Bessel A. van der Kolk's 29th Annual Trauma Conference: Main Conference Day 1
When addressing the problems of traumatized people who, in a myriad of ways, continue to react to current experience as a replay of the past, there is a need for therapeutic methods that do not depend exclusively on drugs or cognition. We have learned that most experience is automatically processed on a subcortical level of the brain; i.e., by “unconscious” interpretations that take place outside of conscious awareness. Insight and understanding have only a limited influence on the operation of these subcortical processes, but synchrony, movement and reparative experiences do.
Workshops included in this recording:
Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.
Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR.
He is founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts and President of the Trauma Research Foundation, which promotes clinical, scientific, and educational projects.
His 2014 #1 New York Times best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, yoga, and other therapies.
Dr. van der Kolk is the past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at conferences, universities, and hospitals around the world.
Elizabeth Warner, EdM, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist with 40 years of experience working with children and families in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings, schools, mental health clinics and residential treatment, as well as in her private practice. Early in her career, she spent 15 years working with severely disordered children including traumatized children and their parents, using innovative treatment methodologies and videotape for process study at the Language & Cognitive Development Center.
Since 2006, her focus has been on development of innovative treatment for children from 1.5 years to 22 years whose lives have been impacted by chronic stress and complex trauma, as well as acute stress, and their caregivers. As project director at the Trauma Center at JRI, a center of excellence in trauma treatment, training and research, she oversaw development, training, and consultation in Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) for outpatient, in-home, therapeutic day school, and residential treatment settings in the US, Canada and Hong Kong. She also collaborated with JRI community-based therapists to develop SMART applications for in-home therapy and constructed two videotape coding systems for studying regulatory processes in treatment. As a co-founder and partner in SMARTmoves LLC, she continues to train and consult to therapists in the US and abroad. She is conducting research through videotape study and treatment outcome studies, in order to test out hypotheses about the impact of sensory motor interventions and somatic regulation. Dr. Warner maintains a private practice for adult psychotherapy and parent consultation.
Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor of Psychiatry, is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialize in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario.
Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 100 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally She has recently published a book The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease with Eric Vermetten and Clare Pain.
Financial: Dr. Ruth Lanius has employment relationships with McMaster University, University of Western Ontario, St. Joseph's Health Care, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Western University of Canada, London Health Sciences Centre, Robarts Research Institute, and Lawson Health Research Institute. She receives grants from National Defence (Canada); Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS),The Royal Ottawa Hospital, Government Works Public Services Canada-Department of National Defence, the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario, and the Trauma Research Foundation. Dr. Lanius served on the advisory board and received an honorarium from Mydecine She receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Lanius receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. All financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Dr. Ruth Lanius is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and a member of the American College of Psychiatrists, the International Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress, and the Ontario Medical Association. She is a journal reviewer for several publications, to see a complete list contact PESI, Inc.
Stephen W. Porges, PhD, is a distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland, and is a founder of the Polyvagal Institute. Dr. Porges served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including anesthesiology, biomedical engineering, critical care medicine, ergonomics, exercise physiology, gerontology, neurology, neuroscience, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, psychometrics, space medicine, and substance abuse. His research has been cited in more than 50,000 peer-review publications. In 1994, Dr. Porges proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders.
He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe (Norton, 2017), Polyvagal Safety (Norton, 2021), co-author with Seth Porges of Our Body Polyvagal World (Norton, 2023), and co-editor with Deb Dana of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). Dr. Porges is also the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol™, which currently is used by approximately 3,000 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.
Financial: Dr. Stephen Porges has employment relationships with Indiana University Bloomington and the University of North Carolina. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Porges receives a speaking honorarium, book royalties, and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He is a scientific advisor to Integrated Learning Systems/Unyte and receives a royalty. All relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations have been mitigated.
Non-financial: Dr. Stephen Porges is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He holds a patent on Televagal equipment.
Richard Schwartz, PhD began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief, and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called "parts." These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.
IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms.
In 2013, Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where he is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Financial: Dr. Richard Schwartz is the Founder and President of the IFS Institute. He maintains a private practice and has a employment relationship with Harvard Medical School. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Schwartz receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Richard Schwartz is a fellow of Meadows Behavioral Healthcare and is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy and the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy. He is a contributing editor for Family Therapy Networker. Dr. Schwartz serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, the Contemporary Family Therapy, the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, and the Family Therapy Collections.
Matthew Sanford, yoga teacher, founder of Mind Body Solutions, and a paraplegic for the last 39 years. Sanford is the author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence. He teaches people around the US living with trauma, loss, and disability how to re-inhabit their bodies.
Sherain Harricharan, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow at McMaster University under the supervision of Margaret McKinnon, PhD. Specializes in sensory processing deficits in trauma-related disorders.
Financial: Sherain Harricharan receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sherain Harricharan is a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies.
Jud Brewer, MD, PhD (“Dr. Jud”) is a New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” who blends over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training and a career in scientific research. He is passionate about understanding how our brains work, and how to use that knowledge to help people make deep, permanent change in their lives – with the goal of reducing suffering in the world at large.
Dr. Brewer is the director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center, where he also serves as an associate professor at the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at Brown University. Additionally, he is the chief medical officer at Sharecare, a digital health company, and a research affiliate at MIT.
As a psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for treating addictions, Dr. Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for anxiety, emotional eating, and smoking. Based on the success of these programs in the lab, he co-founded MindSciences, Inc. – acquired by Sharecare in 2020 – to create app-based digital therapeutic versions of these programs for a wider audience, working with individuals, corporations, and health systems to put effective, evidence-based behavior change guidance in the hands of people struggling with unwanted behaviors and “everyday addictions.”
Dr. Brewer has published numerous peer-reviewed studies, trained U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers and corporate leaders. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, among others.
He is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love, Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017) and Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2021).