In this six-hour workshop we will look at the ways in which our brains are adversely impacted by trauma and how the concept of neuroplasticity can reverse that impact. Participants will learn how to strengthen neuroplasticity in traumatized clients through lifestyle choices including: exercise, improved sleep hygiene, humor, connecting to others, and healthy risk-taking. We will then process the unique aspects of the developing adolescent brain, comparing it to the functionality of an adult brain, and exploring both the limitations and strengths of the adolescent mindset. Since many traumatized teens use digital apparatuses to dissociate, we will look at the adverse impact of digital technology and gaming on the adolescent brain.
Participants will get an introduction to the “triune brain” and will learn about the key functions of the brain stem, limbic system and pre-frontal cortex. We will explore the ways in which our brains are wired to respond to perceived threat, and why the chronicity of childhood abuse adversely impacts the limbic system and clients’ abilities to accurately process their experiences. We will distinguish between declarative and non-declarative memory and how trauma ‘s impact on the brain creates “speechless terror” for clients, making it difficult to articulate their experiences with words.
We will also address the fundamental developmental need to attach and explore the verbal and non-verbal ways that parents can foster secure attachment with an infant. We will look at the process of inter-regulation and auto-regulation and the child’s need for co-regulation in order to be soothed. Revisiting the negative effects of technology, we will process the toll it takes on secure attachment when parents are distracted by digital devices.
10:00-10:07 am Break
11:00-11:08 am Break
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch-on your own
2:00-2:07 pm Break
3:00-3:07 pm Break