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Bottom Up: How Neuroscience Can Guide Us in Body-Oriented Therapies

Trauma tends to have a profound impact on one’s sense of self, leaving a lasting imprint on both cognitive and somatic domains of self-experience. Traumatized individuals often remain tortured by thoughts that reflect intensely negative core beliefs about themselves such as: “I don’t know myself anymore”, and “I have permanently changed for the worse”. It also is increasingly evident that ‘the body keeps the score’: traumatized individuals frequently report somatically-based alterations in self experience, including feelings of disembodiment and related identity disturbance. Pioneering neurobiological studies are beginning to shed light on self-disturbance in traumatized individuals both during resting state and under conditions of threat. The brain networks involved in self-experience are most intact while under threat, which may explain various forms of reckless behaviours. We will present findings from the laboratory and demonstrate how we can we work clinically to restore the self as an integrated brain, mind, and body. 


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Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. |  Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD |  Andrew Nicholson, PhD, BSC |  Sebern Fisher, MA |  Paul Frewen, Ph.D., C.Psych |  Sherain Harricharan, PhD |  Chantelle Lloyd, PhD |  Wendy D'Andrea, Ph.D. |  Margaret Mckinnon, PhD |  Daniela Rabellino, PhD |  Braeden Terpou, PhD
3 Hours 28 Minutes
May 18, 2021
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Digital Recordings



This online program is worth 3.5 hours CPD.



Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.'s Profile

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Related seminars and products

Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress.  His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.

Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma.  He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR. 

He is founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, and President of the Trauma Research Foundation, which promotes clinical, scientific, and educational projects. 

His 2014 #1 New York Times best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust.  He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, yoga, and other therapies.

Dr. van der Kolk is the past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School.  He regularly teaches at conferences, universities, and hospitals around the world.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Bessel van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine.  He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial:  Bessel van der Kolk has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD's Profile

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD Related seminars and products

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialize in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario.

Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 100 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally. She has recently published a book The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease with Eric Vermetten and Clare Pain.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Ruth Lanius is Professor of Psychiatry and director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She is an author for W.W. Norton & Company and receives royalties.
Non-Financial: Ruth Lanius has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Andrew Nicholson, PhD, BSC's Profile

Andrew Nicholson, PhD, BSC Related seminars and products

Dr. Andrew Nicholson completed his PhD in Neuroscience at Western University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. He additionally completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Homewood Research Institute (HRI) and the University of Vienna, Austria. Nicholson is currently working as a Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, and is also an HRI Scientist specializing in PTSD research.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Andrew Nicholson is an associate professor at McMaster University. He is a scientist for Homewood Research Institute; and Lawson Health Research Institute. Dr. Nicholson is a senior research fellow at the University of Vienna.
Non-financial: Andrew Nicholson has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


Sebern Fisher, MA's Profile

Sebern Fisher, MA Related seminars and products

Sebern F. Fisher, MA, is a psychotherapist and neurofeedback practitioner in private practice who specializes in the aftermath of neglect and abuse in early childhood. She focuses on training the traumatized brain to learn its own regulation which it can learn at any age. She trains professionals nationally and internationally on neurofeedback and on the need to integrate neurofeedback with psychotherapy. Her book, Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain, has helped her readers understand how the traumatized brain can give rise to explosive feelings, irrational thinking and destructive behavior. When the brain learns its own regulation, its owner can engage meaningfully in psychotherapy and in life. The book is now also available as an audiobook on Audible. Visit to learn more and join the conversation with Sebern at - Sebern Fisher on LinkedIn, and @SebernF on Twitter.


Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Sebern Fisher is in private practice. She is an author for W.W. Norton and receives royalties. She receives a speaking fee from EEGer. Ms. Fisher receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Sebern Fisher has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


Paul Frewen, Ph.D., C.Psych's Profile

Paul Frewen, Ph.D., C.Psych Related seminars and products

Paul A. Frewen, PhD, C.Psych, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Western Ontario; Chair, Traumatic Stress Section, Canadian Psychological Association. Author of 45 papers on trauma, affect regulation, mindfulness, dissociation, and the self. Co-author, Healing the Traumatized Self: Consciousness, Neuroscience & Treatment.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Paul Frewen is an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario. He is an author and receives royalties.
Non-financial: Paul Frewen chairs the Traumatic Stress Section of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Practice Committee of the Trauma Division of the American Psychological Association.


Sherain Harricharan, PhD's Profile

Sherain Harricharan, PhD Related seminars and products

Sherain Harricharan, PhD, post-doctoral fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sherain Harricharan is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Non-financial: Sherain Harricharan has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


Chantelle Lloyd, PhD's Profile

Chantelle Lloyd, PhD Related seminars and products

Chantelle Lloyd, PhD, recently earned her PhD in Psychology at McMaster University and conducts research in collaboration with the McKinnon & Lanius labs.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Chantelle Lloyd is in supervised practice with Dr. Biederman & Associates Psychology Group; and Dr. French & Associates. She is a research associate with Western University.
Non-financial: Chantelle Lloyd is a student affiliate with the Canadian Psychological Association.


Wendy D'Andrea, Ph.D.'s Profile

Wendy D'Andrea, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Wendy D’Andrea, PhD: Assistant Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research in New York, NY. Her research focuses on physiological manifestations and consequences of complex trauma.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Wendy D’Andrea is an associate professor at The New School.
Non-financial: Wendy D’Andrea is a member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies; American Psychological Society; International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation; and the American Psychological Association Div. 56, Trauma Psychology.


Margaret Mckinnon, PhD's Profile

Margaret Mckinnon, PhD Related seminars and products

Margaret McKinnon, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McMaster University, Hamilton OT. Expert in trauma-related autobiographical memory and social cognition.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Margaret McKinnon is an associate professor at McMaster University. Dr. McKinnon is the research lead at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. She is the senior scientist at the Homewood Research Institute.
Non-financial: Margaret McKinnon is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association.


Daniela Rabellino, PhD's Profile

Daniela Rabellino, PhD Related seminars and products

Daniela Rabellino, PhD, Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, where she investigates the neural and psychological correlates of PTSD in Ruth Lanius’ lab.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Daniela Rabellino is a research associate at the University of Western Ontario.
Non-financial: Daniela Rabellino has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


Braeden Terpou, PhD's Profile

Braeden Terpou, PhD Related seminars and products

Braeden Terpou, Ph.D., Post-doc University of Western Ontario, with Ruth Lanuis, MD, Ph.D. Specializes in neurobiological underpinnings of brainstem responses & their effect on higher cognitive functioning in trauma-related disorders.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Braeden Terpou is a PhD candidate at The University of Western Ontario.
Non-financial: Braeden Terpou has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


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  1. Assess the neurobiological links that mediate self- and trauma-related processing in traumatized individuals, in particular, as these links pertain to altered functional characteristics of the brain's default mode network (DMN). 
  2. Conclude how the links between self- and trauma-related processing are manifested clinically (i.e., clinical disturbances to self-related processing), as well as how these links relate to addictive or risk-seeking behaviours in traumatized individuals. 
  3. Evaluate how psycho-therapeutic interventions that may assist the re-introduction, or re-establishment of an individual's sense of self having been lost in an aftermath of trauma. 


  • How the brain processes trauma 
  • The development of maladaptive self-beliefs in the experience of PTSD (identity disturbance) 
  • Somatically-based alterations of experience in the bodies of trauma survivors 
  • Harnessing the brain networks in therapy that can lead to trauma resolution 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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