Resilient Client, Resilient Therapist

EMDR San Francisco

If you would like to request a daylong training at your agency, please use the contact page or email me at therapy(at)levistherapy(dot)com or by phone.
Please scroll down for a description of this talk and for audience feedback.

This interactive workshop was very well received at the following conferences and is based on Rajani’s writings. (see citations below)

Resilient Client, Resilient Therapist: An Adventure in EMDR Therapy
EMDRIA Annual Conference 2017: August 26, 2017 in Bellevue, Washington

Resilient Client, Resilient Therapist
CAMFT Annual Conference 2017:
May 05, 2017 in San Jose, CA     

One of the greatest challenges for therapists can be the vicarious trauma and burnout which result from working with resource-deficient & traumatized minority clients. After this workshop, attendees will return to the therapy room, empowered with exciting tools to empower their clients. And in turn, therapists will find themselves buoyed by the resilience of their clients and more deeply engaged with their own self-care. Recognizing, eliciting and incorporating the resilience of clients into therapy allows for a vicarious learning process called Vicarious Resilience. This is an important and under-utilized form of self-care that has tremendous significance for health care workers at the front-line of trauma.

This workshop turns the concept of “under-resourced” on its head by revealing a wealth of invisible resources possessed by the clients whose voices are in the margins. Participants will learn a culturally attuned means for discovering and installing invisible and under-utilized resources possessed by those from the non-dominant culture. This framework of Community Cultural Wealth Resources (CCWR) incorporates the knowledge, skills, abilities and contacts used by oppressed communities to overcome macro and micro forms of oppression and draws on the work of Yosso (2005), Huber (2009) and Delgado Bernal (1998). The practical application of CCWR has the potential to transform therapy into an anti-oppression endeavor and a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Attendees will actively participate in the application of CCWR to specific populations that experience discrimination and stigma in our current sociopolitical climate, such as clients who are practicing Muslims, LGBTQ individuals and undocumented immigrants, to name a few. Through client videos, this presentation invites the audience into the moments that are transformative for clients who are facing increasing forms of sociopolitical oppression.

Using the concepts of vicarious resilience and its inherent mutuality, attendees will leave with the tools to elicit and integrate CCWR, as a powerful therapeutic means for healing social injustices in our varied roles as therapist, client, educator, student and community member. In addition, self-care activities will be integrated throughout the day to reinforce these concepts as embodied wisdom rather than intellectual knowledge.


  • Passionate, knowledgeable speaker. Solid presentation, innovative approach
  • Should have been a keynote speaker
  • Please bring her back. Every moment of this workshop was well spent.
  • It was awesome and informal while taking everything to a new level. I will attend any talk she gives.
  • It was so empowering. I have no suggestions for improvement. The information and presentation style was so intentional and well done.
  • I want to be this speaker when I grow up.
  • Very relevant. Good mix of research, videos and current information.
  • Excellent. Make her a keynote speaker. I have had hours of diversity and cultural awareness training but this took it to a new level.
  • Very feminist workshop. Yay! Extremely important material and beautifully communicated. I love the connection between client/therapist resilience. Excellent session. Will use this learning frequently.



Levis, R.V. (2016) Placing Culture at the Heart of EMDR Therapy. In Nickerson, M.I. (Ed.), Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally-Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy: Innovative Strategies and Protocols. New York, NY: Springer.

 Levis, R.V., Siniego, L. B. (2016) An Integrative Framework for EMDR Therapy as an Anti-Oppression Endeavor. In Nickerson, M.I. (Ed.), Cultural Competence and Healing Culturally-Based Trauma with EMDR Therapy: Innovative Strategies and Protocols. New York, NY: Springer.