Trauma & the Power of Language A morning seminar with Karen Treisman London, 3 February 2020 (Monday) 10:00am - 1:00pm
Dr Karen Treisman’s practical and intellectually stimulating seminar will explore the importance, power and influence of language - the words we use, and the way we describe and story people, in the context of trauma. Specifically, we will consider: How we start by acknowledging the power of language and storying – by thinking consciously and deliberately about the language used and the words chosen from a trauma-informed lens perspective How a key part of this is a shift away from asking ‘What is wrong with you?’ and instead getting to know / see the person behind the symptom. This includes the use of first-person language, curiosity and reflection about the question ‘What happened to you?’ Evaluating whether our services, structures, processes and systems as trauma practitioners might be unintentionally retraumatising, retriggering and activating. Considering whether there is an intentional effort and action around evaluating these, reflecting on these and actively trying to find ways to improve, develop and problem-solve around them? We will especially look at some of the words and labels used to describe those who have experienced trauma and adversity; as well as some of the language and acronyms that can be prevalent in the therapeutic alliance. We will also explore concepts such as attentional and confirmation biases; as well as self-fulfilling prophecy. Case examples and powerful stories and quotes will be shared throughout this presentation. About the speaker Dr Karen Treisman is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the NHS and children’s services for several years. Karen has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, systems, and children in or on the edge of care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, and adopted children. She is the director of Safe Hands and Thinking Minds training and consultancy services as well as an external consultant, trainer, and assessor to Barnardos, PAC-UK, Hope for families, Three Steps Ireland, Pause, CoramBAAF, Grandparents Plus, and the Fostering Network. In addition to holding a doctorate in Clinical psychology, Karen has undergone a range of specialist trainings including in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Sensory Attachment Intervention, and Theraplay. She regularly presents at local, national, and international trauma, parenting, and attachment conferences. She has also been a speaker at TedX talks. She was awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship Award and also received the Psychologist of the Year award in 2018. Karen is the best-selling author of Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents (Routledge, 2016); and A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma (2017).
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