This clinical and intensive workshop entitled ‘Working With Trauma in Clinical Practice’ was conducted for a Private Counselling Agency in Cardiff in November, 2017. Using theory, case study examples and experiential work those in attendance developed a rich understanding about trauma, how it is defined, its experiential layers and how trauma is causally linked with the nature of specific types of events. Dissociated trauma, dissociated ‘memory’ and dissociative mechanisms utilised as a means of survival against overwhelm were addressed alongside how to transform the enduring imprints of trauma at somatic, emotional and cognitive levels. A ‘Trauma Therapists Toolkit’ was shared as well as important education about management, containment and the role of the therapist.

Training/Agenda items include:

  • What is Trauma?
  • The Trauma Imprint?
  • Dissociation?
  • Healing Trauma?
  • Traumatic Events and Categories.
  • Trauma defined.
  • Initial exposure to a traumatic event.
  • Dissociation.
  • The enduring imprint of traumatic experiences.
  • Longstanding effects at all levels of human experiencing to include: Somatic, Cognitive, Emotional, Meaning Making/Existential, Relational.
  • Dissociated Trauma.
  • Dissociated Memory, dissociative mechanisms and dissociated ‘memories’.
  • Trauma Inducing Activators and Implicit Memories.
  • The Trauma Therapists Toolkit.
  • Initial stages: information, management and containment.
  • The Role of the Therapist.
  • Cathartic Release.
  • Use of bridges for cathartic release and dissociated ‘memory’ retrieval.
  • Use of bridges for somatic, emotional and cognitive ‘memory’ retrieval.
  • Intrusive Images: Flashbacks.
  • Storytelling.
  • Intrusive Thoughts: Shaming Stories.
  • Identity Stories.
  • Identity stories and Gestalt techniques.
  • Perpetrator stories. 
  • New narratives, meaning making and integration.
  • Case study examples.
  • Conclusion.

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