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Digital Seminar

Complex Developmental Trauma: Attachment, Neurobiological and Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions to Heal the Traumatized Child

Christina Reese, PhD, LCPC
Approx. 6 Hours
Oct 25, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: Live Webinar

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When children’s nervous systems are activated, they’re engulfed in a flood of stress hormones, setting off a chain reaction.

They experience feelings of unsafety, overwhelm, anger, and disconnection, trapping them in their “trauma brain” and hindering the development of executive functioning skills.

“As emotions and bodies spiral out of control, children are often mislabeled with a multitude of diagnoses—ODD, ADHD, anxiety.

We assume the behaviors are intricately connected, rather than just isolated incidents. But what if we approached each symptom individually?

Rather than assigning diagnoses, we’ll implement anxiety interventions to restore feelings of safety, attachment-based approaches to alleviate feelings of loneliness associated with depression, and sensory regulation techniques to better manage emotions activated by sensory memories.”

Watch Dr. Christina Reese, a leading expert in attachment and trauma therapy for children, as she guides you through techniques to:

  • Restore developmental milestones to support recovery from developmental delays
  • Harness neuroplasticity to reshape beliefs to overcome oppositional behavior
  • Quiet the hyper-vigilant nervous system to facilitate emotional wellbeing
  • Bring dysregulated emotions back to a balanced state to strengthen relationships with caregivers
  • Unlock potential of executive skills by bringing safety and stability
  • Build treatment plans that focus on symptoms not disorders to bring healing

Let’s make it our mission to unlock the limitless potential residing within every child affected by complex trauma.

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* Credit Note - CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.


Christina Reese, PhD, LCPC's Profile

Christina Reese, PhD, LCPC Related seminars and products

Dr. Christina Reese, LCPC, has been working with children and their families for over 20 years and uses play therapy, art therapy and cognitive behavior therapies to help families solve problems. She has been the director of an outpatient mental health clinic and has worked in private practice, as a court ordered therapist and in residential treatment centers. She works with a variety of diagnoses from ADHD to Oppositional Defiant Behavior, bipolar and mood disorders, and attachment disorders. She has her PhD in counselor education from George Washington University and is a licensed clinical supervisor. She has written six books on trauma and attachment and presented over one thousand hours of instruction on those topics.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Christina Reese maintains a private practice and has an employment relationship with Sheppard Pratt Health System. She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Reese receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Christina Reese has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Identify how to bring healing to the cognitive and biological impacts of trauma.
  2. Differentiate the developmental delays from trauma in childhood.
  3. Restructure relationships with adults and help children develop felt safety by building trust-based relationships.
  4. Utilize body-based interventions to biologically rebalance stress hormones.
  5. Use neuro-biological strategies to create new neural pathways to heal the traumatized brain.
  6. Choose brain-based interventions for five of the largest behavioral challenges.


Trauma’s Impact on Children

  • Abuse – shatters trust in adults as safe figures
  • Neglect - undermines trust in adults’ ability to provide care
  • Attachment trauma - fragments the perception of relationships as safe havens
  • Exposure to violence - erases the concept of safe spaces
  • Medical trauma - disrupts the sense of safety within one’s own body

Complex Developmental Trauma Commonalities

  • Anxiety- dysregulated nervous system
  • Depression - biological imbalances
  • ADHD - delayed executive functioning skills
  • ODD - distrust of adults leading to defiance

Relation to PTSD

  • Impact of complex developmental trauma
  • Emotions - dysregulation and tantrums
  • Neural pathways – wired for mistrust, hypervigilance
  • Behaviors - control and impulsivity
  • Body - stress hormones
  • Development - upstairs and downstairs brain

Strategies to Put Kids Trauma Brains Back on Developmental Track

  • What we learned from the ACES Study
  • Correlation to poverty, substance abuse, criminality
  • Establish safety with adults
  • Grow emotion regulation
  • Increase self/biological regulation
  • Limitations and potential risks

Strategies to Heal the Traumatized Brain

Help a Child Feel Safe to Leave their Survival Brain

  • Be a Safe Adult
    • Model emotion regulation
    • Button pushing behaviors
    • Develop felt safety
    • Build healthy attachment
    • Establish trust-based relationships
  • Meet a Child’s Needs
    • Decrease manipulation
    • Reduce attention seeking behaviors
    • Recognize the need behind the behavior

Develop Trauma-Delayed Executive Functioning Skills

  • Neuroplasticity to develop new neural pathways
  • Build the scaffolding

Enhance Emotional Regulation

  • Brain-based tantrum intervention
    • Biological rebalance for stress hormones
  • Calm the activated nervous system
    • Cognitive interventions
      • Develop awareness and growing insight
      • Change the inner voice
      • Disengage the nervous system
    • Body-based Interventions
      • Breathing interventions
      • Movement to find balance
      • Nutrition and hydration
    • Sensory Interventions
      • Grounding techniques
      • Sensory calming stations
      • Back to baseline from high and low

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Couples Therapists
  • School Guidance Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Teachers
  • Case Managers


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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