When Abuse leads to Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD: clinical challenges and therapeutic approaches A 2-day workshop at Dublin with Christiane Sanderson Dublin, 27 September & 28 September 2019 (Friday & Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days
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. We will observe how the trauma focussed model is enhanced when supported by a relational approach in which mutuality and connection are prioritised to create a collaborative and non-hierarchical therapeutic relationship. Our goal in considering these therapeutic techniques is to reduce the replication of power, control and shame dynamics that are often axiomatic in complex trauma. The co-creation and management of therapeutic impasse will also be considered – with a view to minimising shame and retraumatisation. Our learning objectives over the two days will include: Day 1: Explore the range of trauma and the nature of complex trauma, as triggered by recurring abuse Distinguish between PTSD, subtype PTSD with dissociative symptoms and complex PTSD Clinical challenges in the conceptualisation of PTSD including sub-syndromal PTSD and PTSD as a continuum The conceptualisation of complex PTSD in ICD-11 draft The role of dissociation in complex PTSD, the range of dissociative disorders and somatic symptoms related disorders The role of shame in complex trauma The challenges of co-morbidity and misdiagnosis The range of assessment scales Developing a collaborative case formulation Day 2: The fundamental principles of the trauma focused model which emphasises a phased treatment approach that promotes stabilisation, processing and integration The importance of adopting a relational approach The need for mutuality and connection to create a collaborative and non-hierarchical therapeutic relationship The manifestation and management of shame in the therapeutic space How to minimise the replication of power and control dynamics and re-traumatisation How to ‘be with’ rather than ‘do to’ The use of both top down and bottom up processing The value of non-verbal approaches such as art and play therapies, and sensorimotor techniques The co-creation and management of therapeutic impasse The role of practitioner’s own unprocessed material and dissociation in the therapeutic relationship The cost of caring as seen in vicarious traumatisation, burn-out, compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress The importance of practitioner self-care 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.

Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.