Full Course Description

Janina Fisher’s Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training Level 1 (CCTP): Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma

This program, the first year of a two-year certificate program, focuses on the applications of the neuroscience and attachment research to the treatment of psychological trauma.  The program content integrates traditional psychotherapy methods with newer theoretical models based on both clinical and neuroscience research.  Next, it expands on the research to describe and discuss the implications for treatment.  

The implications for treatment are not simply the instructor or program developer’s individual ideas but are concepts widely supported in the trauma treatment field or by research.  A number of widely-accepted treatment approaches are referenced and their interventions discussed in the light of the neuroscience research. The interventions cited in the seminar include: psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems, cognitive-behavioral therapy, couples and family therapy, clinical hypnosis, and.

The final third of the seminar focuses on complications found in trauma treatment, including dissociation, traumatic attachment, and unresolved shame, fear and anger.  Ethical and professional standards are emphasized as they are relevant to each topic area.

Program Information


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. Appraise 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 in clients.

Session III - Working with Traumatic Memory: Principles and Techniques

  1. Determine ‘implicit memory’ and break down its role in post-traumatic stress disorders as it relates to treatment outcomes.
  2. Determine potential complications of addressing narrative memories of traumatic events in treatment sessions.
  3. Specify three interventions that address these complications and put to practical use in session.
  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 difficulties associated with disorganized attachment for symptom management.
  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. Diagnose common trauma-related internal conflicts and determine their impact on clients as it relates to case conceptualization.
  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. Determine the role of re-framing in the successful treatment of post-traumatic emotional responses in clients.


Session I: Trauma and the Body

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

Session II: Working with Complications of Dysregulation

  • The consequences of autonomic dysregulation
  • Addictive behavior
  • Eating Disorders
  • Suicidal and self-harming behavior
  • Post-traumatic complications of abstinence and sobriety
  • An integrated treatment for trauma and unsafe/addictive behavior
  • Top-down approaches to regulating dysregulation
  • Bottom-up somatic approaches to regulating dysregulation
  • Differentiating unsafe versus ‘safer’ versus safe behavior

Session III: Working with Traumatic Memory:  Principles and Techniques

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

Session IV: Disorganized Attachment and the Traumatic Transference

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

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

  • Dissociation:  normal versus pathological dissociation
  • Dissociative states versus structural dissociation
  • Understanding the structural dissociation model as a trauma model
  • Using mindfulness techniques to identify emotional and behavioral responses as ‘parts’
  • Recognizing internal conflicts as survival-related conflicts driven by structurally dissociated parts
  • Mindfulness-based interventions to strengthen client resources and prefrontal functioning
  • Developing empathic relationships to one’s parts
  • Resolving inner conflicts and healing the past

Session VI: Working with Shame, Fear and Anger

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

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Psychotherapists
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 11/01/2018

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


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


The Latest Clinical Research Surrounding:

  • The impact of trauma on brain activity
  • Neurofeedback, EMDR and “body work” on symptom reduction
  • The effectiveness of movement, mindfulness and theater activities in trauma treatment

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers and other Mental Health Professionals

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. Determine cognitive-behavioral, ego state, and psychoeducational interventions to address shame in clients.


The Neurobiology of Shame

  • The role of shame in traumatic experience
  • Shame as an animal defense survival response
  • Effects of shame on autonomic arousal
Shame’s Evolutionary Purpose
  • Shame and the attachment system
  • Rupture and repair in attachment formation
Making Meaning of Shame
  • Feelings of disgust, degradation, and humiliation are interpreted as “who I am”
  • Cognition and the body
  • Internal working models predict the future and determine our actions
Working from the “Bottom Up”
  • The role of procedural learning and memory
  • Physiological effects of mindful dual awareness
  • Using mindfulness-based techniques to inhibit self-judgment
A New Relationship to the Shame: Acceptance and Compassion
  • Re-contextualizing shame as a younger self or part
  • Bringing our adult capacity to our childhood vulnerability
  • Healing shame through compassionate acceptance
The Social Engagement System and the Healing of Shame
  • Social engagement and the ventral vagal system (Porges)
  • The incompatibility of shame and social engagement
  • The therapist’s own social engagement system as a healing agent

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 12/09/2013