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Embodying the Unspoken Self: Working with Implicit Communication and the Body in Complex Trauma: Video Course


Speaker: Kathy Steele

Product: Video Course
Price: £135

CPD Hours: 6

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Complex developmental trauma lives on in the body as a felt sense, not just in the mind. Indeed, the mind is always embodied and the body expresses the mind. As therapists, we find that traditional therapies can be highly challenging, because these clients are often unable to formulate their experience into words and may not present with a coherent narrative. They may also be profoundly avoidant of and often disconnected from some of the most distressing body-based manifestations of trauma – constant re-experiencing of traumatic occurrences and hyperactivity of the body’s natural stress response system, for example. Therapists who are not formally trained in somatic approaches can often struggle with how to work with these embodied experiences in the body – they may find the client’s constant avoidance of the present moment disconcerting or they may attempt at focusing on emotional states, while the locus for therapy lies within the bodily manifestations.

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Full Course Information

This engaging and practical seminar with Kathy Steele will focus on somatic approaches for therapists who may not have formal training in body-based therapies. By explaining specific somatic interventions that have proven effective for complex trauma and considering both the bodies of therapist and client as rich sources of implicit communication – Kathy delves into practical methodologies with which we can work efficaciously with Complex Trauma. The seminar uses examples and case illustrations to focus not only on integrating somatic approaches with clients, but also on techniques through which we can attend to somatic experiences in ourselves.

The overall aim of the two-part seminar is to help therapists learn how to effectively work with non-verbal and / or pre-verbal traumatic experiences in clients, who cannot tell the story of what happened.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss effective ways to integrate somatic approaches and the theory of structural dissociation into therapy for complex trauma
  • Delineate at least four somatic interventions to increase regulatory and collaborative capacities in complex trauma clients
  • Employ at least five interventions that can effectively change the persistent somatic experience of highly traumatized clients
  • Describe the role of the body and nonverbal communications and processes in working with dissociative clients
  • Practice personal somatic awareness during sessions to increase the ability to utilize it effectively in therapy
  • Employ interventions to effectively resolve pre-verbal traumatic memories

About the speaker

Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been treating complex trauma, dissociation, and attachment issues since 1985. She is in private practice with Metropolitan Psychotherapy Services and is Adjunct Faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US.  Kathy is a Past President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and has also previously served on the Board of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). She has been involved with developing treatment guidelines for Dissociative Disorders and well as for Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Kathy has received a number of awards for her work, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD, an Emory University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006, and the 2011 Cornelia B. Wilbur Award for Outstanding Clinical Contributions.  She is known for her humour, compassion, respect, and depth of knowledge as a clinician and a teacher, and for her capacity to present complex issues in easily understood and clear ways using an integrative psychotherapy model that draws from both traditional and somatic approaches. She is sought as a consultant and supervisor, and as an international lecturer.

She has co-authored three books as part of the acclaimed Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology: The Haunted Self: Structural dissociation of the personality and chronic traumatization (2006, Van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele – W. W. Norton); Coping with trauma-related dissociation: Skills training for patients and therapists (2011, Boon, Steele, & Van der Hart – W. W. Norton); and most recently, Treating trauma-related dissociation: A practical, integrative approach (2017, Steele, Boon, & Van der Hart – W. W. Norton). She has also (co)authored numerous book chapters and journal articles.

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