Available courses

Living in a Fog: Dissociation, Complex Trauma and PTSD

Dissociation is a highly adaptive survival strategy, especially in the presence of systematic and prolonged trauma, characteristic of child sexual abuse (CSA) and / or domestic violence. In the presence of repeated traumatic experiences in which there is no escape, dissociation becomes the default setting, making it hard to remain present in the body. As a result, many survivors of CSA, rape and domestic abuse numb all affect, disconnect from or delete their body and retreat into their head. This can lead to a range of symptoms which are currently subsumed under subtype Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Prominent Dissociative Symptoms. To fully understand the role of dissociation in complex trauma, it is essential to understand the psychobiological mechanisms that underpin peritraumatic dissociation through the release of a cascade of neurochemicals and the disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity and perception; which are the core features of secondary dissociation and structural dissociation. We also need to comprehend how these produce dissociative states and symptoms seen in: Dissociative Disorders Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) and Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD) Many survivors do not initially present with dissociative states or are not aware of the signs or symptoms of dissociation, making it imperative that clinicians are able to link client experiences of ‘living in a fog’, ‘ wading through mud’, ‘sieve like memory’ and ‘feeling as through someone else is in control’ as dissociative states. At this practical and unique seminar which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, across modalities, Christiane draws on her extensive clinical experience to examine the complex nature of dissociation, its origins, its functions and its long-term effects, to explain how we can: Identify clues to dissociation such as distortions in time, perception and memory, changes in verbal and non-verbal communication, bodily sensations and cognitive processing, as well as depersonalisation and derealisation – with a view to helping survivors understand the symptoms of dissociation and how these can be managed more effectively Be aware of our own capacity for dissociation when bearing witness to traumatic experiences and how to ensure that we remain present and embodied, especially when faced with a deep sense of somatic countertransference or somatic empathy Comprehend what dissociation looks like in practice and how we can translate survivors’ reports of their experiencing of the world into clinical formulation of dissociation - and how this can best be managed in the therapeutic setting Work therapeutically with structural dissociation, including parts work Overall, the aim is to facilitate reconnection of mind, body and brain and integration of disavowed parts, to restore presence and embodiment in both client and therapist. CPD Hours: 5 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £125 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722) 
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Personality Disorders and Affect Regulation

Early childhood adversity, neglect and childhood sexual abuse are just some of the risk factors that can directly impact behaviours we associate with Personality Disorders. An explanation for such linkage is that clients with personality disorders experience great difficulty in establishing and sustaining interpersonal relationships that require good affect regulation. Their inability to regulate negative affects increases the likelihood of unregulated hostility and angry responses. This actually puts such clients at an enhanced disadvantage – not only do they tend to alienate caregivers, but they are likely to do so at times of greatest need. At this practical seminar which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Adshead suggests that it is impractical to provide therapy for behavioural manifestations without a proper understanding of underlying cognitive schema and neurobiological basis. She presents evidence on the development of affect regulation within attachment relationships that explains both the symptoms of and effective therapeutic strategies for personality disorders. By viewing personality disorders through the lenses of attachment and affect regulation, she equips us to recognise the multiple challenges faced by clients: heightened perception of threats, inability to repair emotional states stimulated by threat or fear and the shift in locus from external to internal affect regulation. We comprehend the specific nature of affect dysregulation for personality disorders according to clusters: Cluster A: paranoid personality disorders Cluster B: borderline personality disorders Cluster C: anxious / avoidant personality disorders By drawing our attention to Affect Regulation as only one, but arguably the most critical aspect of personality disorders, Dr Adshead helps us inform our therapeutic approaches when working with mild to moderate disorders across the spectrum. CPD hours: 5 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £125 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Attachment and Co-Regulation in Therapy: An Integrative Approach to Healing

Attachment trauma is the result of parenting patterns that are unpredictable, neglectful and / or abusive during infancy and young childhood. Attachment injuries have been categorized as insecure ambivalent, insecure avoidant or disorganized. While these states arise as manifestations of survival strategies – these are, by no means inflexible or fixed for life. As therapists, we can create a conducive environment for addressing such attachment injuries through the therapeutic relationship; so as to help clients create satisfying lives and relationships in adulthood.  We also need to be mindful of the fact that just as there is no such thing as the perfect parent, there is also no perfect therapist. In order to work with early childhood trauma successfully, therapists must be aware of how personal, unresolved attachment injuries can contribute to clinical blind spots. At this engaging and practical seminar, Dr Arielle Schwartz discusses how therapists can help their clients reclaim their lives from the costs of childhood trauma, by deepening compassion and reducing shame that often accompanies developmental wounds. Dr Schwartz presents a Resilience Informed Approach, which applies research on trauma recovery to form a strength-based, trauma treatment model that includes EMDR therapy, somatic psychology, parts-work and relational psychotherapy. Specifically, we discuss: Co-regulation and mutual regulation as the foundations for healing attachment trauma Examples of top-down and bottom up interventions in trauma treatment How to assess for dissociation and identify client’s parts or ego states Learn effective strategies to help us work with preverbal memories Articulate the six stages of trauma responses within the neurobiology of PTSD as it relates to clinical treatment Explore relational Interventions for shame CPD Hours: 4 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £56 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy: Solutions for Trauma-Focused Care

Expressive Arts Therapy is based on the assumption that our clients can recover from trauma and / or addictions, through the process of creative expression. Defined by its emphasis on the multi-modal process of healing (exploring many combinations for creativity, rather than relying on just one art form), the approach conceptually incorporates learnings from Jungian, person-centered and Gestalt psychotherapies – while practically providing therapeutic techniques to trauma therapists and addiction specialists. Course Schedule: Session 1: Fundamentals of Expressive Arts Therapy in Healing Trauma Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy History & Definitions Principles of Expressive Arts Therapy (Natalie Rogers) Expressive vs. creative Expressive arts and trauma-informed care The neuroscience of creativity and expression Enhancing possibilities in trauma-treatment Case examples and discussion  Session 2: Applications in Teaching the Skill of Grounding  Defining grounding Importance as a trauma-informed skill/intervention Perspectives Experiential expressive arts process Visualization Dance/movement Visual Art Writing Implementing expressive arts interventions Ideas for bolstering trauma-focused treatment plans Exploring options for further training and study  CPD Hours: 4 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £60 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Vagus Nerve Regulation and Trauma Recovery

In the years since the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (Felitti, 1998), research has concluded that there is undeniable connection between childhood trauma and our health. Importantly, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and mind-body therapies can help us to calm down anxiety, reduce chronic illness symptoms, support digestion, and improve our sleep. Such therapies include mindfulness, yoga, relaxation, breath practices, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, and acupuncture – these can help our clients to increase their resilience, allowing them to control unnecessary defenses and reclaim a sense of safety. At this engaging seminar, psychologist and certified yoga instructor, Dr Arielle Schwartz, leads us through an interactive exploration of the mind-body therapies for vagus nerve regulation. We will learn about her approach to therapeutic yoga for trauma recovery and discover leading-edge strategies that allow us to successfully address dysregulated arousal states triggered by trauma. She explains practical tools to increase our client’s resilience.  Learning Objectives:  Understand the connection between trauma and your health as related to the vagus nerve Learn what current research is revealing about the efficacy of mind-body therapies for trauma recovery Discover specific yogic movement and breathing practices that can help you find balance during times of stress. Connect to a community engaged in healing from trauma CPD Hours: 3 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £56 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Conducting Online Therapy Sessions that Deliver Results

Moving from face-to-face therapy to conducting online therapy sessions during the COVID-19 crisis can seem challenging for both therapists and clients. While studies have demonstrated that well-managed online sessions can potentially be as effective as face-to-face engagements, the whole experience can understandably appear daunting and disembodied. At this seminar, Christiane considers how we can navigate the challenges of the online format and deliver effective online sessions that allow for deep therapeutic engagement. Using examples, she highlights how the online setting can provide an opportunity for us to practice differently and hone our therapeutic skills, especially with regards to connection and attunement – while opening up doors to long-distance therapy, as well as therapy for clients who may be unable to travel. She explains the best practices that we can incorporate and how we can fine-tune the delivery of our therapeutic techniques to suit the online format. Specifically, we consider how we can: Provide a safe therapeutic space, while reducing the effects of social distancing and the concomitant sense of isolation or exacerbation of trauma symptoms and / or anxieties Focus on enhancing our awareness to verbal and non-verbal communication Use voice, breath and body language to modulate and regulate emotional states so as to remain present, connected and attuned Incorporate a combination of top-down and bottom-up regulation skills that enable our clients to slow down and come into the body, with a view to increasing distress tolerance and improving stress resilience Pace our therapeutic approach, including the need to temporarily suspend deeper exploration of past trauma or aversive experiences and focussing on the here-and-now Managing the optimal amount of therapeutic contact with regards to the frequency and duration of sessions and the online platforms that can best suit our therapy sessions while ensuring privacy and confidentiality Ensure that as therapists we are able to manage and contain our own anxieties and stress through self-care and the specific steps we need to take in the context of online therapy CPD Hours: 4 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £56 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Somatic Therapy: Interventions to Enhance Embodiment in Trauma Treatment

Somatic Therapy emphasizes body awareness as an essential part of psychotherapy. This is especially beneficial in the treatment of PTSD when symptoms involve physiological distress, affect dysregulation, or dissociation. Traditional approaches to therapy attend to the cognitive and emotional aspects of clients’ lives, while the somatic experience is often left out of the room. Our bodies need to process stressful and traumatic events through breath and movement. Unfortunately, we are often taught to sit still and override movement impulses. As a result, the biological effects of stressful or traumatic events tend to persist long after events have passed. “Talk therapy” can perpetuate this culture of stillness unless the therapist has the training and skills to integrate the body into psychotherapy. Interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment expand the therapeutic experience beyond where words can take a client. In this engaging and informative e-learning course by Dr. Arielle Schwartz, we learn the science of embodiment and why somatic psychology is essential for helping clients work with dysregulated affect and arousal states that accompany PTSD. We discuss the key principles of modern day somatic psychology modalities including the value of working mindfully, relationally, and experientially. We will discuss the difference between “top-down” and “bottom-up” interventions and how they can be used to strengthen clients’ “window of tolerance.” We will also explore how somatic processing of traumatic events can be combined with other trauma treatment modalities (e.g. EMDR Therapy, Trauma Focused CBT, Narrative Exposure Therapy). The e-learning course will be especially useful for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors who are interested in learning how to integrate somatic psychology interventions into their work with clients. Specifically, we will consider: The theoretical and scientific bases of somatic psychology The cognitive, emotional, and physiological impact of stress, trauma, and PTSD Why working in the “Window of Tolerance” is essential to successful trauma treatment Examples of “top-down” and “bottom up” interventions in trauma treatment The importance of mutual regulation as a precursor to the development of self-regulation of affect and arousal Specific interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment How somatic processing of traumatic events can be combined with other trauma treatment modalities (e.g. EMDR Therapy, Trauma Focused CBT, Narrative Exposure Therapy) Specifically, this e-learning course covers:  1: The Science of Embodiment   The theoretical and scientific bases of somatic psychology A unified approach to somatic psychology Sensory systems and embodiment The cognitive, emotional, and physiological impact of stress, trauma, and PTSD Beyond Fight and Flight Mobilization and Immobilization Dysregulation and Dissociation Why working in the “Window of Tolerance” is essential to successful trauma treatment “Top-Down” and “Bottom-Up” interventions in trauma treatment. 2: Somatic Interventions and Applications Affect and arousal regulation in trauma treatment   The role of mutual regulation as a precursor to the development of self-regulation Interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment Awareness Interventions Resourcing Interventions Trauma Processing Interventions   Integrating Interventions Combining Somatic Psychology with other trauma treatment modalities EMDR Therapy, Trauma Focused CBT, Narrative Exposure Therapy CPD Hours: 3 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £60 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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The Emotional Regulation Toolkit

Whether we are working with children, adults, parents or couples – an essential therapeutic goal for us is to enable and enhance the clients’ capability for emotional regulation. As therapists, our aim is to help them effectively identify and understand their emotions, so that they are able to process, respond to them, and express them safely in societal, familial and organizational settings. But we can face multiple challenges in this endeavour: Before our clients can learn to self-regulate, we need to achieve co-regulation, which is an essential precursor to emotional regulation We need to get through to the thinking brain with our clients – the survival brain is not designed to process emotional regulation Moreover, self-regulation can be arduous if they are surrounded by people who are in dysregulated states, and we need to help them navigate this environment This seminar is aimed at providing us, as therapists, a set of creative, physical, sensory and cognitive emotional regulation practical tools that can be applied in clinical settings not just for encouraging self-regulation in clients but also for our own regulation and well-being. The toolkit that we discuss includes: Breathing and Calming tools and techniques – as applied to emotional regulation. Our aim here is to assist our clients to stay in the present moment, especially when they experience intense stress and anxiety, and we look at: Grounding techniques that use everyday objects around us Progressive muscle relaxation Self-soothing techniques using breath exercises Sensory techniques including creative extensions of the safe-place exercise and sensory boxes.  We consider: How we can creatively build on and expand the safe-space Reconnecting with our senses and getting rid of negative imagery Using sensory boxes that draw attention to the here-and-now; with both children and adults The different approaches and tools for up-regulation and down-regulation; including: Making the choice between up & down regulation Creating a mindful acceptance of emotions Assisting our clients in the reframing of emotions The seminar follows an integrationist approach – we draw on cognitive, psychoanalytical and sensorimotor domains – with the goal of effective regulation that works in the face of worry, stress, trauma, mood swings and cognitive difficulties. We consider how, as therapists, we can practice holding a receptive stance, so as to assist co-regulation and work actively at mitigating dysregulation in the client’s environment. CPD Hours: 3 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £ 60 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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Working with Early Relational Trauma and Dissociation: A Resilience Informed Approach

Growing up afraid, has ramifications for cognitive, emotional and physical development that persist into adulthood until one has sufficient support to heal. This is not a character weakness; it is a learned stress disorder. In this engaging and practical discussion with Dr Arielle Schwartz, we consider how therapists can help their clients reclaim their lives from the costs of childhood trauma by deepening compassion and reducing shame that often accompanies developmental wounds. Dr Schwartz presents a Resilience Informed Approach, which applies research on trauma recovery to form a strength-based, trauma treatment model that includes EMDR therapy, somatic psychology, parts-work and relational psychotherapy.  Specifically, we discuss: What exactly does attunement mean in the context of early relational trauma; and why we need to consider mutual regression as a precursor to self-regulation Tronick’s Rule of Thirds and how this can help us understand early relational trauma How Polyvagal Theory helps us understand the Social Nervous System Do phobias maintain dissociation and what this means for therapy Walking the tightrope of memory retrieval in our therapeutic approach Using parts-work for early relational trauma and dissociation – keeping in mind the increased awareness of introjects CPD Hours: 3 Ticket prices: Individual ticket for 2 year access: £50 (note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)
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