Neglect and abuse in early childhood impact every major system and structure in the human brain from the brainstem to the cortex, from the sense of balance to the sense of self. (Lanius et al.) These developmental injuries are expressed emotionally, behaviorally, cognitively, physically and relationally. Whether or not one is interested in learning to work directly with the brain, everyone is much better able to understand their developmentally traumatized patients when they understand their brains. To that end, the first day of this course will provide a basic but comprehensive understanding of how these traumatized brains function and malfunction, particularly in the domain of affect regulation.
We can think of the gift of good enough mothering (and fathering) as the gift of affect regulation. Affect regulation is one of the brain’s top priorities, but for those with histories of neglect and abuse, the structures supporting self-regulation have either not developed or are significantly impaired. These patients are left essentially motherless and afraid, no, terrified. On the second day we will explore the connections between the fear-driven brain, the nearly ubiquitous sense of motherlessness and the shame and anger these patients feel as a result. In addition we will explore an effective treatment approach that relies on neurofeedback to quiet fear circuitry and provide affect regulation and relies on the therapist to be the devoted other to the patient, while addressing their history, present day dilemmas and the changes they will experience as their brains begin to regulate. When fear quiets a sense of self and other arises; therapy becomes possible.
Day One (3PM-6PM, CET): The emerging neuroscience of developmental trauma: A user-friendly edition
- Participant will be able to discuss the differences between developmental trauma and PTSD
- Participant will be able to describe the impact of development trauma on structures and networks related to executive function; salience and threat detection; and the sense of self
- Participant will be able to discuss the role of the reptilian brain in initiating and perpetuating trauma reactions including dissociation, flashbacks and the background state of fear and reactivity
Day Two (3PM-6PM, CET): The brain can learn to regulate itself: integration of neurofeedback and psychotherapy
- Participant will be able to describe the arousal model of neurofeedback
- Participants will be able to discuss neurofeedback approaches to quieting fear and reactivity
- Participants will be able to describe the role of the therapist as the “devoted other” in the integration of psychotherapy and neurofeedback
Power Point, videos, questions and answers.
Sebern F. Fisher, MA, is a psychotherapist and neurofeedback practitioner in private practice who specializes in the aftermath of neglect and abuse in early childhood. She focuses on training the traumatized brain to learn its own regulation which can learn at any age. She trains professionals nationally and internationally on neurofeedback and on the need to integrate neurofeedback with psychotherapy. Her book, Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain, has helped her readers understand how the traumatized brain can give rise to explosive feelings, irrational thinking, and destructive behaviour. When the brain learns its own regulation, its owner can engage meaningfully in psychotherapy and in life. The book is now also available as an audiobook on Audible. Visit www.SebernFisher.com to learn more and join the conversation with Sebern at Facebook.com/SebernFisherAuthor — Sebern Fisher on LinkedIn, and @SebernF on Twitter.
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