Full Course Description
Treating Complex Trauma: Beyond Competency
Formulate how the mammalian arousal cycle and stress response informs current trauma treatment.
Evaluate the application of the Polyvagal Theory to arousal states in clients with complex and/or developmental trauma.
Employ two methods of grounding a dissociated client in session informed by the Polyvagal theory.
Appraise the ACE study and apply its findings to clinical diagnosis and treatment of developmental and attachment trauma.
Construct a de-pathologizing term and reframing behaviors as creative adaptations to dysfunctional environments.
Determine the basics of neurodevelopment in early stages of life and theorize how attachment deficits, left unaddressed, continue to impact adults throughout the lifespan.
Formulate how “attunement” is significant to human development, facilitating psychobiological systems and co-regulation between humans.
Assess interventions for healing attachment-related trauma and constructing paths to
Analyze the diagnostic criteria and clinical presentation of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Theorize the trajectory from birth of a highly sensitive infant to an adult with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Distinguish between Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD diagnoses.
Appraise the diagnostic criteria and clinical presentation of Complex PTSD.
Evaluate the biochemistry of self-harm and its use as a means of affect regulation.
Role-play a compassionate approach to self-destructive behaviors with clients in-session.
Assess the importance of setting firm boundaries in the therapeutic relationship as it relates to setting boundaries can improve treatment outcomes.
Debate the current theoretical basis for addiction treatment (i.e. addiction is a choice or a disease) compared to the biopsychosocial theory of addiction.
Justify support or criticism regarding current use of treatment facilities and 12-step programs for addicted populations.
Evaluate the success of 12-Step programs and support groups in traumatized populations.
Role-play implementation of Janet’s Tri-Phase Model of Trauma Therapy within the therapy session.
Debate the value of mindfulness as an effective approach to managing triggers across populations.
Perform three mindfulness practices; include any clinical modifications for use with a traumatized population.
Propose how somatic interventions enable clients to extinguish conditioned responses to procedural memories.
Develop an argument for AND against the use of medications with traumatized clients.
Formulate an argument for the use of touch in therapy that incorporates how touch may be incorporated safely into the therapeutic process.
Appraise Shapiro’s 8-Phase Model of EMDR. Define and defend the modifications made to the protocol when using EMDR with clients with complex trauma.
Determine the development of “parts” (component of IFS therapy) that result from trauma and how their function can be used as a resource for clients.
Assess the theory and practice of Gestalt Therapy beyond the archetypal
empty chair technique
that can be incorporated into trauma treatment planning.
Biological nature of trauma
Mammalian brain (limbic system)
Brain/body integration: understanding the brain/body feedback loop
Mechanisms of trauma
Arousal cycle/stress response
mobilization: sympathetic response
immobilization: profound primitive parasympathetic response
Principles informing state of the art clinical interventions
Freeze response (conditioned response procedural memory)
Dissociative capsule (Scaer)
Polyvagal Theory (Porges)
DSM-5 trauma diagnoses
Acute Stress Disorder
Trauma Sequelae: chronology of symptom clusters post single incident PTSD
First set – state symptoms
Second set – trait symptoms
Third set – medical symptoms
Trauma symptoms characteristic of early childhood trauma (Scaer)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (Felitti)
Long-term impact on individuals
Correlation with addiction
Public health implications
Attachment essentials (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main)
Attachment security and strategies (Siegle, Poole Heller)
Developmental trauma disorder (van der Kolk)
Trauma: working definition
Conditions resulting from trauma
Single incident PTSD
Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD and CPTSD
DSM 5 and ICD-11 specifications
Distinct from PTSD (single incident)
Function of addictions and self-injury in individuals with trauma
Treatment principles and strategies
PTSD and CPTSD: "dissociative disorders”
Correlation between childhood abuse and re-victimization
Nature of addiction
Trauma and addiction (Maté)
12-step programs and the rehabilitation industry (Dodes)
Rat Park (Alexander)
Stage model of trauma therapy
Janet’s tri-phasic model of trauma therapy
Dual awareness (Rothschild)
Mindfulness and awareness practices
Safely integrating mindfulness into trauma therapy
Mindfulness based stress reduction (MSBR) (Kabat-Zin, Rosenbaum)
“In session”: body scan demonstration
Guided imagery (Naparstek)
Right hemispheric intervention
Applicability with traumatized clients
Pacing yoga practice for traumatized population
Effects of trauma on musculoskeletal system
Use of yoga mudras for self-soothing
“In session” with Amy Weintraub
Dialectical behavioural therapy (Pederson)
Theory and development
DBT skills training
“In session” with Lane Pederson
Trauma and medication (Anderson)
The importance of client agency
“I educate; you decide”
Employing IFS when prescribing medications
Somatic experiencing (Levine)
“In session” with Peter Levine
Theory and practice
Somatic reenactment of trauma
Contradicting the sense of fear
Utilizing mirror neurons
Titration and pendulation
Somatic Therapy (Rothschild)
“In session” with Babette Rothschild
Theory and practice
Window of tolerance
Hypoarousal and hyperarousal
Distinct therapeutic interventions for two distinct states
Cognitive behavioural therapy (Meichenbaum)
Prolonged exposure (Foa)
Sensorimotor psychotherapy (Fisher)
Psychoeducation in trauma therapy – utilizing cognitive override
Body-oriented and somatic interventions
Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Theory with field leaders
Shapiros 8-phase model
Clinical modifications for complex trauma
“In session” with Linda Curran
Internal family systems (Schwartz)
Theory and applicability
“In session” with Frank Anderson
Theory development and practice
“In session” with Richard Schwartz
quintessential trauma therapy
Theory and practice (Schack)
Verbal narrative vs. body narrative
“In session” with Mary Lou Schack
“In session” with David Henrich