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Fourth Biennial

International Childhood Trauma Conference

31 July – 5 August 2022
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Register today

The Program and Speakers

Hear from world class leaders and connect, interact, learn and build our community of trauma professionals.

View the complete program including speakers and session information on this page below. All times and dates are displayed in Melbourne time.

The program may change subject to speaker availability.

Four Ways
to Learn and Participate

The Program


Sunday, 31 July 2022

Conversation Hour with Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin

Break

Conversation Hour with Ed Tronick, Marilyn Davillier, Steve Porges and Sue Carter

A special opportunity to meet and mingle with other delegates and speakers.

A highly anticipated function, this event will allow you to share who you are and what you do with likeminded people. Every delegate is welcome to attend this event. Appetisers and drinks will be provided.


Monday, 1 August 2022

Facilitating Integration of an Emerging Self in Therapy and in Therapeutic Care

When children have experienced relational trauma within their family, their sense of self is likely to be permeated with shame and fear. How else could they make sense of their world other than concluding that they are bad and unlovable and adults bring terror, not safety. Even worse, their sense of self is likely to be fragmented, has gaps, tends to disintegrate from one event to the next. With such a negative and fragile sense of self, it is no wonder that these children are very reluctant to become open and engaged with a new relational world, no matter how affirming and accepting that world is.

We will be presenting how their brains have developed to avoid new relationships and new learning and how deficiencies in their neurological development make it very difficult for them to trust enough to take advantage of relationships being offered by the various professionals and caregivers in their lives. Mistrust leads them to reject those who want to care for them, and when these rejections are intense and frequent, the best caregivers and professionals are at risk of resorting to ‘doing their job’ without the heart needed to make a difference.

We will present the needed psychological and neurological experiences that will enable these children to begin to feel safe, to accept comfort, to awaken to new possibilities of engagement and relating, while revising their sense of self and their sense of other. This is a slow process, a process of inviting reciprocal engagements that reduce the child’s defensiveness and invite him to become engaged, moment to moment, in ways that enable him to discover new meanings—meanings of comfort and joy, healing and thriving. Along with describing an overview of the psychological and neurological theory and research, the presenters will include stories and videos to facilitate a deeper experience of this process.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Impact of Developmental Trauma on Sensory Integration and Practical Tools Supporting Regulation and Resilience

Sensory approaches are often used with individuals with developmental trauma with the intention of fostering safety, development, self-awareness, and self-regulation as part of the healing process. All of these skills are foundational to the ability to adapt, relate, learn and participate in meaningful roles and activities.

The increased spotlight on sensory supportive approaches, as part of trauma and attachment frameworks, has led to the recognition of the need for additional training in order to offer sensory supportive approaches in a skilled and responsible manner. In order to do so, it is necessary to understand how the nervous system develops, including the overall structure and function of the sensory and motor systems, and the potential impact of developmental trauma.

Further, while many trauma and attachment-related therapeutic approaches emphasize the role of the autonomic nervous system and self-regulation, this is only one part of the nervous system and its overall capacity. Understanding more about the complexity of the nervous system and the impact of developmental trauma enhances the ability to intentionally and more skillfully identify and implement sensory supportive approaches as part of one’s clinical reasoning and practice. Research advancements as well as a variety of practical sensory supportive tools fostering development, regulation, and resilience will be explored.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Finding Solid Ground Program: A Promising Program for Helping Stabilise Highly Dissociative Individuals

Traumatized individuals who struggle with severe dissociation are challenging to treat, yet they are excluded from treatment studies, so little evidence exists about beneficial treatment approaches. The TOP DD Network Study assesses a web-based educational program for traumatized individuals who are highly dissociative that has shown promise. This program, called the Finding Solid Ground program, aims to enhance dissociative individuals’ ability to 1. understand, accept, and manage their emotions and trauma-based symptoms; and 2. gradually improve their ability to maintain their safety while enhancing self-compassion. It also aims to teach therapists a conceptualization of these patients’ symptoms and unsafe behaviors, as well as interventions that assist in stabilizing them.

In this master class, Dr. Brand will present the Finding Solid Ground program and its model for stabilizing patients. She will review the research that indicates that this program, in conjunction with individual psychotherapy, is associated with reduced symptoms, improved safety, and enhanced emotion regulation. In the afternoon program, Dr. Brand will discuss and demonstrate some of the basic stabilization techniques taught in the program. She will discuss common roadblocks that highly dissociative patients may present including phobic reactions of their emotions, bodies, sensations, and, in some cases, dissociated self-states. Through role-plays and discussion, Dr. Brand will demonstrate how to work with severely dissociative clients to gradually help them develop self-understanding and acceptance so they can tolerate feeling, knowing and experiencing disowned aspects of themselves.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the Finding Solid Ground educational program for dissociative patients

2. Discuss the findings of the TOP DD Network study program

3. Demonstrate two ways of approaching clients who are resistant to letting go of unsafe behavior.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

 

First Nations Ways of Healing Trauma and the Connections with Neuroscience - A Talking Circle

This masterclass is unique combination of leading First Nations practitioners and researchers from around the globe. It is the first time that such a line-up has been assembled. It will be chaired by Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson from Australia.

The speakers include: Joe Williams (Australia), Cindy Blackstock (Canada), Gavin Morris (Australia), Alayne Hall (New Zealand), Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (South Africa), Lewis Mehl-Madronna (USA), Professor Judy Atkinson (Australia) and Glenda Kickett (AUS).

In the morning, each speaker will present their insights about traditional cultural ways of healing from trauma. They will explore how their experience of working with First Nations individuals and communities contributes to a much larger narratives about pain, dispossession, colonization, loss, connection and transformation.

In the afternoon, the panel will form a Yarning Circle and reflect on the challenges facing First Nations children, families and communities around the world. This will be a participatory opportunity to collectively discuss and explore shared intent and purpose with delegates.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Brain-Changing Strategies to Reverse Trauma's Effects and Repair Attachment Ruptures

Maggie is passionate about sharing her psychophysiological blueprint to develop calmer, kinder and healthier kids and families. Her Masterclass pivots on “the how” of reducing the effects of childhood trauma and toxic stress. Using a heart-centered approach, she inspires us to take a crucial leap forward in untangling the roots of our global mental health crisis. Her unique “Resilience Roadmap” combines neuroscience with principles of secure attachment, Somatic Experiencing trauma healing, and embodied mindfulness. Maggie’s trauma expertise informs the concepts and activities she will introduce. She shows how children, teens and their adults can develop skillfulness in regulating their emotions so that homes and classrooms become a place of cooperation, learning and joy. Maggie’s Model gives kids daily practice in developing both interoceptive and social-emotional intelligence. Everyone invested in building a better world has the opportunity to learn this practical approach to transform communities and classrooms into safe havens. Research shows that trauma responsiveness not only leads to happier kids who are less vulnerable to addiction, suicide and health problems, but gives a boost to their academic success, as well. Maggie stands on the platform that social-emotional well-being must become a priority if we are to turn the tide and reverse the ill effects of trauma on families and society. Recently, “The Leader in ME” program (FranklinCoveyEducation) has adopted one of the practices from her latest book, Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools: A Heart-Centered Movement for Wiring Well-Being, when training supervising teachers to be leaders in education so they can help students become leaders in their own lives. Maggie will share this brief experiential exercise, as well as, presenting slides, short videos and a few activities that are user-friendly in any setting.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Science of Psychotherapy

The focus of this masterclass will be an exploration of the scientific findings, principles, and theories underlying the practice of psychotherapy. Central scientific perspectives considered will include the social and cognitive neurosciences, evolution, epigenetics, social psychology, neuroplasticity and attachment. The goal of this masterclass will be for participants to have a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of psychotherapy and to be able to integrate a scientific understanding into their decisions about case conceptualization, diagnosis and treatment.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.


Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Welcome

The Executive Brains

This talk will explore a newer model of executive functioning based on an ensemble of neural networks which contribute to affect-regulation, problem-solving and social relationships. This neurodynamic model addresses many of the shortcoming of the traditional top-down model attributed to the prefrontal cortex alone. The application of this model to psychotherapy, education and coaching will be described and discussed.

 

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

TBD

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Morning Tea

How the vagus and oxytocin evolved to functionally form the basis of humanity: A marriage of love and trust

Through the lens of evolution, sociality emerged in mammals as a product of modifications of ancient foundational neurobiological survival circuits.  This process required modifying circuits initially dedicated for defense and enable two sequential biobehavioral steps to enable trust, the basis of sociality, to occur: 1) detection of cues of safety in others, 2) downregulation of threat reactions. This talk will discuss how two interdependent neurobiological systems (i.e., vagal and oxytocin) have evolved to synergistically support sociality and homeostatic functions (health, growth, and restoration).

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Spirit Bear's Guide to Reconciliation: Engaging children in social justice

In First Nations cultures, bears often represent family and so it is proper that Spirit Bear, a symbol of children’s reconciliation work, guides us through practical and uplifting strategies to engage children of all diversities in addressing contemporary injustices experienced by Indigenous children. Embedded in approaches that promote love, respect, critical thinking and child agency, we facilitate children’s direct access to elected and judicial decision-makers in international and domestic fora. Examples of how children’s advocacy has had a direct impact on Canadian public policy are discussed.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Empowerment and Recovery for Trauma Survivors

Trauma destroys the social systems of care, protection, and meaning that support human life. The essential features of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others. The recovery process, therefore, is based on empowerment of the survivor and restoration of relationships. This lecture will describe the principles upon which a collaborative therapeutic alliance may be established and outline a three-staged approach to the treatment of trauma survivors. The complementary roles of bio-behavioral treatments, individual psychotherapy, self-help, and social action will be discussed and illustrated with case examples.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

A Heart-Centered Roadmap for Healthier Kids and Safer Communities

In her keynote address, Maggie will inspire us to build systems within families, community agencies and schools focused on two equally important trajectories that make up her “Resilience Roadmap”. Both paths relieve symptoms of trauma and build capacity to handle stress. Both involve experiences that directly nurture the nervous system. One pathway supports psychophysiological maturation and is a must for children who have suffered an unrepaired attachment disruption. Caregivers, mental health staff and educators are taught to incorporate the “Eight Essentials of Healthy Attachment”. The other route provides daily experiential opportunities for children from 3 to 103 years old to develop interoceptive or sensory awareness tracking skills which build the brain/body circuitry for grounding, internal locus of control, social-emotional intelligence, joy and well-being. Whether children have had obvious egregious traumatic events or their symptoms and challenges are of mysterious origin, giving children the opportunity to feel whole means growing the sensory-motor and autonomic nervous system which is foundational to mental stability. Yet, the hierarchical nature of whole brain development is often ignored in counseling settings and in schools. Maggie’s Model changes that omission by adding the underlying framework by which to repair the earliest ruptures and developmental deficits no matter the setting.

 

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

How Do I Know I’m Me? What Do Numinous Experiences Have To Do With Trauma and Child Development?

Numinous experiences are a category of human experience that in children commonly inspire awe, cause wonderment, prompt deep questioning, and bring awareness to the interconnectedness of all things. Through clinical material, this lecture discusses the domains of numinous experience in children and asserts that childhood trauma compromises, and perhaps even negates, these essential experiences of the self, the very experiences that lead to the development of our most basic human yearnings for connection, meaning, purpose, and contribution.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation

The relationship between trauma and dissociation has been accounted for by two conflicting models. In the Trauma Model of dissociation, dissociation has been conceptualized as a response to traumatic stress and/or severe psychological adversity. In the Fantasy Model of dissociation, theorists argue that dissociative individuals are prone to fantasy and suggestibility, thereby creating false memories of trauma and that some individuals falsely develop the belief that they have dissociative identity disorder; this is the “Fantasy Model” theory of dissociation. It is important that mental health professionals and researchers understand this debate and can speak knowledgeably about relevant research. Bethany Brand will present an overview of the research related to this debate. Individuals with dissociative identity disorder are not more prone to false memories nor more suggestible than other groups. Overall, dissociation is not highly associated with suggestibility, nor is there evidence of greater inaccuracy of recovered memories of trauma compared to continuously remembered memories. In summary, research shows that there is strong support for the hypothesis that trauma causes dissociation and complex dissociative disorders.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Neurosomatic Ways We Make Meaning About Our Sense of Self in the World

I believe we typically have misconstrued the nature of meaning and the processes making meaning in deep ways that limit our understanding of how humans function. Based on my research on infant development and how infants and young children make meaning of themselves in the world I will discuss meaning making as a neurosomatic biopsychological process in which different systems (epigenetic, genetic, autonomic, HPA) make different kinds of meaning. The talk will be illustrated with data and video tapes from my laboratory.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Lunch

The Emerging Self: Psychological and Neurobiological Origins

In the first year of life, the child’s way of making sense of himself is tightly linked to what it feels like to be in the eyes, voice, and touch of his caregiver. The child exposed to poor care develops a mistrustful stance toward others rather than a sense of basic trust. The infant’s emergent sense of self is fragmented and poorly developed, rooted in feelings of being devalued rather than unconditionally loved and a source of delight to his parents. Recently neuroscientists have learned about a brain circuitry they call the Default Mode Network or DMN, a brain system dedicated to the process of self-relevant thinking. It appears that we may use the DMN for revising our sense of self through integrating experiences that carry “news of a difference”. These experiences, primarily of safe, synchronized, reciprocal relationships facilitate the development of a self that includes a core sense of unconditional worth and ‘loveability’.

Jon Baylin and Dan Hughes will present how attachment-focused therapy, with the consistently compassionate eyes and rhythmic voices of the parent and therapist the child will begin to form new stories of self. By first buffering the child’s defense system, the therapist and parent then help the child to feel safe enough to go into the DMN, to update old memories of self and others and ultimately revise the core story of “who I am” and what I’m worth. Within these stories, the child is able to integrate the many conflictual experiences of his past, reduce his pervasive sense of shame and fear, discover hope, develop resiliency, and begin to thrive.

Spirit Bear's Guide to Reconciliation: Engaging children in social justice

In First Nations cultures, bears often represent family and so it is proper that Spirit Bear, a symbol of children’s reconciliation work, guides us through practical and uplifting strategies to engage children of all diversities in addressing contemporary injustices experienced by Indigenous children. Embedded in approaches that promote love, respect, critical thinking and child agency, we facilitate children’s direct access to elected and judicial decision-makers in international and domestic fora. Examples of how children’s advocacy has had a direct impact on Canadian public policy are discussed.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Developmental Trauma & Sensory Integration: Where Have We Been and Where are We Going?

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Self-Regulation, Co-Regulation, Exploration, and Restoration: How Movement, Sound, Storytelling, and Silence Support Recovery in Traumatized Children

This presentation explores and explains the four components of expressive and somatosensory therapy with traumatized children and adolescents with chronic trauma. It centralizes expressive arts approaches to establish self-regulation and co-regulation, emphasizing healthy synchrony, rhythm, grounding, and resourcing as key practices. Building and supporting a “Circle of Capacity” is presented as a foundation for expanding young people’s abilities to internalize a sense of safety, exploration, and ultimately, experiences of mastery, self-efficacy, agency, play, curiosity, joy, and empathy.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Pretend You Feeded Me: The Multiple Neurosomatic Levels of Dyadic Meaning Making

In this videotape case presentation Marilyn Davillier, LCSW and Ed Tronick, PhD will examine a family system whose traumatic compromises were many, deep and multigenerational. The case material will address the therapeutic implications of the meaning making processes between a four-year old child and her adoptive grandmother during dyadic play therapy as seen through a neurosomatic meaning making lens.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation

The relationship between trauma and dissociation has been accounted for by two conflicting models. In the Trauma Model of dissociation, dissociation has been conceptualized as a response to traumatic stress and/or severe psychological adversity. In the Fantasy Model of dissociation, theorists argue that dissociative individuals are prone to fantasy and suggestibility, thereby creating false memories of trauma and that some individuals falsely develop the belief that they have dissociative identity disorder; this is the “Fantasy Model” theory of dissociation. It is important that mental health professionals and researchers understand this debate and can speak knowledgeably about relevant research. Bethany Brand will present an overview of the research related to this debate. Individuals with dissociative identity disorder are not more prone to false memories nor more suggestible than other groups. Overall, dissociation is not highly associated with suggestibility, nor is there evidence of greater inaccuracy of recovered memories of trauma compared to continuously remembered memories. In summary, research shows that there is strong support for the hypothesis that trauma causes dissociation and complex dissociative disorders.

 

The Importance of Getting Angry

For a number of reasons, psychotherapy has moved away from an understanding, acceptance and incorporation of anger into treatment. Anger has been seen as something to tamed and managed as opposed to being positively leveraged for change and growth. In this presentation the case will be made that the expression of anger is intimately connected with our assertiveness, personal power and the creation of appropriate social boundaries. These are all essential ingredients for healing shame, trauma and many dysfunctional relationships.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Afternoon Tea

A Heart-Centered Roadmap for Healthier Kids and Safer Communities

In her keynote address, Maggie will inspire us to build systems within families, community agencies and schools focused on two equally important trajectories that make up her “Resilience Roadmap”. Both paths relieve symptoms of trauma and build capacity to handle stress. Both involve experiences that directly nurture the nervous system. One pathway supports psychophysiological maturation and is a must for children who have suffered an unrepaired attachment disruption. Caregivers, mental health staff and educators are taught to incorporate the “Eight Essentials of Healthy Attachment”. The other route provides daily experiential opportunities for children from 3 to 103 years old to develop interoceptive or sensory awareness tracking skills which build the brain/body circuitry for grounding, internal locus of control, social-emotional intelligence, joy and well-being. Whether children have had obvious egregious traumatic events or their symptoms and challenges are of mysterious origin, giving children the opportunity to feel whole means growing the sensory-motor and autonomic nervous system which is foundational to mental stability. Yet, the hierarchical nature of whole brain development is often ignored in counseling settings and in schools. Maggie’s Model changes that omission by adding the underlying framework by which to repair the earliest ruptures and developmental deficits no matter the setting.

 

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Importance of Getting Angry

For a number of reasons, psychotherapy has moved away from an understanding, acceptance and incorporation of anger into treatment. Anger has been seen as something to tamed and managed as opposed to being positively leveraged for change and growth. In this presentation the case will be made that the expression of anger is intimately connected with our assertiveness, personal power and the creation of appropriate social boundaries. These are all essential ingredients for healing shame, trauma and many dysfunctional relationships.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

We-Ali: Fire and Water - Anger and Grief. Indigenous Healing is Communal

In conversation, Judy Atkinson and Gavin Morris will discuss the deep listening – educaring approach used by them both – “Dadirri – a special quality a unique gift of the Aboriginal people is inner deep listening and quiet still awareness”.

They will outline the research methodology which is also an Indigenous Therapeutic or Healing Practice (to know the other first we must know the self). But healing happens in relationships. In the Truth-Telling which was fundamental to their research and subsequent healing work, relationships formed. Judy’s resulted in the establishment of We Al-li – we all. Acknowledging the words of Bernard Narakobi – welcome to the university the ancient timeless university of Melanesia, the Village where courses are offer in living, and in speaking to the concept of the Ancient University, grounded both in Judy’s work in Aboriginal Australia and in Papua New Guinea, and Gavin’s work in Nauiyu – Daly River NT, truth telling can be painful and courageous. More importantly however their separate and interlinking processes opens doors for conversations about the Ancient Universities of Indigenous cultures and healing practices.

This is supported by the establishment of the College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices (CATSIHP) within the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Their conversation will outline the diverse Indigenous Healing Practices as critical to generational recovery from colonial trauma.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Developmental Trauma & Sensory Integration: Where Have We Been and Where are We Going?

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The lived body: Exploring the transformation from complex trauma to complex disease

Anna Luise Kirkengen and Dr Johanna Lynch are General Practitioners (from Norway and Australia) who became researchers in response to witnessing the impact of traumatic life stories on health in their clinical work. In this keynote presentation, they will focus on ways that lived violations are inscribed into the body and discuss the central questions: How does life experience inform the whole person’s body? How is complex trauma transformed into complex disease presentations? They will also explore the way that current medical theories of causation may actually create barriers to seeing the impact of lived experience on health.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Self-Regulation, Co-Regulation, Exploration, and Restoration: How Movement, Sound, Storytelling, and Silence Support Recovery in Traumatized Children

This presentation explores and explains the four components of expressive and somatosensory therapy with traumatized children and adolescents with chronic trauma. It centralizes expressive arts approaches to establish self-regulation and co-regulation, emphasizing healthy synchrony, rhythm, grounding, and resourcing as key practices. Building and supporting a “Circle of Capacity” is presented as a foundation for expanding young people’s abilities to internalize a sense of safety, exploration, and ultimately, experiences of mastery, self-efficacy, agency, play, curiosity, joy, and empathy.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Emerging Self: Psychological and Neurobiological Origins

In the first year of life, the child’s way of making sense of himself is tightly linked to what it feels like to be in the eyes, voice, and touch of his caregiver. The child exposed to poor care develops a mistrustful stance toward others rather than a sense of basic trust. The infant’s emergent sense of self is fragmented and poorly developed, rooted in feelings of being devalued rather than unconditionally loved and a source of delight to his parents. Recently neuroscientists have learned about a brain circuitry they call the Default Mode Network or DMN, a brain system dedicated to the process of self-relevant thinking. It appears that we may use the DMN for revising our sense of self through integrating experiences that carry “news of a difference”. These experiences, primarily of safe, synchronized, reciprocal relationships facilitate the development of a self that includes a core sense of unconditional worth and ‘loveability’.

Jon Baylin and Dan Hughes will present how attachment-focused therapy, with the consistently compassionate eyes and rhythmic voices of the parent and therapist the child will begin to form new stories of self. By first buffering the child’s defense system, the therapist and parent then help the child to feel safe enough to go into the DMN, to update old memories of self and others and ultimately revise the core story of “who I am” and what I’m worth. Within these stories, the child is able to integrate the many conflictual experiences of his past, reduce his pervasive sense of shame and fear, discover hope, develop resiliency, and begin to thrive.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.


Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Welcome

Embedded and Integrated Trauma Education and Training: A Call to Action

Trauma is a common human experience, and most people are likely to have one or more exposures over the lifespan. The past decade has seen an increase in the number and different types of traumatic events and experiences, along with a growing societal awareness of trauma and its potential for dire consequences. Research indicates that, for a significant number of victims and survivors, the post traumatic after effects can be high impactful and affect many life spheres and that symptoms can emerge (or re-emerge) at every developmental stage. The need for professional services has greatly expanded due to this proliferation and increased public awareness and is global. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a huge disparity between the need for services and the ability of professionals to adequately meet them, particularly from a position of knowledge and competence. This in turn has led to additional distress (often identified as second injury) to the primary victim and associated others and, in many cases, revictimisation and retraumatisation, a shameful situation that needs to be rectified.

The multidisciplinary field of traumatic stress studies emerged over the course of the past 50 years, creating a large and robust body of research and clinical data about different types of trauma, their consequences, and treatment approaches. Despite this, the information has not been incorporated or embedded into the core curricula of the major service professions (medical, mental health, legal, criminal justice, corrections, religious). Instead, it has largely been conveyed in continuing education offerings and in conferences such as this one. A Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) initiative developed by survivor/consumers for individual practitioners and organisations has been widely taught and influential in some locales, but its application has been spotty and its incorporation and permanency questionable. We can conclude these efforts are not enough as they typically don’t take place within an organised course of learning that is sequenced to promote graduated skill development with supervised application and practice. As such, they remain adjunctive and are not legitimised as important.

In this plenary, the presenter makes the case for the need for wholesale incorporation of information about trauma (general and more specialised) into professional curricula to educate and prepare practitioners for more informed services to traumatised individuals and groups among the populations they serve. Recent efforts at identifying trauma competencies for different levels of expertise have been developed by the American Psychological Association, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and the Council of Social Work Education. These form the foundation for a curriculum to build upon but, thus far, they have not been widely applied. We will review barriers to curricular inclusion and the costs of non-inclusion to clients/patients but also to the practitioners themselves who might experience secondary or vicarious trauma. The professions are oriented towards helping and “doing no harm”. These important goals can be greatly supported by specialised education and training to promote services honed by knowledge and specialised skills.

 

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Beyond the Negotiating Table

First Nations have often relied on reports and negotiating tables to address longstanding injustices facing First Nations children, youth, and families with mediocre results. This presentation describes how cultural and peaceful evidence-based advocacy was a game changer for First Nations children resulting in over $40 billion in new services. Pragmatic advocacy approaches can be ported to other campaigns.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Morning Tea

Concurrent Paper Presentations

Lunch

Concurrent Paper Presentations

Afternoon Tea

Facilitator: Janise Mitchell, Australian Childhood Foundation
Panel:  Maggie Kline, Bethany Brand, Ruth Lanius, Cindy Blackstock, Tina Champagne, Johanna Lynch, Caroline Welch, Cathy Malchiodi, Judy Atkinson, Lisa Cherry, Roby Abeles, Glenda Kickett and Rosie Batty.

This special networking session provides you with an opportunity to make connections with other delegates and speakers.

A highly anticipated function, this event will allow you to share who you are and what you do with likeminded people. Every delegate is welcome to attend this event. Appetisers and drinks will be provided.


Thursday, 4 August 2022

Welcome

Compassion and its evolutionary origins

Compassion has its roots in the evolution of humanity. It serves functions and purpose of relationships and collective acts of meaning making. In the opening plenary, I explore how compassion is a deep and rich resource to our work and how it has been incorporated into standard psychotherapies within compassion focused therapy, especially as it relates to trauma.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

 

The Hijacked Self: Toward Feeling Alive Without Threat

The compulsion to repeat the past through traumatic re-enactments or engaging in reckless behaviours is frequently one of the few ways that allows traumatised individuals to ‘feel alive’. It is well known that individuals with PTSD – particularly when associated with developmental trauma – often report a sense of self that does not exist entirely, illustrated eloquently through statements, such as, “I do not know who I am,” or, “I feel like I have stopped existing.” Research suggests that these experiences may relate, in part, to the reduced functional connectivity of the default mode network, a brain network critical to the experience of a sense of self, observed during rest among individuals with PTSD. Critically, however, enhanced default mode network connectivity has recently been observed when individuals with PTSD are triggered by reminders of their trauma, suggesting that the sense of self may ‘come alive’ under conditions of threat and terror. It is therefore possible that some individuals with PTSD may seek situations involving threat or terror in order to experience of a semblance of a sense of self and a related sense of agency, which may be lacking in the absence of extreme hyperarousal states. This keynote will focus on how we can work clinically to help traumatized individuals ‘feel alive’ without engaging in traumatic re-enactments and/or reckless behaviour.

1) To discuss how to approach and overcome traumatic re-enactments and reckless behaviour in trauma therapy.
2) To describe a potential neurobiological mechanism underlying traumatic re-enactments and reckless behaviour in an attempt to reduce shame frequently associated with such behaviours.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Morning Tea

The origins and development of compassion focused therapy.

How does compassion emerge from mammalian caring behaviour? How does mammalian caring behaviour become compassion when directed by new brain competencies? I will look at how compassion has to partly regulate other motivational system such as competitiveness. I will explore the role of attachment theory in understanding the functions and forms of the compassionate mind.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

“Attach Here”: Examining the role of attachment in the etiology and treatment of sexual behavior problems

Neurodevelopmental research has highlighted the important role that early attachment experiences play in facilitating neurological and emotional health. Attachment disruptions can contribute to a range of developmental and behavioral difficulties including sexual behavior problems. This talk examines the central role that individual experiences of attachment relationships can play in understanding and treating sexual behavior problems. We will also discuss an approach to addressing attachment issues from a developmental context that seeks to enhance specific attachment related skills and promote resiliency.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Presence and its relevance to well-being

Caroline will offer the results from her interviews of over 100 women from a range of professional backgrounds, cultures, and ages, exploring how mindfulness or Presence can infuse our lives through her framework of the 3 Ps of Purpose, Pivoting and Pacing. She will also provide a summary of the scientifically established benefits of mindfulness for our well-being.

Presence is being aware of our moment to moment experience, without being carried away by judgment, and with compassion for ourselves and others. Presence provides the foundation for finding our life’s Purpose which arises out of what’s personally significant for us, providing direction and meaning in our lives. Pivoting gives us the courage to make changes when that would be helpful to us personally or professionally, even in the face of our tendencies to resist change, avoid uncertainty and fear failure. Pacing gives us the freedom of knowing that we need not do it all, all at once.

Presence and the 3 Ps can provide resilience in our lives and get us through the most difficult of days. Presence supports our living with Purpose, Pivoting when we need to, and Pacing ourselves in a healthful manner.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Polyvagal Theory: The Science of Safety

Contemporary strategies for health and wellbeing fail our biological needs by not acknowledging that feelings of safety emerge from internal physiological states regulated by the autonomic nervous system.  By respecting our need to feel safe as a biological response, we respect our phylogenetic heritage and elevate sociality as a neuromodulator that functionally provides the scientific validation for a societal focus on promoting opportunities to experience feelings of safety and co-regulation.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Empowerment and Recovery for Trauma Survivors

Trauma destroys the social systems of care, protection, and meaning that support human life. The essential features of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others. The recovery process, therefore, is based on empowerment of the survivor and restoration of relationships. This lecture will describe the principles upon which a collaborative therapeutic alliance may be established and outline a three-staged approach to the treatment of trauma survivors. The complementary roles of bio-behavioral treatments, individual psychotherapy, self-help, and social action will be discussed and illustrated with case examples.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Traumatic Dissociation, Emotion Dysregulation, and the Loss of Self: Toward a Pathway of Recovery

Four dimensions of consciousness, time, thought, body, and emotion often show drastic alteration as the result of traumatic experience. Although these alterations in consciousness may be adaptive during traumatic events, when sustained following traumatic exposure, tremendous hardship may occur. How do we recognize such trauma-related alterations in consciousness? What predicts the occurrence of altered states of consciousness? Does the emergence of the self arise through the integrated experience of these four dimensions of consciousness? This lecture will describe how we can intervene effectively to overcome such altered states of consciousness and how are those changes are represented in mind, brain, and body.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

 

Innovations in Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: The PRISM Principles and Their Application

Over the past decade, understanding of what constitutes complex trauma and what differentiates it from more time-limited impersonal forms of trauma has grown significantly. Complex trauma is now recognised as the most common type of trauma that can occur at any point across the lifespan with a wide range of developmental and post-traumatic consequences. A history of complex trauma is prevalent in many clients who seek mental health treatment, making it important for clinicians to be able to recognise symptoms and to offer relevant evidence-based and supported treatment and medication, if indicated.

This presentation begins with an overview of advances in defining and understanding complex trauma and its consequences followed by discussion of major diagnostic developments. Complex PTSD (CPTSD) is now included as a freestanding diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases-11 of the World Health Organization.

The primary focus of the presentation is the treatment of CPTSD, with an emphasis on recent treatment guidance and innovations. The presenter (with co-author Dr. Julian Ford) has recently developed a set of principles for CPTSD treatment entitled PRISM referring to trauma-informed and responsive treatment that is Personalised, Relational, Integrative, Sequenced/Strategic, and Multi-Modal/Multi-Dimensional as an update and supplement to the now classic Sequenced Relationship-Based Model outlined in their previous books. The PRISM principles will be presented in detail as they are intended to guide the clinician in the treatment of a diversity of clients, each of whom have unique histories, contexts, and presentations to address. It will be integrated with and applied within the phases of the sequenced model. Current best practices in the treatment of complex traumatic stress disorders will be presented. We will also address common transference and countertransference issues and their management, as well as the impact of this work on the therapy.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

1. Describe differences between complex and other types of traumatic stressors.
2. Identify common developmental and post-traumatic consequences of complex trauma exposure.
3. Describe the criteria for Complex PTSD in the ICD-11.
4. Describe the primary elements of the PRISM acronym integrates with the Sequenced, Relationship-based Model.
5. Identify several best practices for the treatment of CPTSD.
6. Identify several evidence-based treatments for PTSD symptoms and where they can be best applied in the sequenced treatment model.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Lunch

The Messy Process of Engagement With Others and Its Positive Effects

I will argue that the meaning made by infants and adults is made up of multiple forms of meaning that are at best messily put together into a more or less coherent sense of themselves – what I call a state of consciousness. Moreover, that a primary way that meanings get made or changed is when individuals and others – parents and children, interventionist and client – bring together their individual states of consciousness to form dyadic states of consciousness. It will be illustrated with video tapes of infants engaging with objects and people, including the still-face in young infants and toddlers, and recent studies of stress and memory. This presentation aims to

– understand how infants are makers of meaning about themselves in relation to the world in typical and pathological settings;
– identify different levels of processes – emotions and physiology – that make meaning for the infant and child;
– understand how multiple meaning levels suggest changes in conceptualizations of transference and state of the patient and therapist.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The Heroic Journey

The focus of this talk will be to explore the application of The Hero’s Journey to our life and work. The Hero’s Journey, or the Myth of the Hero, is a narrative journey describing the transition from adolescence to adulthood found in cultures throughout the world. It is also at the core of much of the literature and cinema we love. I will make the case for the co-evolution of our social brains and this narrative structure. We will also explore the application of The Hero’s Journey to both the process of psychotherapy and ourselves as we struggle to grow, face life’s challenges, and develop into our authentic and true selves.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Traumatic Dissociation, Emotion Dysregulation, and the Loss of Self: Toward a Pathway of Recovery

Four dimensions of consciousness, time, thought, body, and emotion often show drastic alteration as the result of traumatic experience. Although these alterations in consciousness may be adaptive during traumatic events, when sustained following traumatic exposure, tremendous hardship may occur. How do we recognize such trauma-related alterations in consciousness? What predicts the occurrence of altered states of consciousness? Does the emergence of the self arise through the integrated experience of these four dimensions of consciousness? This lecture will describe how we can intervene effectively to overcome such altered states of consciousness and how are those changes are represented in mind, brain, and body.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

“Attach Here”: Examining the role of attachment in the etiology and treatment of sexual behavior problems.

Neurodevelopmental research has highlighted the important role that early attachment experiences play in facilitating neurological and emotional health. Attachment disruptions can contribute to a range of developmental and behavioral difficulties including sexual behavior problems. This talk examines the central role that individual experiences of attachment relationships can play in understanding and treating sexual behavior problems. We will also discuss an approach to addressing attachment issues from a developmental context that seeks to enhance specific attachment related skills and promote resiliency.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

The origins and development of compassion focused therapy.

How does compassion emerge from mammalian caring behaviour? How does mammalian caring behaviour become compassion when directed by new brain competencies? I will look at how compassion has to partly regulate other motivational system such as competitiveness. I will explore the role of attachment theory in understanding the functions and forms of the compassionate mind.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Presence and its relevance to well-being

Caroline will offer the results from her interviews of over 100 women from a range of professional backgrounds, cultures, and ages, exploring how mindfulness or Presence can infuse our lives through her framework of the 3 Ps of Purpose, Pivoting and Pacing. She will also provide a summary of the scientifically established benefits of mindfulness for our well-being.

Presence is being aware of our moment to moment experience, without being carried away by judgment, and with compassion for ourselves and others. Presence provides the foundation for finding our life’s Purpose which arises out of what’s personally significant for us, providing direction and meaning in our lives. Pivoting gives us the courage to make changes when that would be helpful to us personally or professionally, even in the face of our tendencies to resist change, avoid uncertainty and fear failure. Pacing gives us the freedom of knowing that we need not do it all, all at once.

Presence and the 3 Ps can provide resilience in our lives and get us through the most difficult of days. Presence supports our living with Purpose, Pivoting when we need to, and Pacing ourselves in a healthful manner.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

How the vagus and oxytocin evolved to functionally form the basis of humanity: A marriage of love and trust

Through the lens of evolution, sociality emerged in mammals as a product of modifications of ancient foundational neurobiological survival circuits.  This process required modifying circuits initially dedicated for defense and enable two sequential biobehavioral steps to enable trust, the basis of sociality, to occur: 1) detection of cues of safety in others, 2) downregulation of threat reactions. This talk will discuss how two interdependent neurobiological systems (i.e., vagal and oxytocin) have evolved to synergistically support sociality and homeostatic functions (health, growth, and restoration).

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Afternoon Tea

In this keynote address we will explore the consilient findings of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and how current empirical research can be synthesized in understanding the impact of trauma on the mind, the embodied brain, and relationships and how psychotherapy can harness these insights to enhance psychotherapeutic interventions. Recent findings in the field of neuroscience can be combined with our understanding of consciousness, cognition, and culture to see how the lack of belonging in various forms of developmental trauma—from abuse to neglect—involve the isolation of the individual from a sense of connection with others. The lack of trust in such a relational field of disconnection can be exacerbated by what researchers call a violation of “epistemic trust,” the ways we turn to our attachment figures to rely on the nature of what is real and true. The research on the impacts of such developmental assaults on secure attachment reveal impediments to the growth of the brain’s interconnectedness—as see in effects on the hippocampus, the corpus callosum, the prefrontal cortex, and the connectome. Each of these integrative neural systems, while impaired in trauma, can also be healed and stimulated to grow with interventions such as mind training that involves the focus of attention, the opening of awareness, and the cultivation of compassion and kindness. The keynote will explore each of these aspects of relational and neural integration at the heart of healing.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.


Friday, 5 August 2022

Using compassion to transform trauma

This Masterclass will introduce people to the core concepts of compassion focused therapy including its origins. It will outline the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms of how compassion influences our bodies and brains work. We will then look at how we build a compassionate mind and how we can use our compassionate mind to address problems such as self-criticism and trauma.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Can We Teach These Kids to Dance: A Developmental Treatment Approach to Understanding and Treating Problematic Sexual Behavior in Youth

Children and adolescents with histories of trauma and attachment difficulties often present as the most challenging cases within the social service, mental health, and educational systems. Many of these youth have problems effectively meeting the demands of their daily lives, experiencing crisis in their homes, failure in their classrooms and disruptions in the community. Frequently, service providers and educators try to address the symptoms and behavioral issues these youth present without a context for understanding the kind of obstacles and triggers the child may be struggling to manage. Research has shown a connection between early trauma experiences, attachment difficulties and disrupted neurological development in children. The effect of these early developmental experiences can have a significant impact on specific brain functions such as emotional and behavioral regulation, language processing, and adaptive decision-making. Given that many of the youth that we treat come from backgrounds with histories of abuse, neglect, and/or family dysfunction; this research is particularly pertinent to not only how we understand sexually problematic behavior in youth but also how we come to view treatment goals and interventions. This training looks at the connections between adverse childhood events and problematic sexual behavior from a developmental perspective. We will present a treatment approach that seeks to integrate the brain based research on trauma and attachment and our understanding of “healthy” childhood development with an emphasis placed on interventions that help the child achieve developmental progress rather than those that “solely” look to find a means for stopping negative behavior.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Healing the Traumatised Self: Overcoming Challenges in Trauma Treatment

This workshop will discuss treatment challenges frequently encountered in trauma assessment and treatment from a clinical and neurobiological perspective. Practical strategies on how to deal with these difficulties will be outlined throughout the seminar through clinical case examples and role plays. Integrative therapeutic interventions aimed at restoring the self through resolution of key symptoms (dissociative flashbacks, dissociative voice hearing, out-of-body experiences, fragmentation of the self, self-mutilation, affect dysregulation, including high intensity emotional states, positive affect intolerance, and emotional numbing) will be described and demonstrated through role plays. Moreover, treatment approaches focusing on re-establishing interpersonal functioning and preventing the inter-generational transmission of trauma will be reviewed. Finally, effective means of preventing vicarious traumatization in therapists will be identified.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

There is More to Trauma Than the Trauma

Early childhood trauma impacts development in pervasive ways that go beyond  the more limited effects of later life PTSD.  It is important to consider the whole trajectory of development in trauma-focused treatment.  In this master class, these four pioneers will discuss ways to strengthen a developmental biobehavioral perspective in approaching childhood-onset trauma.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Trauma and the Adolescent Brain

The adolescent brain changes in ways that surprised scientists and clinicians alike, going through a period of massive remodeling that involves pruning down existing connections and then laying down myelin to enhance the interconnectivity of remaining networks. The ESSENCE of the changes during this important period of adolescent brain development include an Emotional Spark, Social Engagement, Novelty-seeking, and Creative Exploration. In this workshop we will explore each of these four aspects of this important period of life, the transition from childhood dependency to adult interdependency. Each of these domains has a reason for existing, a downside of vulnerability, and an upside of opportunity. When trauma is added to the individual’s early life history, or to ongoing life experiences, unique challenges exist in their development and in their treatment. We will explore the nature of neuroplasticity and the ultimate “goal” of adolescent brain development being neural integration—the linkage of differentiated regions. Differentiation is enhanced with pruning, and linkage is cultivated with myelin formation. When integration is compromised by early developmental trauma of abuse or neglect, the important pruning that arises may lead to the exposure of excessively reduced regions of regulation making this period one of increased vulnerability for the traumatized youth. Therapeutic considerations and strategies will be explored with these new understandings of trauma and adolescent brain development.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Expanding the Circle of Capacity in Children and Young People: Expressive and Somatosensory Approaches to Trauma

Traumatized children are often either in mind-body states of anxiety, worry, panic, and hyperarousal or are numb, withdrawn, fearful, collapsed, or dissociated from others and their environment. Survivors of chronic trauma may also fluctuate between these states or even experience both simultaneously. As a result, many children and young people often become alienated from their ability to experience a sense of mastery, empowerment, and self-efficacy in both body and mind. They may no longer feel the reparative moments of joy, playfulness, curiosity, and enlivenment necessary to full repair and recovery from trauma.

How do we address these powerful experiences of suffering and internalized pain that often include shame, guilt, or emotional injury? Most trauma specialists are familiar with the framework known as “window of tolerance.” But how do we help children and young people go beyond “tolerating” and replace pain and suffering with positive sensations that eliminate fear and distress? How do we help these individuals expand abilities to self-regulate and co-regulate with therapists and caregivers to repair and restore what trauma inevitably steals from mind, body, and spirit? This master course focuses on an alternative model that integrates somatosensory (sensory integration and somatic therapy) and expressive arts therapy through a “Circle of Capacity” framework (Malchiodi, 2021). How a focus on capacity supports key factors of self-regulation, co-regulation, resilience, self-compassion, enlivenment, curiosity, play, and joy is explored through conceptual frameworks, best practices, and emerging research in trauma and related fields. Dress comfortably because you will be moving, vocalizing, enacting, and making images to learn a variety of methods you can immediately apply to your work with traumatized children and youth.

The program may be changed subject to speaker availability.

Our
Speakers

Professor Judy Atkinson

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Dr Jon Baylin

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Professor Cindy Blackstock PhD

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Bethany Brand Ph.D.

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Sue Carter

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Dr Tina Champagne

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Christine A. Courtois PhD ABPP

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Dr. Lou Cozolino (USA)

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Kevin Creeden

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Marilyn Davillier

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Paul GIlbert

Paul Gilbert

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Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

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Judith Herman

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Dr Dan Hughes

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Dr Anna Luise Kirkengen

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Maggie Kline

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Ruth Lanius

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Dr. Johanna Lynch

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Cathy Malchiodi

Dr Cathy Malchiodi (USA)

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Lewis Mehl-Madrona MD PhD

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Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall

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Gavin Morris

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Dr Stephen Porges

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Dr Dan Siegel

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Ed Tronick

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Caroline Welch

Caroline Welch

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Joe Williams Speaker

Joe Williams

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**Speaker lineup may continue to change. All effort is being made to finalise the program as soon as possible.

Contact Us

Conference Organisers
ICMS Pty Ltd
PO Box 170
Hawthorn VIC 3122
P: 03 9810 0200

E: childtraumaconf@icms.com.au

Organised with ICMS Pty Ltd