Full Course Description

Bessel van der Kolk on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Trauma and Attachment

Program Information


Trauma and Neuroscience

  • Neurobiology of Traumatic Stress
  • What Happens in the Mind, Brain and Body
  • The Anatomy of Survival
  • The Loss of Self and Instinct of Purpose

Diagnosis and Treatment of Trauma and Attachment Disorders

  • Disorganized Attachment vs. Traumatic Stress
  • DSM-5® Implications for assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Psychopharmacology, Treatment Protocols & Body-Oriented Interventions

Early Brain Development and Attachment

  • Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Synchrony and Attunement
  • Disorganized Attachment
  • Complex Trauma in Children
  • Developmental Trauma Disorder
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) & Long-Term Implications

Pathways to Healing

  • EMDR
  • Synchrony & Community
  • Language
  • Affect Regulation


  1. Appraise the applicability of trauma research in order to ascertain its clinical implications. 
  2. Present an overview of the impact of trauma on the various parts of the brain, body and nervous system.
  3. Differentiate the symptomology and treatment of trauma versus working with disorganized attachment in your clinical practice.
  4. Evaluate the use of the DSM-5® in the diagnosis and treatment of trauma-related disorders.
  5. Analyze the effectiveness of psychopharmacology, evidence-based protocols, and body-oriented therapies in the treatment of trauma.
  6. Consider the long-term consequences and comorbidities of adverse childhood experiences and disorganized attachment.
  7. Communicate the frequent challenges for children with complex trauma such as affect dysregulation, impulse control and risk taking.
  8. Articulate ways to restore proper balance between the rational and emotional brains, that can help clients re-establish ownership of their bodies and minds.
  9. Evaluate treatment interventions for disorganized attachment that target emotion regulation and self-leadership.
  10. Assess the effectiveness of EMDR to access, tolerate and process memories in the treatment of distinct trauma.
  11. Explore methods that re-establish connection and synchrony with others to overcome trauma.
  12. Teach clients self-care and self-compassion practices to build self-leadership and an internal locus of control.

Copyright : 11/16/2017

Pat Ogden, Ph.D., on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Program Information


  1. Explore healing trauma through body movement therapies
  2. Communicate important foundational aspects of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy


  • Background into Trauma
    • Lack of Improvement in Patients
    • Change Approach to Improve Therapeutic Outcomes
  • Body Focus versus Emotions Focus
  • Movement to Release Trauma
    • Experiences to Reveal
  • Sensations Awareness & Presence and Trauma
  • Attunement to Client
  • “The Missing Experience”
  • Movement Reluctance
  • The Body Tells the Story
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
    • Addressing Movement and Psychological Beliefs
    • Clients Realizing Effects of their Actions
  • Foundations

Copyright : 06/30/2017

Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., on Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Program Information


  1. Present the IFS Model and design ways to integrate IFS into your clinical practice.
  2. Model how to work with clinician’s own parts.


  • Internal Family Systems Therapy
    • The roles in IFS
    • The Self
  • How the Therapist Shows Their Parts
  • Working with Passive Clients
  • IFS Role-Play
  • The IFS Roles
    • Managers
    • Firefighters
    • Protectors
    • Exiles
      • Witnessing

Copyright : 09/04/2017

Onno van der Hart, Ph.D., on Treating Dissociative Disorders


Program Information


  • DSM and defining PTSD
    • The work of Pierre Janet: current contexts
    • PTSD as a Dissociative Identity Disorder vs. an Anxiety Disorder
    • Implications of seeing trauma as DID
    • Understanding people with “parts” - how to become a different therapist.
    • ”Befriending self, allowing yourself to know what you know” - Bessel van der Kolk
  • Dis-association: a non-connection of parts
    • The confusion of nomenclature
    • Clinical implications involved in the assessment and treating “shutting down” of personality from dealing with DID
  • Traumatic memories
    • The recommencements of actions that happened at the time of the trauma - actions that require completion - Janet
    • What does this signify for contemporary therapy.
    • Dealing with “knowing when it’s over” in practice
    • Facilitating completion of the action: Somatic and Sensorimotor therapy
    • Evidence based treatment methods and their limitation for trauma
    • Retraumatizing the client
  • Psychological tension: high and low mental energy & efficiency
    • The need to incorporate psychological tension in evaluation process
    • Helping the client explore enhancing this tension


  1. Critique the DSM’s categorization of PTSD as an anxiety disorder versus Dissociative Identity Order.
  2. Explore how the work of Pierre Janet is relevant for current therapy models in evaluating trauma
  3. Critique the nature of evidence-based treatments relative to trauma and the possibility of retraumatizing the client.

Copyright : 04/20/2017

Frank Putnam, MD, on Attachment & Trauma Research

Program Information


  1. Discuss the clinical implementations of the longitudinal study on childhood abuse as designed and conducted by Dr. Frank Putnam.
  2. Summarize the trans-generational aspects of trauma and abuse as it informs the therapeutic approach.
  3. Specify treatment methods that induce a state of change in the trauma client.
  4. Provide psychoeducation on Dissociative Identity Disorder to improve client understanding of the disorder and the rationale of treatment methods used.
  5. Articulate clinical strategies to assist the client out of their dissociative state and return their awareness back to the present.
  6. Summarize the various results of the ACE study as discussed between Dr.’s van der Kolk and Putnam.


Attachment and States of Change: Trauma Clients from Childhood to Adulthood

  • Bessel van der Kolk, MD introduces Frank Putnam, MD author of The Way We Are: How States of Mind Influence our Identities, Personality and Potential for Change
  • Dr. Putnam’s early work and studies in rapid-cycling Bipolar and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  • Physiology of DID
  • State Changes - the transitioning point between the state changes we make as children and adolescents
  • Attachment and attunement as children
  • 4-generation longitudinal study conclusions of abused and normal children

Early Disrupted Attachments

  • Disorganized Attachment “Type D” as a pre-cursor of adulthood physiological and psychological illness
  • The mother’s critical role: early patterns and intervening with a mother’s first child

Childhood Abuse: The Adolescent Female

  • Cortisol levels
  • FSH levels
  • Biological versus behavioral aspects of trauma
  • Attachment as generational and reverberational qualities
  • The “Strange Man” study

Development and States of Change

  • Multiple layering of states
  • Moving in and out and transitions
  • Stuck states or slippery states

Meta-Cognitive Function & Executive Function

  • Functions of healthy attachment
  • Validation: the critical need to “be seen”
  • Genetics versus Trauma as effecting behavior
  • Implications for Treatment

The Ohio Home Visit Program Study: Working with Children and Mothers

  • 2,000+ families in the study
  • Maternal depression
  • Substance Abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Help mothers with state change
  • Games, mirroring
  • Role for therapist
  • Effectiveness of the study and public health
  • PCIT: Parent/Child Interaction Therapy


  • Brain changes
  • Hyper-arousal states “burn out” leaving shutting down

Inducing A State of Change

  • Hypnosis - viable treatment that has fallen off the radar but still successful with trauma processing
  • The stages of stabilization
  • Intrusive states: not seen in PTSD alone
  • ACE Study, addiction and maladaptive temporary solutions
  • Basic training in the military: the classic state change success story
  • Self-compassion: a required element of Mindfulness

Latest Research and Evidence for Drug-Induced State Change

  • MDMA: PTSD and combat trauma, initial study results
  • Psilocybin - Frank’s personal experience in a study

Language, Meaning and Context

  • Creating a coherent narrative
  • DSM III to DSM-5
  • Developing the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES)

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Story of the Scientist and the Study

  • The cyclical nature of studying trauma and dissociation of time
  • Lack of literature
  • Developing the longitudinal robust study
  • The DES

Discussion on the Brain Functions

  • Pre-frontal area
  • Anterior cingulate
  • Intrusive states

How do you help the client get out of the dissociated state?

  • Decrease triggers
  • Create safety
  • Substitute other behaviors
  • Self-monitoring: how to build that in the treatment
  • How to build stronger meta-cognitive functioning
  • Sensory integration: drumming, rhythm

Trans-generational Aspects of Trauma & Abuse

  • The predatory personality
  • Results of the longitudinal study over generations
  • Bethany Brand’s (Towson University) online longitudinal study for client and clinician
  • The importance of “telling the truth”
  • Value of the histories the professional asks
  • How far to dig into the specifics of the trauma

Copyright : 01/31/2017

Deany Laliotis, LICSW, on EMDR as a Broad-Based Approach to Change


Program Information


Trauma Often Occurs in Childhood

     Personal Experiences

     Developmental Trauma

     Capacities to Resolve Trauma are Overwhelmed

     Dissociative Processes

Complex trauma

      Affect Dysregulation

      Self Esteem

      Difficulty in Relationships

      Conclusions about the Self

      Shifting the Way a Memory is Stored

Images of A Parent’s Denial of Trauma Stored in Brain

      Inadequately Processed

      Easily Triggered

      Lack of Connection Between Information and Feelings

      Emotional Hijack

EMDR As Integrative Therapy

       Clinical Research

       Present is Informed by the Past

       State Specific Emotions

       Adaptive Information Processing System in Brain

       Orienting Response

       REM Activity

       Brain Processes in Present Time while Reflecting on Negative Experience

       Use of Dual Awareness Increases Capacity to Feel More Stable

       Creating Appropriate Responses and Exploring Personal Capacities

       Focus of Present Experiences and Changing These


  1. Summarize the implications of nodal experiences as they relate to shaping clients’ current symptoms Discuss clinical strategies to identify predominant themes in clients’ lives that underlie their current symptomology.
  2. Integrate the adaptive information-processing model of EMDR with other therapeutic interventions used within a clinical setting.

Copyright : 03/25/2017

Ed Tronick, Ph.D, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Lou Bergholz on Psychological Trauma: Attachment, Stabilization, Identity and Self-Awareness

Part 1:

Attachment, Meaning Making & Self-Regulation

Ed Tronick PhD



  1. Analyze the nature of normal and abnormal developmental processes that are embedded in the emotional and social exchanges of infants and young children and their caregivers.
  2. Present three key findings Dr. Tronick discovered that help understand the neurobiological and social-emotional development of infants/children.
  3. Determine three factors that can influence meaning-making in the developing infant.
  4. Assess the clinical implications of neglect and/or abuse on meaning-making on their developing self in relation to others.


Part 2:

Ecstasy (MDMA) & Psychedelics: Re-Frame Experience and Change Self-Awareness

Michael Mithoefer MD, and Richard C. Schwartz, PhD



  1. Determine that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for people who do not respond to traditional therapies for PTSD.
  2. Explore the mechanism of MDMA in the brain.


Part 3:

Playing to Heal: Sports as Tools for Stabilization, Identity Development, and Connection
Lou Bergholz



  1. Communicate the case for sport as a medium for healing and the emerging field of sports-based stabilization.



Program Information


Attachment, Meaning Making & Self-Regulation

  • Ed Tronick, PhD                  

Ecstasy (MDMA) & Psychedelics: Re-Frame Experience and Change Self-Awareness

  • Michael Mithoefer MD, Richard C. Schwartz, PhD and Frank Putnam, MD                            


Playing to Heal: Sports as Tools for Stabilization, Identity Development, Competency and Connection

  • Lou Bergholz

Copyright : 06/03/2017