Part I: Understanding Trauma and its Reverberating Effects

3 Classes–18 CEUs

Friday, September 7; Monday, September 17; Wednesday, October 3

Presenter: Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA

  • Depathologizing clients: a strengths-based approach
  • Defining trauma and its relationship to “loss”
  • Trauma and its effect on the brain
  • Fight/flight and freeze responses
  • The process of dissociation
  • Trauma and its impact on declarative and non-declarative memory
  • The somatization of trauma: common physical complaints
  • Moving beyond talk therapy
  • Using “focusing” and “somatic experiencing” to enhance body work
  • Trauma in a family-of-origin context: roles, boundaries, and communication
  • The childhood response to trauma: inevitable creative coping strategies
  • Trauma and the challenges of attachment
  • “Shifting the locus of control”: A model for understanding the introjection of shame and “badness”
  • Dysfunctional family dynamics
  • The impact of trauma on affect regulation
  • Cognitive, emotional, behavioral manifestations of trauma in adulthood
  • Trauma and addictive behaviors: the cycle of self-medication and re-traumatization

Learning Objectives

  • Identify at least four strengths-based approaches to clients’ symptoms and trauma histories, and explain the concept and value of reframing.
  • Describe the impact that trauma and repeated fight/flight responses have on the different parts of the brain.
  • Analyze the impact that chronic childhood trauma has on declarative and non-declarative memory.
  • Describe the connection between trauma, suppressed memory, and somatization.
  • Define and apply at least two strategies designed to re-connect clients to their bodies and treat somatic symptoms.
  • Explain the relationship between family-of-origin dynamics including: boundaries, roles, and communication styles and dysfunctional coping strategies.
  • Apply theories of attachment and affect dysregulation to the symptomatology of trauma survivors.
  • Diagram the family pyramid, the dynamics of attachment, and shifting the locus of control.
  • Identify at least ten adult manifestations of prior trauma, abuse, and neglect.
  • Describe the cycle of trauma and addiction and relate it to issues of dissociation, affect regulation, and loss of attachment.
  • Identify at least four effective ways to address self-harm and addictive behaviors in trauma survivors.

Part II: Creatively and Effectively Treating Trauma

3 Classes–18 CEUs

Tuesday, October 16; Tuesday, October 30; Wednesday, November 14

 Presenter: Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA

  • Assessing for a history of trauma
  • Incorporating objective assessment tools into treatment
  • Identifying and working with co-morbidity
  • Differential diagnoses for affective and anxiety disorders
  • Identifying “medication myths” and how they relate to non-compliance
  • Learning how to challenge resistance to medication
  • Working collaboratively with primary care physicians to address the medical and mental health needs of trauma survivors
  • State-of-the-art pharmacological treatment of anxiety and depression
  • Exploring non-pharmacological treatment strategies to better manage depression and anxiety
  • The do’s and don’ts of incorporating creative strategies
  • Matching treatment issues to creative interventions
  • Guidelines and goals for effective treatment
  • The fundamentals of trauma treatment: laying a foundation before trauma retrieval occurs
  • Enhancing safety and containment
  • Pacing and grounding traumatized clients
  • Addressing abreactions and flashbacks
  • Exploring art therapy techniques, movement,  breath work, writing,  guided imagery, role play, tapping, spirituality
  • Creative approaches to managing self-injurious behaviors: contracting with “CARESS”

Learning Objectives

  • Describe and apply at least six objective assessment tools designed to address issues of trauma and co-morbidity.
  • Identify the diagnostic criteria for assessing affective and anxiety disorders in trauma survivors.
  • Identify the most commonly used anti-depressants and anxiolytics, and summarize how to present the issue of pharmacological treatment to “resistant” clients.
  • Describe at least four “medication myths” that add to client resistance and explain how to work through those misconceptions to increase compliance.
  • Define at least six non-pharmacological ways to treat depression and anxiety disorders in trauma survivors.
  • Demonstrate an ability to prepare clients for creative interventions while specifying when creative work is and is not appropriate.
  • Describe at least eight fundamental goals for safe, effective trauma treatment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to promote client safety and to address issues of pacing and re-grounding.
  • Describe and practice at least three strategies to promote containment, address flashbacks, and make abreactions productive rather than destructive.
  • Identify and practice at least six art therapy techniques and two guided imagery techniques designed to help clients work through abuse memories, improve ego-strength, and self-esteem.
  • Explain the cycle of self-harm and the role that affect dysregulation, dissociation, and reinforcement plays in the chronicity of the behavior.
  • Describe CARESS and explain its role as a substitute for standard safety contracts with trauma survivors

Part III: Trauma and the Therapeutic Alliance

3 Classes–18 CEUs

Monday, November 26; Wednesday, December 12; Wednesday, December 19

Presenter: Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAP

  • Understanding the power differential in the client/therapist relationship
  • Traumatic transference: manifestations and challenges
  • Addressing issues of trust, boundaries, and client testing
  • Counter-transferential issues and therapist efficacy
  • Empathic disequilibrium, enmeshment, withdrawal, and repression
  • Symptoms of vicarious traumatization and burnout
  • Addressing therapist self-care
  • The nature of the therapeutic alliance
  • Ethical issues and concerns
  • Legal obligations
  • Reporting abuse and its impact on treatment and the therapy relationship
  • Turning reporting into an act of client empowerment
  • Issues pertaining to client termination

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the notion of seeking treatment from both clients’ and therapists’ perspectives and identify the similarities and differences that impact treatment outcomes.
  • Define traumatic transference and summarize at least five manifestations in trauma survivors.
  • Identify at least five ways in which trauma survivors test therapist boundaries and manifest trust issues in the therapeutic alliance.
  • Describe at least six ways in which counter-transference adversely affects therapists’ efficacy.
  • Identify and describe at least six symptoms of vicarious traumatization and cite at least six ways to enhance self-care and reduce professional burnout.
  • Identify and discuss Dolgoff’s ethical principles and the hierarchy of professional responsibilities and obligations.
  • Identify at least five red flags that indicate compromised therapists’ ethics.
  • Discuss the specific duties of social work practice including: the duty to protect life, to report and warn, and the preservation of client confidentiality.
  • Identify and describe legal issues of reporting abuse and neglect.
  • Analyze the impact that reporting has on the therapeutic relationship and identify ways to reframe reporting as an act of client empowerment.
  • Distinguish between five different termination modes and identify the clinical reasons why clients engage in unplanned terminations.
  • Describe the most appropriate process for planned terminations and identify at least four issues that emerge when therapy ends.