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Online Training – Transcending the Coercive Control of Domestic Violence and Emotionally Abusive Relationships: A Trauma Informed Approach

May 1 Registration & Breakfast 8:15 am; Training 8:45 am - 4:15 pm (EDT) $179, 6 CEUs Presenter: Denise Tordella, MA, LPC Zoom, MD + Google Map

“Everyone has a right to have a present and future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past” – Karen Saakvitne

Relationship issues cause many individuals to seek therapy. As therapists, we listen to people discuss their relationships and the dynamics within them. Patterns may begin to emerge that heighten the therapist’s awareness around the dynamics of the relationship and the safety of it.  Initially, the individual may not identify the relationship as unsafe or abusive.  This workshop will focus on increasing the therapist’s awareness of the reverberating effects of coercive control, domestic violence, and emotionally abusive relationships on individuals through a trauma-informed approach.

Survivors of abuse and coercive control often adopt patterns of behavior that are adaptive as survival skills and are the best choices they can make in a dangerous situation.  However, these skills may be maladaptive in healing from the control and abuse and reclaiming their rights to be in a safe, healthy relationship. This workshop will provide therapists with skills and techniques to support individuals as they begin to understand what has happened to them and how they have coped.  We will focus on de-pathologizing and reducing the stigma and shame associated with being a survivor of control and abuse and supporting individuals in reclaiming their rights to safety and choice.

Registration for this workshop closes one day before the workshop date.

If you want to sign up for this course and missed the registration deadline, please don’t worry. You can still contact Gerri Baum at gerrib@theferentzinstitute.com or call 410-409-7061 to inquire about joining the class. We will do our best to accommodate you. We appreciate your interest in our workshops and look forward to seeing you soon!

The Ferentz Institute, Inc. is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. CEU approval for all trainings is also granted to Psychologists, LCPC’s and MFT’s and approved by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists and the Board of Examiners for Psychologists in Maryland. Reciprocity has also been granted for clinicians in Washington, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Texas. The Institute also maintains full responsibility for all programming.
In order to provide Category 1 CEUs for all of our trainings, the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners requires online workshops to be live, interactive, and experienced in real time. Therefore, none of our trainings are recorded for later viewing.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define coercive control, domestic violence and emotional abuse.
  2. Explore the effects of coercive control, violence and abuse across all aspects of the individual’s life.
  3. Increase skills in assessing for empowering characteristics and cognitions.
  4. Teach clients strategies to uncover their potential for personal growth, positive change and connecting with their inner strengths.
  5. Identify and implement specific trauma-informed strategies to help individuals to remain emotionally present and grounded to facilitate healing from controlling, abusive relationships.
  6. Identify five (5) creative and body-oriented treatment strategies and modalities to support individuals in identifying and implementing adaptive coping methods that regulate arousal level and modulate affect and reduce the use of the maladaptive coping mechanisms
  7. Identify the components of a safety plan that acknowledges the risks and barriers associated with ending/leaving the relationship.
  8. Discuss the effects on children who have experienced coercive control or witnessed domestic violence.


8:45 – 10:00 am

  • Introductions, Definition of Coercive Control, Domestic Violence and Emotional Abuse

10:00 – 10:08 am     BREAK

10:09 – 11:00 am

  • Identifying Controlling Behaviors

11:00 – 11:08 am       BREAK

11:08 – 12:00 pm

  • Identifying Effects of Control and Abuse

12:00 – 1:00 pm         LUNCH

1:00 – 2:00 pm

  • Trauma Informed Treatment Strategies

2:00 – 2:08 pm          BREAK

2:08 – 3:00 pm

  • Safety Planning

3:00 – 3:08 pm         BREAK

3:08 – 4:15 pm

  • Recovery from Control and Abuse, Questions, Closeout, Evaluations
Black and white photo of a woman's face with a black eye holding her hand over her mouth.
"Denise Tordella shares with great clarity her profound experience and knowledge about the topic of Coercive Control and Emotionally Abusive Relationships. She exudes kindness and compassion, toward the survivors and also toward the children who experience this trauma." – Georgette Csobaji, LCSW-C

"[Denise] shared informative examples from her work with clients experiencing abuse and gave practice tools to use. It was clear that she cares and has compassion for this community of clients." – Lisa Pearson, LCPC

"Denise presented in a gentle and caring, yet extremely knowledgeable, fashion." – Deborah Rackham, Resident in Counseling

"Denise was thorough, calming, and mindful of both the information being presented and engagement." – Rebecca Thomas, LMSW