It is commonly accepted that emotional stress can contribute to physical discomforts including headaches, stomach-aches and frequent colds. As therapists, we also recognise that the relationship between stress and illness is amplified for clients who have a history of trauma – unresolved traumatic memories can even lead to somatic symptom disorders, while unresolved PTSD can manifest itself as bodily inflammation and autonomic nervous system imbalances.
At this engaging and informative e-learning course with Dr Arielle Schwartz, we look at a biopsychosocial model of care which takes into account objective physical and biological factors of pain and illness as well as factors that are psychological or psychogenic in origin. The aim of considering such an approach is to assist clients in increasing their sense of control, self-efficacy and self-regulation with regards to the intensity and duration of distressing physical symptoms.
We recognise that therapy for somatic disorders and illness can be challenging, especially when the etymology lies in complex, developmental trauma. Which is why the course specifically explains how we can assess for dissociation, lack of affect tolerance, or secondary gains that may block successful resolution of traumatic events.
In addition, we will be introduced to the integration of EMDR Therapy and somatic psychology to enhance our client’s embodiment for the treatment of chronic pain and illness. Through the lenses of the EMDR-8 phase model, somatic psychology and structural integration theory, we will consider:
· Therapeutic tools to address client experiences relating to medical mismanagement, invasive medical procedures or the lack of control that arises when the perpetrator is the client’s own body
· The cognitive, emotional and physiological impact of stress, Trauma and PTSD
· A biopsychosocial approach that helps you partner with clients to address psychological components of pain and illness
· How to assess for dissociation and identify client’s parts or ego states as related to pain and illness
· Resource development skills to help clients develop greater control over pain and illness symptoms
· The six stages of trauma responses within the neurobiology of PTSD as it relates to therapy
· Examples of top-down and bottom-up interventions in trauma therapy
· Containment of somatic distress and the development of Affect Tolerance
· Sequencing and somatic re-patterning
CPD hours: 3