The goal of this workshop is to provide clinicians with a deeper understanding of the impact of complex trauma and its assessment and treatment. Clients with developmental trauma are among the most challenging clients to treat because of the severity of their symptoms and safety struggles. Yet working with these individuals is also powerful and rewarding. Understanding how childhood trauma and attachment difficulties contribute to these clients’ difficult behaviors and symptoms can vastly improve clinicians’ conceptualization of their clients’ struggles, aid in treatment planning, and make this work more manageable and effective.
Dr. Brand will emphasize conceptualizing clients’ difficulties so that therapists can have better outcomes and feel more comfortable providing treatment to complex trauma patients. Participants will learn practical skills that are essential including supporting clients’ management of intrusive traumatic material and dissociation. Dr. Brand will present steps for assisting clients with stabilizing their safety struggles. She will discuss how to gradually resolve their attachment difficulties. Aspects of treating clients with severe dissociative reactions will also be reviewed. Dr. Brand will make clinically-relevant research comprehensible and useful to clinicians. Clinical vignettes, patients’ art work and journaling, and videos will be used to demonstrate treatment approaches.
- Participants will be able to describe the differences between classic versus complex PTSD.
- Participants will identify how to assess for complex PTSD and dissociation.
- Participants will recall several methods for dealing with clients’ attachment difficulties.
- Participants will describe three specific coping strategies to help contain traumatic memories
- Participants will describe three strategies for managing dissociation.
Understanding Complex Trauma Disorders: It’s More Than “Just” PTSD
- Distinguishing classic PTSD vs Complex PTSD
- Understanding how chronic trauma impacts the body, mind, sense of self, and relationships
- Recognizing symptoms as attempts to manage trauma’s lingering impact
Preparing for Treatment
- Establishing crucial aspects of the therapeutic frame (including boundaries)
- Therapeutic relationship is the vehicle of change
- Risk Management Issues – Anticipate them and be ready!
- Assessment of complex trauma
Preparing for Treatment (continued)
- Assessment of complex trauma - continued
- Treatment goals & planning
Challenging Yet Possible: Stabilizing and Healing Patients’ Complex Reactions to Trauma in Sequenced Treatment
- Sequenced treatment: Why it is critical to the success of treatment
- Stage 1: Safety, stabilization, and building the treatment alliance
- Stabilizing skills and managing safety problems
- The importance of the alliance and how to build & repair it
Sequenced Treatment (continued)
- Stage 2: Trauma Processing and Grieving
- Techniques for processing traumatic memories
- Phase 3: Reintegration
Working in the Internal World of Posttraumatic and Dissociative Adaptations
- Patients’ attachment styles and related wishes & fears
- Understanding and treating dissociative reactions
- Experts’ recommendations of interventions to use at each treatment stage with dissociative patients
- Transference and Countertransference – Recognizing and responding therapeutically
- Managing the impact of trauma work on the therapist