Trainings & Workshops

In addition to teaching for UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, Dr. Madril provides training services to humans organizations and mental health professionals on issues related to mindfulness, self-compassion, trauma-informed practice and resilience to vicarious trauma and empathic distress. He is currently offering the following trainings, which may be facilitated online or in-person:

Training #1: Maintaining Equanimity and Promoting Synchronicity During Relationship-Focused Treatment of Complex Trauma with Adults

Course Description

Individuals who have experienced intense and prolonged traumatic experiences are at risk for developing complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) as defined by the Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS) formulation, which includes adverse symptoms such as emotional dysregulation, intrusive negative beliefs, alterations in consciousness, and somatic disturbances. In addition, such individuals may often react to reminders of the trauma with autonomic responses such as anger, avoidance, and anxiety that interfere with their ability to successfully establish meaningful and lasting relationships with others.

While participating in therapy may appear to be a viable solution to resolving these deep-seated emotional issues for individuals with complex trauma, the therapeutic relationship itself may represent an implicit “reminder of the trauma” to the client given the highly relational nature of psychotherapy and the interpersonal context that may characterize their experiences of abuse from the past. This may lead to any number of distressing reactions to therapy such as strong ego-systonic projections onto the therapist, autonomic activations of subcortical neural networks, and abreactions that threaten the quality and longevity of the therapeutic alliance. Still, caring clinicians are faced with the challenge of understanding and competently responding to the intense emotional—and sometimes illogical—responses from the client while attempting to maintain a sense of equanimity as the professional “leader” of the helping process when the client is momentarily incapacitated by emotion and traumatic reenactment. Given such troubling symptoms, it is important for clinicians to develop and test ways to help those with CPTSD “grow through” their unconscious negative responses to participating in trauma therapy and develop new ways to cope with relationship-based fears.

What You Will Learn

This training is designed to equip trauma therapists with new techniques to maintain equanimity and promote synchronicity during relationship-focused treatment of complex trauma treatment. Therapists will learn how to integrate attachment and trauma theories into their clinical work with clients; they will learn interpersonal neurobiology-based micro-skills to develop attunement with clients; skills to effectively manage ego defenses that are activated during trauma reprocessing; skills to contain emotional abreactions; tools to promote the reintegration of clients’ projections onto the therapist; how to develop a two-person relational approach to managing countertransference, and skills to cultivate compassion for clients with challenging CPTSD symptoms.

Learning Objectives

1. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to actively identify the signs and symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, including autonomic activations of subcortical neural networks and abreactions that threaten the quality and longevity of the relationship between client and therapist.

2. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to identify and discuss the three primary attachment categories related to complex post-traumatic stress.

3. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to identify the underlying emotional and relationship-based needs of clients with histories of complex trauma.

4. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to define the relational reconstruction subphase of complex trauma treatment and use this information to conceptualize their clinical work with clients with histories of complex trauma.

5. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to actively identify and effectively respond to abreactions, ego defenses, and countertransference through the lens of relational or two-person-based treatment of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

6. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to actively identify 10 relational skills that can be applied to clinical work with clients who desire to create and maintain meaningful relationships in their lives, but who struggle with interpersonal issues related to trust, esteem, intimacy, safety, and control.

Brief Course Outline

The course will be presented in two parts to enhance participant reflection and application of theory to practice:

PART ONE (2 hours):

  • What is Complex Trauma?
  • Understanding Trauma & Attachment Theory
  • Introduction to the Relational Reconstruction Subphase of Complex Trauma Treatment
  • Review of Psycho-biological Interventions
  • Exploration of the Intersection Between Ego Defenses & Complex Trauma

PART TWO (2 hours)

  • Two-Person Model for Working with Transference & Abreactions
  • Relational Approaches to Trauma Therapy
  • Experiential Application of Relationship-Focused Therapy Skills

Training #2: Mindfulness-Based Strategies to Increase Psychological Resilience to Vicarious Trauma and Empathic Fatigue in Today’s Diverse Work Spaces

Course Description

This workshop will equip you with a practical framework for understanding the potential causes of your anxiety. The same framework will be used to help you gain an understanding of the steps to cultivate daily habits that may provide you with long-term relief from overwhelming anxiety and other distressing emotions. In addition, Dr. Madril will review a practical set of tools and techniques to increase your ability to successfully manage your anxiety symptoms over time. These skills have been thoughtfully assembled and drawn from treatment modalities demonstrated through science to be helpful in resolving anxiety such as: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and self-compassion practices. This training integrates various modes of instruction including experiential exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga/mindful movement, periods of silence, video, didactic-style teaching, and home-based practices.

What You Will Learn

  • Practical knowledge about the potential causes of your anxiety.
  • Practical tools to cultivate daily habits designed to generate enduring feelings of peace and well-being.
  • How to integrate CBT tools into your daily life to prevent anxiety from becoming overwhelming.
  • How to integrate simple body-based practices into your self-care program that will contribute to your overall emotional health.

Learning Objectives

Training #3: Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Course Description

MBCT is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, which was developed to help people suffering with chronic physical pain and long-term medical conditions. It includes meditation techniques to help participants become more aware of their experience in the present moment, by tuning into moment-to-moment changes in the mind and the body. This two-hour training will introduce participants to the practice of mindfulness meditation and several exercises derived from cognitive therapy that, for example, demonstrate the links between thoughts, feelings, body sensations and action tendencies and how individuals can care for themselves, especially when they notice a downturn in their mood. Participants will learn to tools to develop the capacity to allow distressing emotions, thoughts, and sensations to come and go, without feeling that they must suppress them, run away from them, or fight them.

What You Will Learn

Participants will learn practical mindfulness skills to better manage symptoms of depression & anxiety that arise in day-to-day life. In addition, Dr. Madril will share new ways of relating to troublesome emotions supported by evidence-based concepts such as radical acceptance and “being with” rather than “pushing away” from difficulty. Participants will be invited to engage in individual and group-based experiential exercises to practice emotional regulation tools and reinforce their practical understanding of the theories and concepts of MBCT. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to design and implement an individualized MBCT program for themselves should they choose to continue their mindfulness practice for enhanced emotion-regulation.

Learning Objectives

1. To equip participants with a foundational understanding of how mindfulness can be introduced into daily life as a means of increasing one’s ability to manage difficult thoughts and emotions.

2. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to identify and discuss the three mindfulness techniques to manage cognitive rumination and emotional distress.

3. To equip participants with a foundational understanding of how cognitive therapy can be introduced into daily life as a means of increasing one’s ability to manage difficult thoughts and emotions.

4. To equip participants with the knowledge and skills to identify and discuss the three cognitive-based techniques to manage cognitive rumination and emotional distress.

5. To equip participants with an active understanding of how to build a daily program of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for themselves.

Brief Course Outline

  • What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy? How can it enhance my ability to establish and maintain a sense of emotional well-being in my life?
  • Raisin Exercise
  • Body Scan Meditation
  • Mindfulness in daily living
  • 10 – 15-minute sitting meditation—awareness of breath, body, sounds, and thoughts/feelings, particularly noticing how we relate to thoughts that arise.
  • Moods, thoughts, and alternative viewpoints exercise.
  • 10 – 20-minute sitting meditation—awareness of breath and body; noticing how we relate to our experiences through the reactions we have to thoughts, feelings, or body sensations arise; especially when difficulties arise within the practice; noticing their effects and reactions to them in the body.
  • Discuss how to keep up momentum developed over the course.
  • Review and discuss plans and link them to positive reasons for maintaining the practice.
  • End the class with a concluding meditation.

Training abstracts are available upon request.


What People Are Saying…

Our office asked Tony to provide a 4-hour training to our direct services staff on vicarious trauma / compassion fatigue and the training was absolutely perfect. Participants shared how helpful the training was, giving them not only an understanding of what vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue was, but providing them the tools they needed to help address some of the challenges they faced in their day-to-day work. Tony created an environment that allowed our staff to be vulnerable and share very personal stories about client stories and even personal trauma they’ve experienced. Overall, our direct services team of 50 staff were very grateful and hope to continue trainings like the one we received from Tony in the future.

–Nasim Khansari, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles office

I found Tony to be thorough, organized, and helpful when preparing for the training and the delivery of continuing education units for our licensed staff. Tony is not only a respectful, dedicated, and caring trainer; he truly lives what he teaches. The entire experience was a positive one, and we are looking forward to having him back soon.

–Susan Mayer-Zeitlin, MFT Wrap-around Services Supervisor, San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center

Everyone on my team who participated in Tony’s vicarious trauma prevention training found it quite valuable. It’s been interesting to see most of my teammates applying the concepts covered in the training to situations other than simply interacting with challenging content and behaviors. For example, I’ve personally found the breathing exercises to be very helpful when conducting difficult conversations with colleagues. While a couple of folks previously felt as though they had a complete handle on work-related stress, the training helped them realize that there are indeed aspects of the job that have a greater impact on their lives than they realized. This is a really nice revelation to have and a great mindset to be in coming out of the training!

–David Watkis, Safety Lead for Automattic, Inc.

Previous Clients:

  • Automattic, Inc.
  • San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Pennylane
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • Chrysalis
  • Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
  • The Center for Nonprofit Management
  • UC Davis Center for Human Services