The majority of people who seek psychiatric care have histories of trauma, chaos, or neglect. PTSD is only one possible adaptation to trauma- it rarely exists by itself, and it does not take account of the differential effects of trauma at different stages of mental and brain development.
In the past two decades there has been not only an explosion of knowledge about how experience shapes the central nervous system and the formation of the self, but also about what constitutes effective intervention. Advances in the neurosciences, attachment research and in information processing show how brain function is shaped by experience and that life itself can continually transform perception and biology.
Overwhelming experiences alter the capacity for self-regulation, attention and memory processing due to changes in subcortical, i.e., “unconscious”, levels of the brain. The memory imprints of the trauma(s) are held as bodily states and physical action patterns. This causes the entire human organism to automatically react to current experiences as a recurrence of the past. While language, insight and understanding are useful to deal with confusion and secrecy, it rarely is enough to deal with the unspeakable, intolerable and unacceptable nature of traumatic experience.
Effective treatment of post-traumatic problems needs to include addressing the imprint of trauma on the physical experience of the self as being helpless and in danger. Recovery needs to incorporate dealing with defensive efforts that helped ensure survival, and incorporate physical experiences that contradict feelings and sensations associated with helplessness and disconnection.
This workshop will present current research findings about how people’s brains, minds and bodies are affected by traumatic experiences. We will explore specific techniques that address affect regulation, the integration of dissociated aspects of experience, overcoming helplessness, attentional deficits and the re-integration of human connections.
- Analyze & communicate how traumatized people process information.
- Determine how sensorimotor processing can alleviate traumatic re-experiencing.
- Articulate the range of adaptations to trauma early in the life cycle.
- Substantiate how trauma affects the developing mind and brain.
- Communicate the recent advances in neurobiology of trauma.
- Differentiate between disrupted attachment and traumatic stress.
- Breakdown how adverse childhood experiences effect brain development, emotion regulation & cognition.
- Choose techniques of physical mastery, affect regulation and memory processing.
- Explore the development of Developmental Trauma Disorder.
- Critique the current DSM-5® position on DTD.
- Model how to integrate various treatment approaches in your practice.
- Choose treatment strategies alternatives to drugs and talk therapy.
Neuroscience & Brain Development
- Neuroscience and brain development
- How children learn to regulate their arousal systems
- How the brain regulates itself
- Developmental psychopathology: The derailment of developmental processes & brain development due to trauma, abuse and neglect
- How the brain responds to treatment
Early Life Trauma
- Interpersonal neurobiology
- Adaptations to trauma early in the life cycle
- Loss of affect regulation
- Chronic destructive relationships towards self and others
- Dissociation and amnesia
- Self-blame, guilt and shame
- Chronic distrust and identification with the aggressor
Attachment, Trauma, and Psychopathology
- The breakdown of information processing in trauma
- Mirror neuron systems and brain development
- How to overcome the destabilization and disintegration
- The compulsion to repeat – origins and solutions
- Difference between disorganized attachment and traumatic stress
Neuroscience, Trauma, Memory and the Body
- The neurobiology of traumatic stress
- Learned helplessness and learned agency
- Restoring active mastery and the ability to attend to current experiences
- Somatic re-experiencing of trauma-related sensations and affects that serve as engines for continuing maladaptive behaviors
- How mind and brain mature in the context of caregiving systems
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Trauma-Related Disorders
- Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)
- Affect and impulse dysregulation
- Disturbances of attention, cognition and consciousness
- Distortions in self-perception and systems of meaning
- Interpersonal difficulties
- Somatization and biological dysregulation
- The development of DTD in the DSM-5® as a diagnosis and its implications for assessment, diagnosis and treatment
Trauma-specific Treatment Interventions
- The role of body-oriented and neurologically-based therapies to resolve the traumatic past
- Alternatives to drugs and talk therapy
- Self-regulation, including yoga
- Play and theatre
- Dance, movement and sensory integration
Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physician, Psychologists, Social Workers and other Mental Health Professionals