4 Hour Workshops

How Do You Study This? A Workshop for Emerging Researchers and Interested Others on how to Create and do Research with Complex Trauma & Dissociative Subjects. 
Martin J. Dorahy, Ph.D.
This workshop will explore the practical ‘nut and bolts’ issues in conduct research with complex dissociative participants. The first section will look at the structure of a research study, including types of methodology, the nature of a research question and considerations in planning. The next section will focus of pragmatic issues in moving from a research plan to implementing it. This section will look at research ethics and when it is required, along with considerations in the running of research with complex trauma and dissociative participants. The final section will be a space for workshop attendees to discuss their research ideas, how to move them forward (whether just an inkling idea or a well develop project awaiting initiation) and the challenges they face. This workshop is for anyone who has an interest in conducting research or is in the process on planning or running a study.

Creative Art Therapy for Therapists: Managing the Effects of Vicarious Trauma
Tally Tripp, Ph.D., MA, MSW, Barbara Sobol, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, CTT
This is an experiential workshop focused on creative approaches to combat the negative effects of countertransference and vicarious trauma on the therapist and the therapeutic relationship. In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to explore a range of art materials and techniques, creating art pieces that help us contain, understand and process responses to our clients as we engage in this difficult and important work. Please note: no previous art experience is required. We will begin with an overview of the professional literature on countertransference and vicarious trauma, describing the potentially negative effect of a client’s trauma on the therapist. We explore how, over time, our empathic engagement with clients, while deeply enriching in many respects, can also result in “profound disruptions in  our basic sense of identity world view, and spirituality” (Pearlman and Saakvitne ,1995, p. 280). Next we will describe some of the ways art making can be integrated into therapy with trauma clients and also used for personal processing by the trauma therapist. When we move into our right brain “artistic selves” for accessing and processing information, we may discover new meaning that was not available to us in our verbal left brain minds. In making art and looking at the creative process, we will experience the way art can be a  unique and powerful resource for clients and therapists alike. The presenters will provide examples of artwork created by clients and therapists for us to review that illustrate the ways we all try to manage and protect ourselves from the negative effects of trauma.

For the experiential portion of the workshop, participants will work individually and in small groups to create subjective pieces of art related to their relationship with trauma clients. A quiet space and an array of engaging materials will be provided for the inner artist in each of us to come out and “play.” Participants can expect to come away from the experience with an artistic expression that may help with managing vicarious trauma and be a reminder of a resourced self-state. We hope that this shared process of tapping into our own creativity, intuition, and right brain spontaneity will afford us a wonderful opportunity for self-care.

Military Trauma: Boot Camp for Clinicians
Captain Carla Schnitzlein, M.D.; Lora E. Peppard; Jasmine Grams, LCSW; Beth Pillsbury, LCSW
Moderator: Joan Turkus, MD

We have now been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for over eleven years, the longest war in the history of the U.S. Several million military men and women have returned and will return from this war, many requiring assessment and treatment within the military, Veterans Administration, and the private sector.  Hundreds of thousand active military and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have already been diagnosed with Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

This seminar is a “boot camp for mental health clinicians” during which they can hone and reshape their trauma-treatment skills for effective work with those exposed to war trauma. Combat trauma affects not only military men and women, but their families, co-workers, and communities as well.  And, of course, the effects of war trauma go far beyond Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; they include traumatic brain injury, depression, substance use, dissociative reactions, loss, traumatic grief, moral injury, and active suicidality, including a significant number of completed suicides.

These hours of coaching and training will enable clinicians to assess and treat the effects of combat trauma in individuals and families. The faculty members are skilled teachers, drawn from military and civilian backgrounds and representing several mental health disciplines. Each will impart specific expertise and share clinical experience with multiple, integrated treatment modalities, including a comprehensive case presentation.

Addiction and Trauma: Making the Connection
Denise U. Tordella M.A., LPC and Jan Beauregard PhD
Recent research on the treatment of chronic traumatization has awakened practitioners in the mental health and addiction fields to examine the complex interactions between addictive disorders and trauma-related challenges.  Whether the addiction is to substances or a process addiction like compulsive sexuality, we know that it impacts and alters the brain and serves as a means of affect regulation for clients who have maladaptive coping strategies as well as limited abilities to form healthy attachments.

Pathologizing the addictive behavior often replicates the pattern of abuse - it becomes the client's fault rather than a desperate attempt to maintain affect within a "window of tolerance" that has been severely compromised due to traumatic experiences. Often, sexual addiction and other addictive behaviors are adaptations to trauma. If not viewed through this lens, individuals may be at risk of being misdiagnosed, receiving misdirected treatment, being overmedicated and left with residual shame.

In this workshop, we will look at addiction as both a brain disease as well as an attachment disorder and explore the impact of this compensatory survival strategy on the clients ability to self regulate in a safe manner.  We will also examine the paradoxes embedded in the recovery process for trauma clients when we ask them to give up self medicating with alcohol, drugs or sexual behavior when it serves as a "power" they believe helps them tolerate unpleasant and overwhelming internal distress.  Principles of stage oriented trauma treatment using the structural dissociation and internal family system/ego state models will be highlighted along with newer body based treatments like Sensorimotor Psychotherapy ™ and trauma sensitive yoga as effective treatment strategies that promote the integrative capacities and empowerment of these clients.

Advances in Ego-State Therapy
Wendy Lemke, M.S., Maggie Phillips, Ph.D.
Ego-State Therapy is an innovative hypnoanalytic approach designed to treat complex posttraumatic and dissociative conditions. Developed by Dr. John Watkins, and his wife Helen Watkins, M.A., Ego-State Therapy is an efficient, effective way to heal inner conflicts, personality fragmentation, and other  issues related to past (sounded funny with two related right in a row) trauma. This workshop will present advances in EST that have emerged in the last 5-10 years and the clinical implications for treatment. Topics include: Hypnotic and nonhypnotic Innovations in accessing covert as well as more conscious states; strategies for developing inner collaboration to support improved functioning; strategic techniques to work successfully with challenging affect regulation, chronic emotional and physical pain, somatic and mind body health complaints, and complex dissociative symptoms; approaches for effective developmental and attachment repair; and ways of strengthening and integrating the personality by working with "center core" phenomena. Emphasis will include various hypnotic applications utilized within an ego state therapy framework. The presentation format provides opportunities for brief practice, live demonstration, and case consultation.

2013 PROGRAM content DETAILS


Learn where thought leaders in treatment, research and training are headed. 

Are you new to the field, or just curious? Learn face-to-face from the experts and meet new friends.

Have you been at this for a while? Come to meet old and new friends, brush up, and improve your skills.

Are you an expert?
Don’t be selfish! Come and share your knowledge! While you are at it, become a better expert.

Clinician? Learn new clinical skills and what research is bringing you.

Researcher? Learn what your colleagues are working on, how the clinicians are applying the new knowledge, and where the clinicians desperately need new knowledge.

Students and Early Career Professionals: We know that the future belongs to you. Come to a conference where you can interact with leaders who welcome you and respect your contributions to our future.

Thank you to our 30th Anniversary Conference Supporters!

McLean Hospital

Professional Books Bookstore

Taylor & Francis

The New Orleans Institute at River Oaks Hospital

The Psychiatric Institute of Washington

The Ross Institute

Timberlawn Mental Health System

Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD) Study


Future Annual Conference Dates

October 23 & 24 - Pre Conferences
October 25-27  Full Conference
Westin Long Beach
333 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90802
United States

April 16 & 17 - Pre Conferences
April 18-20 - Full Conference
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
United States