“Trauma Masterclass: The Art of Trauma Treatment” with Dr Kathrin Stauffer, Kate Brown, and Tony Buckley – Saturday 28th March 2020
Our trauma masterclass offers a range of complimentary perspectives, portraying concepts and different treatment intervention strategies for therapists working with the various manifestations of trauma in their client population. At this conference we will look at how EMDR, attachment theory and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy each approach work with traumatised clients.
The presenters at this trauma masterclass will, in addition to outlining their own particular methods, make some important distinctions between, trauma, developmental injury and attachment trauma issues highlighting the need for a range of appropriate interventions tailored to the individual client.
Speakers and Presentations
Kathrin Stauffer: “EMDR in the Treatment of Trauma”
EMDR is a very successful approach for treating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress and can be said to have revolutionised trauma therapy, especially through a dramatic shortening of the number of therapy sessions required. Whereas originally the approach was mostly applied to one-time trauma suffered in adulthood, in recent years practitioners have developed a plethora of modifications that allow many other applications including phobias, chronic pain, and early childhood trauma.
Kathrin will present an overview of EMDR including the range of applications and postulated modes of action, as far as we understand these. She will use some clinical material from her own experience of processing trauma for which there are no explicit memories but only current body sensations, emotional flashbacks, or similar disturbances. Finally she will outline the differences between EMDR for adult trauma and EMDR for early trauma and present some of her work with clients who were emotionally neglected as children.
Kathrin will illustrate how EMDR can be helpful in the therapy of these complex and challenging presentations. She will make the case that EMDR is a tool for skilled psychotherapists and counsellors rather than a therapy in itself. But in the hands of good therapists, EMDR not only makes the process shorter (and therefore more affordable); in addition, by reducing the load of post-traumatic stress on the body and brain of clients, more spontaneous healing and growing processes are facilitated. Clients very generally tolerate EMDR well or even find it pleasant.
Kate Brown: “Trauma and Attachment – Ghosts and Angels from the Nursery, and the problem with burying grief”
This talk begins with a brief description of the central aspects of Attachment Theory, such as our need for a secure base, and to seek proximity to care givers. These care givers often serve as a ‘safe haven’ to go out into the world from, which we are sometimes distressed when we are separated from.
Bowlby describes a process of how our early relationships shape us ‘from cradle to grave’, in particular how our relationships with our primary care taker influence and shape our emotional landscape and later relationships. Different attachment styles, (secure, avoidant, preoccupied and disorganised) are described alongside common tools used to identify and classify attachment styles, such as the adult attachment interview (AAI), and strange situation test.
Kate will explain aspects of trauma theory, such as how different sorts of trauma have different impacts on a person’s life and psyche, and how a person’s attachment style will often determine how a person copes with certain traumas.
The ground-breaking work of Judith Lewis Herman’s work ‘Trauma and Recovery’ is used to emphasise the impact of trauma in such symptoms as hypo and hyper-arousal, sensitivity to intrusive memories of traumatic events, and limiting of exposure of events which have reminders of previous traumas.
What needs to be done to enable recovery from trauma, such as achieving safety, enabling grief and mourning and supporting reconnection with a person’s community, as described by Herman are briefly explained.
Kate will use clinical examples of how a client’s early traumas may be enacted in the therapeutic relationship, and how a therapist’s unprocessed trauma may impacted the therapy. She concludes with exploring how our attachment styles impact how we process trauma, and the implications of Attachment Theory for our clinical work with traumatised patients.
Tony Buckley: “Keeping the Body in Mind”
In this presentation Tony Buckley will discuss a key somatic approach to trauma treatment. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy integrates cognitive and somatic interventions in the treatment of trauma, emphasizing body awareness, practicing new actions and building somatic resources.
With an emphasis on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy’s “embedded relational mindfulness,” key components of this approach will be illustrated: uncoupling trauma-based emotions from body sensations; building somatic resources; and developing a somatic sense of self.
With a Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approach attention is paid to safely preventing dysregulation through pacing, boundaries, and a gradual focus on the body. There is an emphasis on how somatic interventions integrated with cognitive interventions can help change meaning and belief originating in past trauma, supporting the regulation of difficult emotions and physical symptoms in the present.
Tony will outline the key learning points which addresses interventions for all three-treatment phases in a Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approach to trauma treatment: stabilization and symptom reduction, work with traumatic memory, and re-integration.
The three presentations will be followed by a question and answer session with all three speakers.