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Innovations in Trauma Therapy (Discs 7-11)

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The Innovations In Trauma Therapy Conference 2014 features expert presenters teaching unique and innovative treatments. We have gathered an outstanding faculty to present the theory and application of innovative treatment models. Interactive dialogue and clinical demonstrations make this event both a valuable and a unique learning experience for professionals around the world. We are excited to share this knowledge and increase our collective ability to provide excellent care.

  1. Apply the principles of “bottom-up” processing to resolving traumatic experiences
  2. Recognizing differences between “top-down” and “bottom-up” processing
  3. Differentiate between the multiple systems involved in explicit and implicit memory
  4. Analyzing and describing the basic energy states of shutdown, hyperarousal and social engagement. In restoring self-regulation
  5. Accessing the felt-sense experience of the “deep-self” in stabilizing traumatic processing
  6. Address how adverse childhood experiences affect brain development, emotion regulation & cognition
  7. Review attachment research as it pertains to childhood
  8. Delineate current diagnostic criteria for Developmental Trauma Disorder
  9. Show how and why Dissociative Disorders should not be treated with the types of exposure techniques used for PTSD Flashbacks
  10. Define and describe “time capsules” as related to DID
  11. Describe the use of at least two hypnotic techniques to treat DID
  12. Describe the relationship between DID and hypnotic capacity
  13. Define energy psychology
  14. Identify EFT and TFT as two forms of energy psychology
  15. Describe a physical intervention used in energy psychology protocols
  16. Discuss the difference between energy psychology as a self-help approach and as a clinical intervention explain that acupoint tapping reduces threat arousal in the amygdala
  17. Define the Dual Attunement Frame (relational and Neurobiological attunement together) in Brainspotting
  18. Describe Outside Window, Inside Window Brainspotting and Gazespotting and how they are determined
  19. Discuss how the processing in Brainspotting is facilitated by observing the focused, sequential, internal experience of the client
  20. Name one physiological sign of likely PTSD
  21. Identify a life stage associated with the subsequent development of PTSD after experiencing a Category A traumatic event
  22. Name at least one clinician of the post WWII period identified with the development of the PTSD diagnosis
  23. Define secondary traumatization


Session 1: Conference Introduction (Maggie Phillips, Ph.D., and Steve Frankel, Ph.D., J.D., ABPP (Clinical & Forensic))

Session 2: How the Living, Sensing Body Resolves Trauma, Establishes Safety and Restores Resilience: Clinical Implications (Peter Levine, Ph.D.)

  • Therapeutic work with traumatized individuals, and those suffering from deeply distressing emotions, can be greatly facilitated by utilizing bottom-up (body awareness) in concert with top-down (“psychological”) processing. We find that a potent fulcrum for long-term change resides in accessing innate body movements and sensations associated with the “true-self.” Then from that potent and enduring platform, individuals can be guided gradually to touch into, and transform, traumatic experiences. Effective therapy helps people move from shutdown (numbness) and hyperarousal (overwhelm) to “healthy aggression,” safety, and the capacity for intimate relationship.

Session 3:
Somatic Approaches to Ego-State Therapy: Using the Body’s Organic Intelligence to Resolve Traumatic Conflicts of the Self (Maggie Phillips, Ph.D.)
  • This presentation presents a new use of Somatic Experiencing to help heal the fragmentation often caused by dissociation and personality division. Ego-State Therapy is one of the primary approaches used to heal inner conflict, dissociation, and other posttraumatic symptoms. Combining Somatic Experiencing with Ego-State Therapy provides more depth and permanence to this process, promoting healing from the bottom level up, assisting with self-regulation, and managing and promoting sensorimotor integration through completed somatic patterns. The video demonstration that illustrates this approach features an adult client struggling to find balance between autonomy and connection in her life. Using a somatic approach to Ego-State Therapy, she resolved many of the physical, emotional, and spiritual conflicts related to a near-drowning experience at the age of four. The discussion following the video accents the strategies that helped complete somatic patterns, facilitated emotional regulation and promoted embodied personality integration.

Session 4:
Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma (Laurel Parnell, Ph.D.)
  • This presentation highlights a new method of integrating EMDR into clinical practice with an attachment focus to address the challenges of relational wounds. Her method is created from a combination of Resource Tapping (creating new neural pathways through imagination and bilateral stimulation) and the process of targeting traumatic memories via EMDR. Dr. Parnell will discuss five guiding principles for her work: How to foster client safety; how to develop and nurture the therapeutic relationship; how to use a client-centered perspective; how to create reparative neural networks through resource tapping; and how to use a modified EMDR protocol to focus on traumatic memories whenever needed. She will discuss the clinical implications of this approach with clients who suffer from attachment difficulties and the trauma of abuse and neglect. Her video demonstration to follow will illustrate the nuances as well as the depth of this approach.

Session 5:
Developmental Trauma Disorder: The Nexus of Attachment, Trauma and Brain (Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.)
  • Every year, there are ten times as many children in the US reported to be victims of domestic violence, neglect and abuse than combat soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with PTSD. However, these children live in a diagnostic void because the current DSM-IV conceptualization of PTSD does not reflect the symptoms experienced by the vast majority of these children. For when trauma occurs within the context of what is supposed to be a safe interpersonal attachment, the trauma picture takes on a profoundly different shape and has profound effects on brain development and the formation of the self. So, instead, abused and neglected children receive such widely disparate diagnoses as bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, ADHD, and other anxiety disorders. All of these diagnoses are etiologically unrelated to trauma and lead to pharmacological and behavioral control at the expense of dealing with the fear, shame, terror and rage that derive from real threats to these children’s survival. The lack of proper diagnosis also has profound implications on insurance reimbursement, treatment development and clinical research. Thus these children are condemned to receive treatments that are likely to be ineffective and therefore put them at risk to grow up to be unproductive, expensive, potentially dangerous, and long-suffering members of our society.

Session 6:
The Polyvagal Theory: Demystifying the Body’s Response to Trauma (Stephen Porges, Ph.D.)
  • This presentation will focus on the restorative power of understanding the adaptive function of stress reactions as an important adjunct to treatment. By deconstructing the biobehavioral features of stress reactions, both client and therapist are better informed in their journey to a successful outcome. The presentation will emphasize the role of “neuroception,” a neurophysiological process through which our nervous system evaluates risk in the environment, without awareness and often independent of a cognitive narrative. Trauma may reset neuroception to protect us from others when there is no “real” danger. The presentation will inform the therapist about how to assess the deleterious consequences of trauma-related experiences by understanding the adaptive psychological, behavioral, and health features of each of the three “Polyvagal” visceral response strategies (i.e., social engagement, mobilization, and immobilization ) and how successful therapeutic interventions promote a neuroception of safety with the consequential improvements in mental and physical health by enabling mobilization and immobilization to occur without fear.

Session 7:
Opening “Time Capsules”: A Hypnotic Approach to the Treatment of DID (Steve Frankel, Ph.D., J.D., ABPP (Clinical & Forensic))
  • This presentation will focus on a 73 year old woman whom I have been treating for over 20 years. She has done exceedingly well in treatment, as evidenced by her level of functioning. However, she suffers from a substantial number of child parts who are “stuck in time capsules.” They are in flashbacks. Their situations significantly impact her personal functioning. In this session, several alters emerge, are engaged utilizing hypnotic techniques, and show immediate benefit from these interventions.

Session 8:
Energy Psychology in Treating Trauma-Based Conditions (David Feinstein, Ph.D.)
  • Tapping on selected acupuncture points while targeted scenes are mentally activated can eliminate maladaptive fear responses to traumatic memories and related cues. Known as energy psychology, research supports the efficacy of the approach for alleviating PTSD and other difficult conditions with surprising speed and power. Disaster response teams, from Rwanda to Newtown, have been using it with striking success. Clinicians new to the method are routinely impressed by the way that incorporating tapping protocols into the modalities they are already using boosts their effectiveness. This seminar will show brief video clips of four combat veterans prior to treatment, during treatment, and post-treatment, and a longer session that illustrates the technique in greater detail with a trauma-induced phobia. Discussion will include clinical considerations in using energy psychology and possible mechanisms of action.

Session 9:
Brainspotting: Accessing the Subcortical Brain through Your Visual Field to Resolve Trauma (David Grand, Ph.D.)
  • Brainspotting may be viewed from several perspectives. It is a positive, client centered approach which develops and holds the dual attunement frame to promote the client’s innate self-healing capacities. Brainspotting is also a phenomenological approach where the therapist observes every aspect of the client’s experience with curiosity, and without imposing any judgment or point of view. Third, brainspotting is a creative, integrative model which invites the therapist to make use of their own wisdom and previous training. Brainspotting can be applied to performance and creativity expansion as well as to trauma.

Session 10:
An Integrative Approach to Stabilization with Dissociative Clients (Kathy Steele, MN, CS)
  • This presentation will offer an integrative approach to stabilization in clients with dissociation, ranging from Complex PTSD, DDNOS, and DID. Since childhood abuse and neglect interfere with normal development across wide areas of functioning, clients are generally not yet able to integrate traumatic memories. Instead they suffer from flashbacks, intrusions from, or switching to, child parts that are overwhelmed and not oriented to the present, have serious unresolved inner conflicts, and struggle with daily life. Thus, early treatment is most effective when it focuses on supporting the client to overcome developmental deficits, using a phase-oriented, relational model. There are many helpful models for treating trauma, but many of them do not include ways to address the underlying dissociative organization of the client’s inner experience. We will focus on an eclectic, integrative approach to stabilize dissociative clients, which incorporates many therapeutic approaches I have found helpful over 30 years of experience. I use a wide variety of relational, cognitive, mindfulness, affective, somatic, ego state, psychodynamic, EMDR, and hypnotic techniques. A demonstration of some of these techniques and their positive effects will be shown in a video of a session with a client who had DDNOS.

Session 11:
Energy Psychology Treatment for PTSD: Evidence, Clinical Application, and Cautions (Dawson Church, Ph.D.)
  • Studies published in the past few years have shown that energy psychology techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and TFT (Thought Field Therapy) meet APA Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) criteria as “empirically validated treatments” for PTSD. Previously, APA reviews had identified PTSD as a “treatment-resistant” condition that often worsens over time as neural plasticity reinforces the pathways in the brain that conduct the signals of emotional trauma. The evidence from these recent clinical trials indicates that energy psychology may efficiently remediate clinical levels of PTSD in treatment time frames ranging from 4 to 10 sessions. This presentation reviews the evidence in the context of the APA criteria. It then presents clinical case histories, discusses the physiological mechanisms at work, such as reduced levels of stress hormones like cortisol and reduced levels of brain waves such as high beta, identifies comorbidities such as depression and anxiety that improve after successful PTSD treatment, and suggests ways in which these therapies may be applied in settings such as Veterans Administration hospitals, managed health care plans, and outpatient clinics.

Session 12:
Using Ochberg’s Counting Method as a Critical Element of Post-traumatic Therapy (Frank Ochberg, M.D.)
  • The signature symptom of PTSD is the trauma memory that bursts into consciousness, whether it is as intense as a full-blown flashback or as insidious as the odor of a rapist’s aftershave. I prefer to establish a sense of collegiality and comfort before tackling the trauma memory, but sooner or later, survivor and therapist must look at the ghosts of the past together. One of my long term Vietnam vet PTSD patients, Terry, agreed to have several of our sessions filmed as we approached the end of treatment. The film, produced by Victor Yalom, runs over two hours and is available for purchase. I’ll show a short and a long excerpt, illustrating a general approach to treatment and a detailed discussion of “Ochberg’s Counting Method.” The Counting Method helps reduce the intensity and the frequency of unwanted, intrusive traumatic memory.

About the Speaker:

Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D., is a clinical psychiatrist who has studied the impact and resolution of trauma on human beings for the past 40 years. His research has ranged from developmental impact of trauma to neuroimaging and from memory processes to the use of EMDR and theater groups in PTSD. He is professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, where he also serves as director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Complex Trauma Network. He is past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has taught at universities and hospitals throughout the world. He is author of over a hundred scientific articles, author of Psychological Trauma and co-editor of Traumatic Stress.

Stephen Porges, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he directed the Brain-Body Center, and at the University of Maryland, where he chaired the Department of Human Development and directed the Institute for Child Study. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines including pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, space medicine, and substance abuse. In 9994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of psychiatric disorders. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011).

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.,
holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. The developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which conducts trainings in this work throughout the world and in various indigenous cultures, with 26 faculty members and over five thousand students. Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA on the development of the space shuttle project and was a member of the Institute of World Affairs Task Force of Psychologists for Social Responsibility in developing responses to large-scale disasters and ethno-political warfare. Levine’s international best seller, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, has been translated into 22 languages. His recent interests include the prevention of trauma in children, and he has co-written two books, with Maggie Kline, in this area: Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids. His most recent book: In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, was recently released to rave reviews. Levine’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored in 2010 when he received the Life Time Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP).

Dr. Laurel Parnell is one of the world’s experts on EMDR. A clinical psychologist, she has trained thousands in EMDR in her international workshops. Dr. Parnell is the author of A Therapist’s Guide to EMDR, EMDR in the Treatment of Adults Abused as Children, Transforming Trauma: EMDR, and Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resource Through Bilateral Stimulation as well as articles and a chapter in the EMDR Casebook. Dr. Parnell is at work on her newest book: Attachment-Focused EMDR: Healing Relational Trauma, which will be published by WW Norton in 2013. Dr. Parnell has served on the faculty of the California Institute for Integral Studies and John F. Kennedy University.An EMDR pioneer and innovator, Dr. Parnell has immersed herself in the practice and development of EMDR since 1991 bringing a client-centered attachment-focused approach to the work. A frequent presenter at conferences, she has been interviewed for television, radio and print. She maintains a private practice in San Rafael, California.

Steven Frankel, Ph.D., J.D. is an ABPP certified clinical and forensic psychologist, as well as an attorney at law. Dr. Frankel has been on the faculty of the University of Southern California for over 35 years and is currently a Clinical Professor of Psychology. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) and is now an Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law. He has taught courses on healthcare policy, regulation of healthcare practice and mental disorder and the law. Author of more than 50 articles and book chapters, he won the USC Award for Teaching Excellence early in his academic career.

Maggie Phillips, Ph.D., lives and works as a clinical psychologist in the Oakland Hills above the San Francisco Bay. As the author of numerous papers and articles on trauma, dissociation, ego-state therapy, hypnosis, and mind-body healing, she specializes in the treatment of traumatic stress and pain disorders. Dr. Phillips is author of Reversing Chronic Pain, Finding the Energy to Heal, Healing the Divided Self, and Body-Focused Therapy Can Help Restore Mind-Body Health.

David Grand, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, writer, lecturer, performance coach and humanitarian famous for the discovery and development of the internationally acclaimed Brainspotting method which brings about life-changing breakthroughs at “Warp Speed”. Dr. Grand is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a PhD from International University, and is renowned for his groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in the arenas of healing trauma and enhancing performance and creativity. His Brainspotting method and BioLateral Sound are now used by thousands of therapists on every continent seeking to break through the limitations of talk therapy.

Frank Ochberg, M.D. is a founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and recipient of their highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. He edited the first text on treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, and served on the committee that defined PTSD. He was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Michigan Mental Health Department. At Michigan State University, he is clinical professor of psychiatry, formerly adjunct professor of criminal justice, and adjunct professor of journalism. Ochberg developed, with colleagues, the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Gift From Within (a charity for persons with PTSD), and the Committee for Community Awareness and Protection (responding to serial-killer threats). For the latter activity, he is the first physician to receive the Law Enforcement Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution. Ochberg founded the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, served as its first chairman and now helps journalists understand traumatic stress and traumatic stress experts understand journalists. As a Red Cross volunteer, Ochberg assisted families at sites of earthquakes, floods, fires and aircraft disasters. He represents the Dart Foundation and directs their support of victimization programs around the world.

Dawson Church, Ph.D. is an award-winning author whose best-selling book, The Genie in Your Genes, (www.YourGeniusGene.com) has been hailed by reviewers as a breakthrough in our understanding of the link between emotions and genetics. He founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare (www.NIIH.org) to study and implement promising evidence-based psychological and medical techniques. His groundbreaking research has been published in prestigious scientific journals. He is the editor of Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, & Treatment, a peer-reviewed professional journal (www.EnergyPsychologyJournal.org). He shares how to apply these breakthroughs to health and athletic performance through EFT Universe (www.EFTUniverse.com), one of the largest alternative medicine sites on the web.

Kathy Steele, MN, CS is Clinical Director of Metropolitan Counseling Services, a psychotherapy and training center, and is in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She frequently teaches about trauma and dissociation around the world, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications in the field. Kathy has received several awards for her work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She is co-author of The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation of the Personality and Treatment of Chronic Traumatization (2006) and Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists (2011). She is currently writing a practical clinical manual on treatment, resistance, and impasses in dissociative disorders with Suzette Boon, Ph.D. and Onno van der Hart, Ph.D.

David Feinstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, has received nine national awards for his books on consciousness and energy healing. He has been a pioneer in developing innovative psychological approaches, particularly in the area of Energy Psychology. He has served on the faculties of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Antioch College. He and his wife, Donna Eden, direct the world’s largest organization teaching Energy Medicine.



Length: 18 hours 5 minutes

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