An iceberg floats upon a vast expanse of ocean. Beneath the surface sits a hidden mountain, the structure that supports and keeps the iceberg afloat. The iceberg invites, “Come close, but not too close, or I will sink you. I will feel momentarily safe from harm, but remain alone and adrift in a dark, inhospitable ocean”.
This metaphor illustrates the experience of many clients with attachment and relational trauma. What is visible to the world belies what is hidden from view, the foundation upon which fears and defenses rest. Internal conflicts are driven by competing narratives and perspectives. The shared goal of the conflicts is safety and survival – at any cost. As an adult, childhood protective behaviours and beliefs serve to increase vulnerability and isolation, sinking any ship that sails too close.
Internal wounds and conflicts are driven by many factors, including two core trauma dynamics, the locus of control shift and ambivalent attachment to the perpetrator. These dynamics are re-enacted over and over, unresponsive to insight and psychoeducation, through activation of the internal Karpman’s triangle dynamic, which in turn promotes re-enactments of triangle dynamics in the client’s external world, including in therapy.
In this training, Naomi will navigate the inner world of the client from a parts perspective. Drawing on Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, (2009) co-authored with Dr Colin A. Ross and structural dissociation theory, (Nijenhuis, Van Der Hart & Steele (2006), she will explore the role and function of protector, attachment and shame driven parts and the battles they engage in, with each other, and the external world. You will learn how to assist parts to navigate seemingly opposing needs and facilitate safe connection with painful feelings and emotions, shame, grief, rage, humiliation, vulnerability and powerlessness to heal from past trauma and live more fully in the present.
Practical strategies to facilitate relationship building between parts and experimenting with new ways to negotiate relationships in the client’s internal world and external world will be explored.
Naomi trained as a social worker in the UK. Early in her career she worked with children in short stay emergency care, homeless youth, and convicted offenders in government and non-government organisations, providing advocacy, psychosocial education, recreational opportunities, skills training, supervision and counselling.
In 1987, Naomi went into partnership with Susan Henry at The Delphi Centre, now known as Delphi Training and Consulting where she developed expertise in therapy for adult sequelae of childhood relational trauma.
Naomi provides clinical consultation for complex post-traumatic stress, dissociative disorders and related impacts of childhood developmental trauma and abuse, for mental health professionals working with adult victim / survivors of intergenerational trauma, gender-based violence, and other trauma. She has a wealth of experience working with people across socioeconomic groups, faiths, and sexual orientation.
She is a consultant and trainer for law firms, supporting lawyers’ mental health and self-care. Since 2009, Naomi has been an external consultant to the United Nations developing and delivering a broad range of trauma informed programs to personnel in missions and duty stations around the world.
A skilled speaker and trainer, Naomi has presented training about complex and developmental trauma, vicarious trauma, resilience building and workplace wellbeing through Delphi and United Nations, in-person and online across all Australian States and Territories – Africa – Denmark – Germany – India – Italy – Lebanon – New Zealand – Romania – Thailand – United States.
A founding member of The Australian Association of Trauma and Dissociation Inc. in 1992 (amalgamated with the Australasian Association of Traumatic Stress Studies in 1996) Naomi served on the Executive Committee and Conference Committee from 1991 – 1996, and as Treasurer from 1992 – 1995.
She is a founding member and spokesperson for an action group for victims of white collar crime. An advocate for victims of deceptive and misleading financial advice, Naomi has provided submissions and testimony to senate committees and other inquiries and has been an invited speaker at financial industry forums regarding the impact of white collar crime, the changes needed in the industry and legislation. She has worked closely with parliamentarians across political parties and the media. She is frequently contacted for commentary.
Naomi is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. And co-author with Dr Colin A. Ross, (2009) Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, Manitou Inc.
Photo Credit: Martin Mills
– Martin Luther King Jr.