Perspectives on trauma: a one day conference
Venue: The Auditorium, Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD
Schedule: 10am to 4.00pm (registration at 9.30am)
Course fee: earlybird £105 (before 25th February, £125 thereafter), including ample lunch, all refreshments, and CPD certificate.
There are a limited number of places at a 20% discount for student counsellors/psychotherapists and newly qualified therapists (2015 or 2016 graduation). Please email BTP for details. Proof of status will be required.
Session one: Tony Buckley (conference chair)
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, emphasising 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 address 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.
Session two: Miriam Taylor
The well-resourced therapist
This presentation looks at trauma from a relational field perspective. The message is about the necessity for therapist self-care – it is not a luxury but an integral part of the work. Under the umbrella term fields of mutual influence, two different dynamics are considered: the traumatised field and the shared mindful field. The presentation focuses on the resources available to the therapist and how we can increase our resilience to more comfortably bear witness without either dissociating or being pulled into trauma contagion.
The window of tolerance model, a key to trauma therapy and to building resources, is reconceptualised to include the resources available to the therapist. Mirror neuron theory is a second neurobiological lens through which the therapeutic relationship is considered. Reference is made to the therapist’s own relationship to trauma, their mission as therapists, the messiah complex and to socially sanctioned altruism and self-sacrifice, each of which can emerge in the therapeutic relational dance.
Because trauma is fundamentally experienced in the body, of particular importance for both therapist and client are body-based resources related to safety, grounding and resilience, and attention will be given to how we can use these. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their range of resources and how they might develop them further, and on the gains of the work which might include mutual healing.
Clinical examples illustrate some of the main dilemmas for the therapist, and these are interspersed with some personal reflection points, developing both the shared mindful field and somatic supports. The images that accompany the presentation include those designed to provide a sensory respite to trauma.
Session three: Dr. Valerie Sinason
Trauma and dissociation: what determines therapeutic success or failure?
At an insecure time where the need to tick boxes rather than relationships to determine an outcome, how do we evaluate treatment? Reduction in flashbacks, less self-injury, speed in feeling grounded, the capacity to maintain an activity, making a relationship? And supposing none of these change or suppose such capacities become more limited? Does this mean the client is more aware of the severity of what they faced and dissociation has gone? Or does it mean treatment has not succeeded? Hospital staff have long wryly understood the serious joke “the operation was a success but the patient died”. This is where an exact adhering to risk averse procedures can be excellently executed with no success at all. This talk aims to provide a thinking space in which ideas of success, failure, learning to live with ongoing distress, can be reviewed.
Followed by panel discussion and Q&A session
For more information and to book a place, please visit our website: http://www.brightontherapypartnership.org.uk/events/perspectives-trauma-one-day-conference/
About the host
Tony Buckley has extensive trauma experience, having managed the counselling and trauma service at Transport for London (London Underground).
Miriam Taylor is a UKCP registered Gestalt psychotherapist and supervisor who specialises in working with trauma.
Valerie Sinason, PhD, is Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies.