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Understanding and Responding to Complex Trauma


This interactive training provides health practitioners with the foundational knowledge and skills to work sensitively and effectively with adult survivors of complex trauma. Individuals who have experienced trauma, particularly developmental trauma, present in mental health settings with a variety of diagnoses and challenging behaviours.  These include issues of trust, anger, self-harm, chronic risk and addiction. Understanding how the experience of trauma and problematic attachment contribute to these clients’ symptoms and challenging behaviours greatly supports better case conceptualisation, treatment planning and system responses.

This training presents best practice principles for working with complex trauma clients, drawing on current research in trauma theory and therapy, attachment, affective neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology.  It differentiates complex trauma from single incident trauma and explores the importance of a phased approach to treatment, with an initial focus on safety and stabilisation. 

Learning Outcomes:

To develop a clear understanding of the nature of trauma, types of traumatic events and their potential effects, with a particular focus on cumulative traumatic events over the lifespan;

To understand the core principles of trauma therapy (assessment and treatment), including a phased, strengths-based approach and the importance of relationship in recovery;

To apply an understanding of the stress response, attachment and child development to strategies for supporting clients’ capacity to regulate emotions and arousal;

To acquire a range of basic resources for managing clients’ distress and challenging behaviours, including dissociation.

To explore the impact of working with complex trauma clients on us as clinicians, develop strategies for effective self-care, managing vicarious trauma and maintaining a sustainable professional practice. 

Date Mon 07-October-2019
Location Benalla
Presenter Psychological Trauma Recovery Service staff
Contact Dr Greg Coman on 9231 3186 or
Note This training is conducted over two days: Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 October. It is necessary to attend all of both days.
Registrations for this workshop are now closed