When Abuse leads to Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD: clinical challenges and therapeutic approaches A 2-day training workshop at Dublin with Christiane Sanderson Dublin, 27 Sep and 28 Sep 2019, Friday and 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.
Calming the Inner Critic: Working with Punitive Introjects, Ego States and Dissociative Parts in Trauma A one day workshop with Kathy Steele Dublin, 21 October 2019, Monday 10:00am - 4:00pm This workshop will offer a practical, integrative approach to understanding and working with a wide range of inner criticism, punishment, and harshness in the chronically traumatized individual. Everyone experiences an inner critic, based on negative messages from authority figures and from ourselves in reaction to feeling inadequate in some way. In complex trauma this natural phenomenon can become more intense, overwhelming, and sometimes more dissociated. This practical, one-day workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers will explore how these inner aspects develop, and understand their several functions of protection, avoidance, and attempts to cope with everyday life. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their own inner critic and befriend it as a step towards helping clients learn to deal with their own. Our ability to reflect on our own tendencies toward self-criticism and punishment will support our capacity to work with these experiences in our clients. The roles of chronic shame and re-enactments of trauma will be emphasized in maintaining inner critical parts. Participants will learn specific approaches for working with ego states and dissociative parts that have these punitive functions, employing compassion and curiosity. We will explore a continuum of inner critics, ranging from natural introjects, ego states, to more separate dissociative parts, and from mild inner critics to more sadistic and destructive ones. Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn to: Be able to identify their own inner critic and ways to calm self-criticism, particularly in their role as the therapist Learn how the therapist’s inner critic can impact the therapy Learn the key functions of inner critics Identify the differences between hostile introjects, ego states and dissociative parts, and how treatment might differ among them Identify the importance of compassionate self-reflection in working with inner critics Learn specific approaches to calm the inner critic Work with the rigid logic of inner critics The workshop is consistent with and would be a beneficial adjunct to multiple modalities of psychotherapy or specialised trauma therapy (including analytical, dynamic and somatic approaches, cognitive behavioural and EMDR).

nscience UK is an independent organisation that seeks to explore the interdisciplinary richness of mental health disciplines. Through a series of seminars, workshops and conferences that are conducted throughout the year, we aim to present the latest advances in theory and research to practitioners; with a view to furthering their continuing professional development.

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