1:30 PM13:30

Afternoon Workshops

Jan Ewing – “A Clinician's Guide to Trauma and the Brain” 

While the neuroscience of trauma has become a burgeoning field in recent times, it is often difficult for clinicians to translate the research findings into clinically relevant signs and symptoms and to integrate this knowledge into treatment planning. This workshop will provide an overview of how the brain responds to threat at different stages of development and how prolonged or repetitive trauma and neglect during childhood can compromise slowly maturing regulatory functions. The workshop will include an update of the most recent neuro-imaging research supporting the role of survival mode brain mechanisms in trauma spectrum disorders, including complex PTSD and dissociative disorders. Throughout the workshop the implications of this research for clinical treatment issues will be addressed.

Warwick Middleton, Cathy Kezelman & Robert Llewellyn-Jones - “The Politics of Trauma”

This workshop explores collaborative opportunities for leveraging consumer voices, societal change, and political processes alongside an evolving evidence-base to effectively advance a constructive agenda in the area of trauma. The three presenters have individually and collectively worked with individuals and organizations to heighten societal awareness about trauma and support the voices of those who have been previously silenced as they seek necessary reforms.

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9:00 AM09:00

Morning Workshops

Joan Haliburn – “A phase approach to psychoanalytic psychotherapy in cases of Complex Trauma” 

Abstract: Complex Trauma has differential effects on different people, however, the more severe the trauma, the greater the likelihood that an individual’s level of consciousness i.e. coherence and continuity or capacity for narrative will be affected. This is as a result of dissociation which causes disturbances in the sense of time, cognition, person and emotion and of altered states of consciousness – disintegration, detachment, compartmentalization, depersonalization and de-realization. Careful assessment is necessary in order to meet the patient at their level of functioning, and thereafter a careful phase approach is necessary in order to help the patient move up the hierarchy of consciousness. Development of ‘Self’ in a safe therapeutic relationship, processing of the trauma, and integration of traumatic memories into the sense of self are the tasks of the phase approach. Psychotherapy in phases is used by many practitioners, with some differences in approaches; however, the rationale behind this approach will be discussed, along with case examples. Participants are invited to bring their own cases for discussion, taking particular care of confidentiality and the need for the patient’s informed consent.

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will familiarize themselves with the effects of Complex Trauma on the individual
  2. Participants will appreciate the many facets of dissociation and its effects in individual cases
  3. Participants will have a better understanding of a phase approach to complex trauma and dissociation

Martin Dorahy – “The impact of shame in chronic traumatization: Conceptualization and treatment” 

Abstract: This workshop will explore the underpinnings and clinical relevance of shame in the presentation of those with complex trauma and dissociative disorders. Emphasis will be placed on the link between trauma (i.e., acts of commission like abuse, and also chronic attachment and relational longing and ruptures), dissociation and shame. Theoretical and research findings on shame will be presented, and focus will be given to how these translate to the clinical situation. In this context attention, will be given to subtle markers of shame in the therapeutic encounter with patients, as well as strategies they use to management the reactivation of shame or its painful experiential impact once it is evoked. Clinical examples will be provided and invited from the audience.

The objectives:

  • To outline conceptualizations of shame and its psychology
  • To explore how shame influences the presentation of trauma-related disorders
  • To explore the connection between dissociation and shame in trauma-related disorders
  • To examine considerations in the treatment of shame in the chronically traumatized
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