Course Description


This workshop will discuss treatment challenges frequently encountered in trauma treatment from a clinical and neurobiological perspective. Practical strategies on how to deal with these difficulties will also be outlined throughout the seminar. The importance of the therapeutic alliance and the effect of traumatic re-enactments on the part of both the therapist and the client will be discussed.

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 discussed. 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.

Learning Objectives:

  • To increase understanding of the vast array of symptoms and diagnoses related to developmental trauma.
  • To facilitate competence in working with severely traumatized and dissociative clients with altered states of consciousness.
  • To identify challenging moments in the treatment of severely traumatized clients with altered states of consciousness and to provide practical tips on how to master these challenges through case examples and experiential exercises.
  • To discuss how to feel competent as a trauma therapist and to avoid vicarious traumatization.

Course Details


Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialize in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich
School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 100 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally. She has recently published a book ‘Healing the traumatized self:consciousness, neuroscience, treatment’ with Paul Frewen.


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