Designing An Individualized Sustainability Plan 

This five-session workshop series is for therapists interested in helping clients design an individualized sustainability plan (ISP) and expand the scope of therapeutic intervention to address all aspects of wellness (emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual, and social). 


Over the last decade, I have studied and researched therapeutic strategies for working with individuals struggling with trauma or chronic stress.   In research and practice settings in the US, Africa, and Asia, I have gathered and refined the most promising approaches, and in this series I'll share them with the participants.      


Why is ISP important? 

Research and practice make it clear that maintaining gains achieved in treatment is one of the biggest obstacles for trauma survivors.   An Individualized Sustainability Plan (ISP) addresses this reality with a carefully constructed framework of information, techniques and practices to provide ongoing cognitive, physical, emotional, spiritual and social maintenance for clients as they face adversities. 


Healing is never a straight line of continuous progress.   Just when things seem to be getting better, a new crisis emerges.  An ISP supplements existing therapy and therapeutic approaches, providing a foundation of personal stability that enables clients to better cope with the inevitable downturns.  By actively assuming that difficult moments are inevitable and equipping clients with tools for responding, an ISP increases clients' ability to move through difficult moments rather than be dragged down by them.


In what setting is an ISP useful? 

In trauma therapy, where on-going re-stimulation in everyday life is a constant threat, an ISP is integral to the trauma integration process.  Here the goal is first to help survivors achieve stability.  As progress unfolds, an ISP then provides survivors with an adaptive plan for self-sustainenanc after therapy is over.  


Although originally developed for trauma survivors,  an ISP is essential for clients facing a variety of challenges.  Dealing with the all-compassing stress and trauma of COVID19, for example, requires a more complex set of interventions than provided in normal therapy, that target all aspects of wellness.

When and how is an ISP created? 

In the context of professional treatment, the design of an ISP comes after we’ve done essential preliminary work on connecting to inner resources and establishing a sense of safety. It typically includes practices that address all aspects of life, emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual, and social, all of which play an important role in well-being. 


What topics will this series cover?

This workshop series will introduce you to the concepts underlying an ISP and review approaches to developing an ISP in the context of therapy.  These include a review of recent findings from nutritional psychology, the use of experiential self-compassion, expressive arts, sports, and movement, cognitive processing, mindfulness, and intentional mindlessness, etc. in creating an ISP framework.


The series will unfold in five weekly sessions, each 1½ hours in length.   


  1. Session One: Introduction to ISP, the ETI framework, and roadmap after stress/trauma.

  2. Session Two: Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth in the Context of ISP.

  3. Session Three: Simplified Experiential Self-Compassion

  4. Session Four: Body Wellness (gut, brain, nutrition, inflammation, immune system, etc.).

  5. Session Five: Integration and Narrative Processing.

Who is the series for?
Mental health counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists and other clinicians working with clients affected by stress, chronic stress, trauma and complex trauma. 


When is the series?
Sundays: June 14, 21, and 28, and July 5 and 12
Time: 4-5:30 PM EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $225 for the series, payable in advance. 

CEU: 7.5 CEU’s through the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.  






























Do I need to be an artist or expressive therapist to participate or to apply these methods with my clients?

No, these are simple techniques that anyone can learn to use in clinical settings.  While we will use art-making, drawing, body-sculptures, and role reversal, our focus will be on the process of expression and experiencing "imaginal space", not on the end product. 


What if I miss a workshop?

You will be missed. We will send you a recording of the session.

You are responsible for payment for all sessions even if circumstances do not allow your participation. 


More info on ISP in this Blog: How to Maintain Progress After Trauma

ISP in the context of COVID19: Preventing PTSD in COVID-19 Era

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