The Treatment of Trauma from an Attachment Perspective

Overview of Workshop

Neurodevelopmental research has established that, because of the brain’s extreme malleability and sensitivity to experience in early childhood, traumatic events in the first few years of life have long-term impacts on emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social and physiological functioning. This is particularly likely if the events are severe, unpredictable, or persistent (Perry, 1994). This workshop will introduce the neurobiological effects of early developmental trauma upon the brain and resultant behavior. Methods for effectively working with children and adults who have suffered from ongoing, recent and past neurodevelopmental trauma will be discussed.

The goal of this workshop is to give counselors, therapists, social service and mental health care providers an understanding of trauma from an attachment perspective and to introduce effective interventions that incorporate the body, the mind and the emotions. This information will be of interest to anyone working with children, adolescents, adults and families.

Outline of Workshop

Day 1: Working through Historic Neurodevelopmental Trauma

The focus of this day will be on developing an understanding of strategies for working through historic neurodevelopmental trauma. Examples will be selected from the entire lifespan.

Day 2 am: Body Based Trauma Interventions

The focus of this morning will be on developing a repertoire of interventions that work through the body to help individuals overcome the effects of trauma.

Day 2 pm: The Neurobiology of Trauma

This afternoon will focus on developing an understanding of trauma, brain development and the implications for brain function caused by trauma.