Full Course Description

Treating Complex Trauma: Beyond Competency

Join Linda Curran, BCPC, LPC, CAACD, CCDPD, and an unbelievable panel of world-renowned trauma experts as they share their knowledge and perspectives on the nature of trauma, how it is experienced and how when left untreated continues to be re-experienced. You will learn a paradigm for understanding trauma’s far-reaching psychological and physical consequences, without which, psychotherapeutic interventions remain extremely limited, and at times harmful to our clients. This understanding of trauma and its sequelae is essential to any clinician working in the field of psychotherapy.

Program Information


Part 1

  • Biological nature of trauma
    • Triune brain
      • Reptilian brain
      • Mammalian brain (limbic system)
      • Cerebral cortex
    • Brain/body integration: understanding the brain/body feedback loop
    • Mechanisms of trauma
      • Arousal cycle/stress response
        • mobilization: sympathetic response
        • immobilization: profound primitive parasympathetic response
    • Principles informing state of the art clinical interventions
      • Defense cascade
      • Freeze response (conditioned response procedural memory)
      • Dissociative capsule (Scaer)
    • Treatment implications
  • Polyvagal Theory (Porges)
  • Long-term memory
    • Implicit memory
    • Explicit memory
  • DSM-5 trauma diagnoses
    • Single-incident PTSD
    • Acute Stress Disorder
    • PTSD subtypes
      • Dissociative subtype
      • Preschool subtype
  • Trauma Sequelae: chronology of symptom clusters post single incident PTSD
    • First set – state symptoms
    • Second set – trait symptoms
    • Third set – medical symptoms
    • Trauma symptoms characteristic of early childhood trauma (Scaer)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (Felitti)
    • Background
    • Long-term impact on individuals
    • Correlation with addiction
    • Public health implications
  • Attachment
    • Neurodevelopment (Schore)
    • Attachment essentials (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main)
    • Attachment security and strategies (Siegle, Poole Heller)
    • Developmental trauma disorder (van der Kolk)

Part 2

  • Trauma: working definition
  • Conditions resulting from trauma
    • PTS
    • Single incident PTSD
    • Complex PTSD
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • BPD
    • Stigma
    • DSM criteria
    • Developmental/attachment trauma
  • BPD and CPTSD
    • Parallels
    • Distinction
    • Diagnosis
    • DSM 5 and ICD-11 specifications
    • Distinct from PTSD (single incident)
  • Maladaptive behaviors
    • Function of addictions and self-injury in individuals with trauma
    • Treatment principles and strategies
  • Dissociation (Scaer)
    • PTSD and CPTSD: "dissociative disorders”
    • Correlation between childhood abuse and re-victimization
    • Treatment implications
  • Addiction
    • Myths
    • Nature of addiction
    • Treatment implications
    • Trauma and addiction (Maté)
    • 12-step programs and the rehabilitation industry (Dodes)
    • Rat Park (Alexander)

Part 3

  • Stage model of trauma therapy
    • Janet’s tri-phasic model of trauma therapy
    • Dual awareness (Rothschild)
    • History taking
  • Mindfulness and awareness practices
    • Mindfulness (Hopper)
      • Embodiment circuitry
      • Safely integrating mindfulness into trauma therapy
    • Mindfulness based stress reduction (MSBR) (Kabat-Zin, Rosenbaum)
      • Program breakdown
      • “In session”: body scan demonstration
    • Guided imagery (Naparstek)
      • Right hemispheric intervention
      • Applicability with traumatized clients
    • Mindfulness/bodyfulness
      • Yoga (Weintraub)
        • Pacing yoga practice for traumatized population
        • Effects of trauma on musculoskeletal system
        • Use of yoga mudras for self-soothing
        • “In session” with Amy Weintraub
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (Pederson)
    • Discussion
      • Theory and development
      • Systematic implication
      • DBT skills training
        • Mindfulness
        • Distress tolerance
        • Emotion regulation
        • Interpersonal Effectiveness
      • DBT tools
    • “In session” with Lane Pederson
  • Trauma and medication (Anderson)
    • The importance of client agency
      • “I educate; you decide”
    • Employing IFS when prescribing medications
  • Somatic experiencing (Levine)
    • “In session” with Peter Levine
    • Theory and practice
      • Somatic reenactment of trauma
      • Contradicting the sense of fear
      • Utilizing mirror neurons
      • Titration and pendulation
  • Somatic Therapy (Rothschild)
    • “In session” with Babette Rothschild
    • Theory and practice
      • Window of tolerance
      • Hypoarousal and hyperarousal
      • Distinct therapeutic interventions for two distinct states

Part 4

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (Meichenbaum)
  • Prolonged exposure (Foa)
    • Theory development
    • Applicability
  • Sensorimotor psychotherapy (Fisher)
    • Psychoeducation in trauma therapy – utilizing cognitive override
    • Resourcing clients
    • Body-oriented and somatic interventions
  • Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
    • Theory with field leaders
    • Shapiros 8-phase model
    • Clinical modifications for complex trauma
    • “In session” with Linda Curran
  • Internal family systems (Schwartz)
    • Theory and applicability
    • “In session” with Frank Anderson
    • Theory development and practice
    • “In session” with Richard Schwartz
  • Gestalt therapy
    • The quintessential trauma therapy
    • Theory and practice (Schack)
    • Beyond the empty chair technique
    • Verbal narrative vs. body narrative
    • “In session” with Mary Lou Schack
    • “In session” with David Henrich

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Other Healthcare Professionals


  1. Formulate how the mammalian arousal cycle and stress response informs current trauma treatment.
  2. Evaluate the application of the Polyvagal Theory to arousal states in clients with complex and/or developmental trauma.
  3. Employ two methods of grounding a dissociated client in session informed by the Polyvagal theory.
  4. Appraise the ACE study and apply its findings to clinical diagnosis and treatment of developmental and attachment trauma.
  5. Construct a de-pathologizing term and reframing behaviors as creative adaptations to dysfunctional environments.
  6. Determine the basics of neurodevelopment in early stages of life and theorize how attachment deficits, left unaddressed, continue to impact adults throughout the lifespan.
  7. Formulate how “attunement” is significant to human development, facilitating psychobiological systems and co-regulation between humans.
  8. Assess interventions for healing attachment-related trauma and constructing paths to earning secure attachment.
  9. Analyze the diagnostic criteria and clinical presentation of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  10. Theorize the trajectory from birth of a highly sensitive infant to an adult with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  11. Distinguish between Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD diagnoses.
  12. Appraise the diagnostic criteria and clinical presentation of Complex PTSD.
  13. Evaluate the biochemistry of self-harm and its use as a means of affect regulation.
  14. Role-play a compassionate approach to self-destructive behaviors with clients in-session.
  15. Assess the importance of setting firm boundaries in the therapeutic relationship as it relates to setting boundaries can improve treatment outcomes.
  16. Debate the current theoretical basis for addiction treatment (i.e. addiction is a choice or a disease) compared to the biopsychosocial theory of addiction.
  17. Justify support or criticism regarding current use of treatment facilities and 12-step programs for addicted populations.
  18. Evaluate the success of 12-Step programs and support groups in traumatized populations.
  19. Role-play implementation of Janet’s Tri-Phase Model of Trauma Therapy within the therapy session.
  20. Debate the value of mindfulness as an effective approach to managing triggers across populations.
  21. Perform three mindfulness practices; include any clinical modifications for use with a traumatized population.
  22. Propose how somatic interventions enable clients to extinguish conditioned responses to procedural memories.
  23. Develop an argument for AND against the use of medications with traumatized clients.
  24. Formulate an argument for the use of touch in therapy that incorporates how touch may be incorporated safely into the therapeutic process.
  25. Appraise Shapiro’s 8-Phase Model of EMDR. Define and defend the modifications made to the protocol when using EMDR with clients with complex trauma.
  26. Determine the development of “parts” (component of IFS therapy) that result from trauma and how their function can be used as a resource for clients.
  27. Assess the theory and practice of Gestalt Therapy beyond the archetypal empty chair technique that can be incorporated into trauma treatment planning.

Copyright : 03/10/2020

101 Trauma-Informed Interventions

"This is an imminently practical workbook that shows a variety of invaluable techniques to get centered, calm and organized. An effective and enjoyable guide to help you feel in charge of yourself."
~ Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

This is the workbook that all mental health professionals wish they had at the beginning of their careers. Containing over 100 approaches to effectively deal with trauma, this workbook pulls together a wide array of treatments into one concise resource. Equally useful in both group and individual settings, these interventions will provide hope and healing for the client, as well as expand and solidify the professional's expertise.

Tools and techniques drawn from the most effective trauma modalities:

  • Art Therapy
  • CBT
  • DBT
  • EFT
  • EMDR
  • Energy Psychology
  • Focusing
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Guided Imagery
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodrama
  • Sensorimotor Psychology
  • Somatic Experiencing and Movement Therapies

**Do you treat patients suffering from PTSD, eating disorders, sexual trauma or self injury? The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can help!

BONUS: Book includes a link to all reproducible worksheets! Print and use with clients right away!!

Trauma Competency

This is a book for clinicians. More specifically, it is a book for clinicians to use with their clients affected by trauma's sequelae. Unique in its approach, author Linda Curran not only defines and explains the current trauma paradigm-relevant, theories and current neuroscience, but step-by-step demonstrates its in-session clinical utility and applicability.

This is the book that clinicians will refer to daily - the beat-up book whose pages are falling out due to excessive handling, referencing specific pages over and over, and copying handouts for clients.

From assessment through stabilization, from internal and external resourcing to the working through of traumatic material, each chapter guides the clinician further into trauma's theory and practice. Recommended for all clinicians working with trauma, this book is a clear and concise, reader-friendly illumination of the HOW and the WHY of trauma treatment.