Bruce Carruth, Ph.D.

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Winter, 2020
An opportunity for experienced therapists seeking learning, reflection and personal growth

Bruce Carruth, Ph.D., San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico

Borderland is that area between where we live, what we know … and the unknown, the vast arena of the seldom explored.

Borderland is a land of perceived dangers, full of fears and surprises, ripe for discovery, possibly containing great rewards and richness, but sometimes full of toxicity.  You can get hurt out there or fall in love, or look back and see your historic path.

Maybe there is a reason we don't visit there.  Maybe we've just never been there. Others seem to live quite happily and comfortably in what looks like our borderland.  How do they do that?  They must have a better map.

Our borderlands are unique.  Your land isn't mine, mine isn't yours.  You have your map and I have mine.  And our maps are not the territory, just a representation that can change and evolve and adapt. Some maps are detailed and elegant, evolved from ripe experience, others built on myth and assumptions, others relatively blank with content repressed.

This workshop for therapists explores intrapersonal and interpersonal borderlands with the goal of developing better skills for helping others map and negotiate their emotional-psychological territory.   Some of the more common territory in the borderlands includes:

Our patterns of recreating (for better or worse) our history in our current life                                
How we initiate, sustain or end interpersonal connections                                                
Recognizing and adapting to unavoidable toxicity in life
Exploring and managing primary affects of anxiety, sadness, anger and shame and their polarities
Discovering and valuing the riches, versatility, resilience and optimism in our unique borderland         
Managing polarities such as comfort and excitement, hope and despair,&  closeness and distance  
Developing passages between the safe and known land of our history and the under-explored territory of our past.
Appreciating the differences between understanding, accepting and forgiving ourselves and others.

To venture into these frontier lands we need to recognize and utilize our strengths and find new resources.   We need a guide.  We need to know when we are lost and when we are on the verge of great discoveries.  Most importantly, we need safety within ourselves and in our environment to venture into the land of the unknown.

That is what we'll do this week.

The Workshop
The essence of psychodynamic psychotherapy is in exploring borderland … understanding personal history through a lens that allows us safety and options to expand our functioning and well-being today.

From this perspective, we’ll emphasize how personal history coalesces into four primary dynamics that are the product of our history:

     how we relate to others in our world

     how we manage emotions,

     our core schemas that filter the interaction between self and environment

     core principles and values by which we live

These four patterns become the gist of therapy.  For many of us, relational issues are paramount and define our basic struggles in life.  For others, it is a core affect that dominates our life space, an affect that has to be avoided at all costs, or is periodically unmanageable.  For others the primary life dilemmas are dominated by core beliefs that have evolved over a lifetime and limit or distort opportunities for engagement.  Underdeveloped or overly rigid core principles and values limit versatility, adaptability and self-acceptance.  For all of us, these dynamics are inevitably inter-linked.

These relational, affective, cognitive and value patterns coalesce in a unique character style that is always both functional and potentially limiting.  The more limiting the style, the more likely life is to be difficult and self-defeating.  The more functional and versatile the style, the more likely an individual is to have lasting relationships, make good life decisions and be open to new experience

In the workshop, we’ll practice identifying life themes and character styles that underlie presenting problems and repetitive dilemmas of clients, how those patterns manifest in our own lives and either enhance or limit our work with clients.  The larger focus of the week will be moving beyond presenting dilemmas and concerns and stepping with support and courage into the under-explored borderland of personal history, facing the threats of overpowering emotions, difficult relationships and self-limiting beliefs and schema in a safe and bounded therapeutic environment.  The inherent resistance to exploring the borderland will be understood as part of the challenge of helping the client transcend their “stuck” place.  We’ll pay particular attention to the meaning of metaphor and the utilization of trance states when doing work with character style.  Our ongoing agenda will be the vital area of counter-transference that arises in work with character structure and how the therapist engages with and utilizes the transference and counter-transference inherent in the relationship to promote growth and change.

The Details
The workshop, 6 days long, will open on a Wednesday evening and close Tuesday at noon.  From Thursday to Monday we’ll meet for 5 hours daily, from 9AM - noon and 1:30 - 3:30PM for a total of 30 workshop hours.  This schedule also allows participants to also step back from the normal hustle and bustle of life, relax and enjoy the colonial atmosphere of San Miguel de Allende, voted in 2013 as the “Most Desirable City in the World” by Conde Nast readers.

Primary learning methods over the week will be brief presentations by the leader, demonstrations of therapeutic interventions, group interaction, opportunities for personal growth and skill building exercises.   The goal is for participants to have an opportunity to observe, reflect, integrate and develop new perspectives on strategies for personal growth and change.   Opportunities for individual consultation with the leader will be available.

The workshop is limited to 10 mental health professionals with advanced degrees and training.  The workshop site is the office of Dr. Bruce Carruth.

Fee for the workshop is $400.

Housing in San Miguel de Allende is widely available and ranges from inexpensive hotel rooms to luxurious apartments for 2 or more attendees.  We will assist finding optimal accommodations to meet your needs.
Transportation to San Miguel is generally by air with direct flights from several major US cities to either Leon (BJX) or Queretaro (QRO).  Both are approximately 1 hour by shuttle ($25 USD) to San Miguel de Allende.  You may also consider flying to Mexico City and taking a luxury bus from Mexico City Airport to Queretaro where you can be met by a private driver to take you on to your residence in San Miguel.  This is approximately a 4 hour trip.  We will help you arrange the most expedient and cost-effective transportation to the workshop.

San Miguel de Allende is a dynamic small city (140,000 people) in the colonial highlands of Mexico.  It recently was voted the #3 city in the world to visit by Travel+Leisure and in 2013 was named “The Best City in the World” by Conde Nast readers.  It is designated as a “Pubelo Magico” by the Mexican Tourism Board and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The town is colonial in charm and design but sophisticated and dynamic with exciting dining, has numerous venues for first class music and theater, is a world center for visual arts and has delightful year-round Springtime weather.

For More Information
For more information about the workshop format or content or for more information about visiting San Miguel de Allende, please email to or telephone (US number) 713-589-5343. 

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Please explore the web site or contact me at:

Mail to:
220 North Zapata Highway, Suite 11-A
Laredo, TX 78043

Telephone in USA:

Office Address in San Miguel:
Avenida Allende #23-B
Colonia San Antonio


Telephone in San Miguel:

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