Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse A one-day seminar with Christiane Sanderson London, 7 October 2017 (Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Current research indicates that only 1 in 8 survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) report their abusive experiences, often years later. For practitioners, providing effective therapy becomes challenging when both survivors and therapists are not able to recognise the linkages between a range of mental and physical health issues and a history of CSA. Such linkages may be manifest in emotional dysregulation, addictions, self-harm and suicidal ideation, anxiety disorders, sexual health and relational difficulties, personality disorders as well as persistent somatic complaints, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome. The danger of not being able to identity the relationship between CSA and presenting symptoms is that CSA remains undetected which can lead to misinterpretation and pervasive mental and physical health problems. It is critical that practitioners in a wide range of mental and physical health settings have a good understanding of the impact and long term effects of CSA and how this manifests in a range of clinical settings so that they are able to respond appropriately. This seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, aims to enhance our comprehension of CSA, its impact and long term effects on survivors, while explaining how, as practitioners, we can work effectively using the principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation to restore control and to allow for the processing of the CSA narrative. Using illustrative case examples, the seminar will present a range of skills that facilitate right brain engagement, while emphasising the importance of the therapeutic relationship to build shame resilience and facilitate post traumatic growth. The seminar will also examine the impact of working with survivors on practitioners and explain how we can minimise vicarious traumatisation and secondary traumatic stress through counsellor self-care. In identifying a range of therapeutic skills and the challenges of working with survivors of CSA, practitioners will feel more equipped when working with survivors and appreciate the transformative effects of post traumatic growth for both client and practitioner. Specifically, we will consider: The nature and dynamics of CSA such as: the grooming process, secrecy and the distortion of reality CSA as Trauma and its neurobiological impact The psychological impact and long term effects of CSA The intergenerational transmission of CSA The role of shame and self-blame The principles of safe trauma therapy, psychoeducation and stabilisation The importance of the therapeutic relationship and right brain based therapeutic skills Challenges and impact of working with CSA on practitioners Post traumatic growth About the speaker Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 26 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield. She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee. Seminar Schedule 9:45AM: Registration 10:00AM: Session 1: The Nature of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) In this first session, we aim to comprehend the relevant dynamics in CSA such as: the intergenerational transmission of abuse the impact of grooming on both the non-abusing parent and the child the distortion of reality leading to ‘knowing and not knowing’, and how keeping secrets and being silenced leads to fear of disclosure 11:15AM: Coffee Break 11:30AM: Session 2: The Impact and Long Term Effects of CSA This session will explore the impact of systematic and repeated CSA as trauma and its neurobiological impact including: a range of trauma reactions, post-traumatic stress disorder, complex trauma, dissociation, emotional dysregulation, window of tolerance, and the impact of shame and self-blame. Through case examples, we will look at the long term psychological and physical effects of CSA and how the body keeps the score. 1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the seminar) 2:00PM: Session 3: Working with Survivors of CSA Building on understanding the impact and long terms effects of CSA, this session introduces the main principles of safe trauma therapy such as psychoeducation and stabilisation and how these can be incorporated into the practitioner’s existing therapeutic model. We also identify a range of therapeutic skills that facilitate right brain engagement alongside the centrality of the therapeutic relationship to undo the de-humanising effects of CSA. Emphasis will be placed on creating a safe and secure base in which survivors can begin to trust and reconnect to self and others, without fear of re-traumatisation. 3:00PM: Session 4: Impact of Working with Survivors of CSA on Practitioners In the last session, the seminar will look at the range of challenges that practitioners face when working with survivors of CSA such as fear of re-traumatisation, somatic countertransference, dissociation, vicarious traumatisation and compassion fatigue. It will also emphasise the importance of counsellor self-care to minimise secondary traumatic stress, such that we can remain present with clients and facilitate their post traumatic growth. 4:00PM: Close
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Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.