Session Topics

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Session 1: Introduction to Trauma: Processes and Development

Introduction to Trauma 

  • The Diagnosis and Treatment of Trauma-Related Disorders
  • What is Trauma and How does it effect behavior?
  • The development of PTSD in the DSM-5® as a diagnosis and its implications for assessment, diagnosis and treatment
  • How does trauma at different ages differently affect human development?
  • How do you take a trauma history?
  • The compulsion to repeat – origins and solutions.
  • Difference between disorganized attachment and traumatic stress
  • Mind and brain as products of social and cultural interactions.
  • How does trauma affect mental and physical health over the course of the human life span?
  • How does trauma change the way you perceive reality?
  • How does trauma change your physiology and your immune system?

Trauma: Processes and Development

  • How mind and brain mature in the context of caregiving systems
  • How do children process trauma?
  • How is trauma remembered in mind, body, perception and action?
  • Neuroscience and brain development
  • How the brain regulates itself
  • Mirror neuron systems and brain development
  • How children learn to regulate their arousal systems
  • The breakdown of information processing in trauma
  • Developmental psychopathology: The derailment of developmental processes & brain development due to trauma, abuse and neglect

Session 2: Early Life Trauma

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Interpersonal neurobiology 
  • Adaptations to trauma early in the life cycle
  • Loss of affect regulation
  • Chronic destructive relationships towards self and others
  • Dissociation and amnesia
  • Somatization
  • Self-blame, guilt and shame 
  • Chronic distrust and identification with the aggressor
  • Brain stem regulation: the polyvagal theory
  • Restoration of the self by focusing on the body and interpersonal rhythms: RESTORATION OF THE SELF- BY FOCUSING ON THE BODY and the role of yoga, chi, acupuncture and other traditional practices

Session 3: Neuroscience, Trauma, Memory and the Body & Trauma-specific Treatment Interventions

Neuroscience, Trauma, Memory and the Body

  • The neurobiology of traumatic stress 
  • Somatic re-experiencing of trauma-related sensations and affects that serve as engines for continuing maladaptive behaviors
  • How different brain systems are affected by trauma at different stages of development.
  • Learned helplessness and learned agency 
  • Restoring active mastery through action 
  • Broken fear and attentional systems. 
  • Loss of capacity to filter out irrelevant information. 
  • Self-awareness is the key to self-leadership.
  • Learning how to pay attention and focus on the present 

Trauma-specific Treatment Interventions

  • The role of body-oriented and neurologically-based therapies to resolve the traumatic past
  • Alternatives to drugs and talk therapy
  • EMDR 
  • Self-regulation, including yoga
  • Mindfulness 
  • Play and theatre
  • Dance, movement and sensory integration 
  • Neurofeedback

Dr. Amy Serin

Session 4: The Neuroscience of Stress

  • Efficacy research on stress interventions
  • Bilateral stimulation
  • Haptic micro-vibrations
  • The Touchpoint Solution