Full Course Description

 Learning Objectives: 

Session I: Trauma and the Body


1. Demonstrate knowledge of three neurobiologically-based trauma responses and articulate how this information may inform choice of treatment interventions.

2.  Explain how the somatosensory and autonomic effects of trauma exacerbate symptoms of PTSD in clients.

3.  Assess the role and treatment implications of procedural learning and memory in client presentations.

4. Incorporate sensorimotor interventions into treatments to decrease symptoms of PTSD in clients.

Session II                                

Working with the Complications of Dysregulation: Addictions, Eating Disorders, & Self-Destructive Behavior


1. Assess the relationship between autonomic dysregulation and addictive or self-destructive behavior in relation to assessment and treatment planning.

2.  Articulate the necessity for an integrated treatment of trauma and addictive or suicidal behavior to improve treatment outcomes.

3. Assess appropriate cognitive-behavioral techniques for treating autonomic dysregulation in clients.

4. Specify three somatic techniques for regulating autonomic arousal traumatic reactions.


Session III  
Working with Traumatic Memory: Principles and Techniques


1. Define ‘implicit memory’ and breakdown its role in post-traumatic stress disorders

2. Explain potential complications of addressing narrative memories of traumatic events in treatment sessions.

3. Specify three interventions that address these complications and ensure safe, effective processing.

4.  Analyze the efficacy of these interventions and distinguish the signs that traumatic memory has been sufficiently processed.

Session IV                               
Disorganized Attachment and the Traumatic Transference


1. Outline the root causes of ‘disorganized attachment’ status in children and its clinical implications.

2.  Specify the symptoms and difficulties associated
with disorganized attachment in relation to assessment and treatment planning.

3.   Articulate the role of disorganized attachment on therapeutic transference/countertransference.                                              
4.   Utilize clinical strategies that reduce the complications of traumatic attachment in clients.


Session V                                

The Role of Dissociation in Trauma-Related Disorders 


1. Differentiate ‘dissociative states’ versus ‘structural dissociation’ as symptoms of trauma and express their treatment implications.
2.  Evaluate the role of structural dissociation in the treatment of complex trauma and personality disorders.
3. Explain common trauma-related internal conflicts and their impact on clients in the context of treatment models.
4. Utilize mindfulness-based interventions to address resolution of internal conflicts in clients

Session VI                               
Working with Shame, Fear and Anger


1. Articulate the role of shame as an adaptation to trauma and its treatment implications.
2.  Specify the roles of fear and anger as animal defense survival responses to traumatic experiences in clients.

3.  Demonstrate use of both somatic and cognitive interventions to decrease shame, fear and anger in clients.

4.   Explain the role of re-framing in the successful treatment of post-traumatic emotional responses.


I.  Session I:  Trauma and the Body

  1. How the body and brain respond to threat
  2. Implicit remembering as the hallmark of trauma-related disorders
  3. Triggers and triggering
  4. The long-term somatosensory and psychological effects of traumatic experiences
  5. Understanding trauma-related procedural learning
  6. Working with the traumatized nervous system
  7. Restoration of precortical functioning
  8. Increasing client ability to regulate the nervous system and tolerate triggering


II.  Session II:  Working with Complications of Dysregulation

  1. The consequences of autonomic dysregulation
  2. Addictive behavior
  3. Eating Disorders
  4. Suicidal and self-harming behavior
  5. Post-traumatic complications of abstinence and sobriety
  6. An integrated treatment for trauma and unsafe/addictive behavior
  7. Top-down approaches to regulating dysregulation
  8. Bottom-up somatic approaches to regulating dysregulation
  9. Differentiating unsafe versus ‘safer’ versus safe behavior


III.  Session III:  Working with Traumatic Memory:  Principles and Techniques

  1. What brain science has taught us about traumatic memory
  2. Recognizing and understanding implicit memory in client presentations
  3. Do we treat traumatic events?  Or do we treat their consequences?
  4. Remembering vs. reprocessing vs. repairing
  5. ‘Telling the story’
  6. Resolving the implicit memories
  7. How do we know when memories have been adequately resolved?
  8. Creating a healing story



IV.  Session IV:  Disorganized Attachment and the Traumatic Transference

  1. Attachment and trauma
  2. The effect of having attachment figures who are neglectful or abusive
  3. “Frightening and frightened” parenting
  4. Disorganized attachment and its consequences
  5. Understanding the effect of disorganized attachment on the therapeutic relationship
  6. Traumatic transference challenges
  7. The therapist as a trigger and a neurobiological regulator
  8. Using the social engagement system to overcome the challenges


V.  Session V:  The Role of Dissociation in Trauma-Related Disorders

            A.  Dissociation:  normal versus pathological dissociation

            B.  Dissociative states versus structural dissociation

            C.  Understanding the structural dissociation model as a trauma model

            D.  Using mindfulness techniques to identify emotional and behavioral responses as ‘parts’

            E.  Recognizing internal conflicts as survival-related conflicts driven by structurally dissociated parts

            F.  Mindfulness-based interventions to strengthen client resources and prefrontal functioning

            G.  Developing empathic relationships to one’s parts

            H.  Resolving inner conflicts and healing the past


IV.  Session VI:  Working with Shame, Fear and Anger

  1. The role of emotion in trauma treatment
  2. Shame as a survival strategy
  3. Using somatic and mindfulness-based interventions to address the effects of shame
  4. Fear as an animal defense response
  5. Changing client relationships to fear
  6. Anger as an animal defense response
  7. Re-framing anger as a ‘bodyguard’ or protection
  8. Using somatic and mindfulness-based interventions to address fear and anger

Bonus: Trauma Defined: Bessel van der Kolk on The Body Keeps the Score

Researchers are increasingly finding that the body is the key to trauma treatment. Trauma is about the body becoming immobilized, feeling helpless or numb. Often traumatized people either don’t feel their body at all, or they feel it all the time.

In this compelling one-hour discussion, world’s leading trauma researcher and author of the The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk discusses his research and the influences on his life work with trauma. During the hour, he succinctly and descriptively draws the picture of trauma, the brain, and how various treatments work (and don’t) on the trauma client.

This hour will leave you, and those with whom you share this information, with the best understanding on the nature of trauma, its impact on the brain, how our brains work and most of all, the important new treatments that promise hope to those suffering from PTSD and trauma.

Bessel has spent 40 years working with and learning from traumatized clients. In this video, he shares insight into a bold new paradigm for healing from trauma. You won’t want to miss this personal account of Dr. van der Kolk’s work.

Program Information


The Latest Clinical Research Surrounding:


  1. Explain how trauma influences the activity of the key areas of the brain and how that dictates behavior patterns.
  2. Articulate the clinical research surrounding the effectiveness of yoga, mindfulness meditation, and theater in healing trauma in clients.

Copyright : 09/02/2014

Bonus: Overcoming Trauma-Related Shame and Self-Loathing with Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

Shame has an insidious impact on our traumatized clients’ ability to find relief and perspective even with good treatment. Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy interfere with taking in positive experiences, leaving only hopelessness. This 60-minute recording was webcast live from the office of Dr. Janina Fisher and introduces shame from a neurobiological perspective—as a survival strategy driving somatic responses of automatic obedience and total submission.

Learn to help clients relate to their symptoms with curiosity rather than automatic acceptance, discriminate the cognitive, emotional, and physiological components of shame, and to integrate somatic as well as traditional psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques to transform shame-related stuckness.

Program Information


  1. Discriminate the clinical implications of physiological and cognitive contributors to shame.
  2. Describe cognitive-behavioral, ego state, and psychoeducational interventions to address shame in clinical practice.


The Neurobiology of Shame

Shame’s Evolutionary Purpose Making Meaning of Shame Working from the “Bottom Up” A New Relationship to the Shame: Acceptance and Compassion The Social Engagement System and the Healing of Shame

Copyright : 12/09/2013