aspect


The day was not just about absorbing academic theories and methodologies. It was also about recognizing the 'human' in each of us, the intrinsic need for genuine connection, empathy, and the sharing of experiences. It made me appreciate the human aspects that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of diagnostics and therapeutic techniques.


Janina's genuine spirit and sense of playfulness reminded everyone in the room that while couple's therapy is undoubtedly grounded in science, it is also an art. It's about reading between the lines, understanding unspoken words, and nurturing the emotional bond between partners. Most importantly, it’s about being human first.




The Gift of a Beautiful Evening


The day concluded on a note of deep gratitude. It was a wonderful gathering that allowed us to share our thoughts, concerns and our lighter moments. Janina's generosity in sharing her wisdom and warmth was the true highlight of the day. And I would be remiss if I didn’t take this moment to say, “Thank you, Janina. Your generous spirit has made my journey in this field not just educational, but incredibly humane.”


So, here's to the wisdom, warmth, and the wonderful moments that make our professional journey worthwhile. Thank you, Janina Fisher, for a day filled with valuable insights and for reminding us that even in the seriousness of our profession, there’s always room for a little playfulness.

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