Training: understanding and responding to complex trauma

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A contextual understanding and response to complex trauma: making visible the invisible

This two-day workshop has been designed and developed for counsellors working alongside clients with complex trauma.

The version of life that this workshop explores is one of reclaiming dignity through means of empowerment and reconnection. In this process, practitioners align with clients to help make visible what is invisible; with visibility comes awareness and with awareness comes the possibility of change.

By examining individual, relational and cultural contexts, we bring forth a version of life that helps 'make sense' of the experiences that we refer to as complex trauma.

This program reflects on alternative frameworks from which to understand complex trauma. We discuss practical approaches with the aim of equipping practitioners with skills to respond to the many manifestations of complex trauma; including negative perceptions of self, dissociation, depression, shame, self-harm and somatic issues.

The training was brilliant- one of the best I have ever attended. I loved the face-to-face element which allowed many perspectives form people in different disciplines. I still talk about this training to everyone!

- Domestic & Family Violence Caseworker
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We will make visible the invisible through the following learning outcomes:

  • Develop an understanding of the experience of complex trauma including the many presenting manifestations
  • Reflect on the Power Threat Meaning framework (Johnstone & Boyle)
  • Explore what makes complex trauma complex – what has happened to the individual by examining:
    • Intersectionality
    • Insidious trauma
    • Disrupted attachment
    • Experience of violence and abuse
    • Dynamics of sexual assault
    • Neurobiology of traumatic experience
    • Shame
  • Discuss the impacts/effects of abuse as the individual’s 'response' to violence in conjunction with an exploration of the notion of 'resistance'
  • Explore helpful perspectives from narrative therapy in addressing the individual’s experience of complex trauma
  • Further explore of narrative and meaning from the unspoken voice of the body – the somatic narrative
Duration Appropriate for Maximum participants
2 days Counsellors, social workers, psychologists working with clients with complex trauma needs 20

Wonderful, thought provoking experience. Lots of tools in tool bag. Instantly translatable to clinic. Thanks - brilliant facilitation by Chris - informative, inspirational, humour, humility.

- Participant
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