The repeated and systematic brutalisation seen in childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation can give rise to complex presentations that differ markedly from single-episode trauma. To effectively work with the clinical challenges in such presentations, as practitioners, we need to know therapeutic techniques that utilize both top-down and bottom-up processing; non-verbal approaches including art and play therapies; and sensorimotor techniques that enable survivors to live in the present rather than be catapulted into the traumatic past.
At this practical and therapeutically oriented 2-day workshop, designed for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, we specifically consider the complex presentations triggered by repetitive abuse and evaluate a range of therapeutic approaches, aimed at providing survivors with a path to recovery and post-traumatic growth. We start by looking at the range of trauma experiences and distinguishing between the current conceptualisation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), subtype PTSD with prominent dissociative symptoms and Complex PTSD – evaluating the clinical challenges inherent in assessment, including misdiagnosis and comorbidity. Emphasis will be placed on the role of dissociation in complex trauma and how this gives rise to a number of dissociative challenges (including somatic symptom related disorders). In addition, we will specifically examine the nature of shame and traumatic bonding, considering how the trauma bond impacts our client’s sense of self and relational worth.
The focus on day one will be in understanding the nature and dynamics of complex trauma and its impact on the individual. The challenges of assessing for complex trauma will be highlighted, while considering the development of collaborative case formulation. On Day 2 of the workshop, we will focus on best practice when working with survivors – through a phased treatment, trauma focused model which promotes stabilisation, processing and integration.
Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.