Trauma, Attachment

Attachment and Trauma: Embracing and Repairing the Traumatized Self in Psychotherapy - Rome
withVincenzo Caretti, Jan Winhall, Athena Phillips, William Bumberry, Jeff Conway, Fabrizio Didonna, (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm, Dafna Lender, Alessandro Carmelita, Marina Cirio, Bruce Hersey, Jennifer Sweeton, Maggie Schauer
Dates: September 15th, 16th & 17th, 2023 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Time: Friday, from 9am to 6:30pm; Saturday, from 9:15am to 6:30pm; Sunday, from 09:15am to 6:30pm
Duration: 23h 00m 00s
Live streaming available on Zoom Meetings
Recordings of the course available without time limits
Location: Rome, Auditorium Antonianum (Viale Manzoni, 1, 00185 Rome - Italy)

(also in Live Streaming)

Available in Italian (simultaneous translation), English
🪙 You'll receive 50 ECM credits
(ECM Credits valid on 2023)
🪙 You will receive 23 CPD credits
🪙 You will receive 23 CE credits


(valid until 31/05/2023)

173,40 £

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Event Partner (Turkey):
Event Partner (Malta):

In Convention (discount) with theOrder of Psychologists of the Regions: Emilia Romagna, Sardinia, Liguria, Marche, Tuscany, Apulia.

Information about the event:

This new edition of the Attachment and Trauma congress will explore the origins and the potential evolutions originated from the traumatic experiences in attachment.

Neurosciences have contributed in underlying the essential importance of the sense of safety in the individual development of the self. Equally important is also the fulfillment of the need for autonomy, the self recognition as an individual. The traumatic experiences in attachment crumble the sense of trust and cohesion of the self, resulting in different potential psychopathological frameworks, which represent the attempt of an individual to adapt to trauma by shaping their own functioning system on the environment.

Psychotherapy, in its multiple forms, can represent a pathway in which we can provide again an individual with a new form of adaptation to the surrounding reality, based on one's own needs, safety, trust, relational attunement, deep connection with the other.

The various presentations will describe therapeutic models and different theoretical perspectives, united by a focus on the relational development of the Self and to the embodied dimension of its several dimensions. The acceptance and repair of trauma may follow different methods and approaches, but what is currently emerging from the scientific scene is the centrality of the dimension of deep acceptance of what every human being is and expresses through their own existence, made up of experiences, behaviors, attempts to adapt and recover from trauma, values and significances which are always worthy of being respected.

The 14th edition of the well-known “Attachment and Trauma” Congress – “Attachment and Trauma: Embracing and Repairing the Traumatized Self in Psychotherapy” – will provide the opportunity to integrate the most innovative aspects characterizing research studies in the field of Neuroscience and the most effective clinical interventions, with the aim of understanding, in a more and more precise way, how traumas can affect the healthy development of both individuals and communities, as well as how to repair traumatic experiences in a deep, long-lasting way.

After a successful 2022 edition – with over 850 attendees from all over the world – the “Attachment and Trauma” Congress returns to Rome: a number of internationally well-known Experts will take the stage of the stunning Auditorium Antonianum, in the heart of the Eternal City, within walking distance of the Colosseum. Their lectures will give a complete and varied overview of both the most advanced neuroscientific research studies and the most effective clinical interventions in the field of trauma therapy and the treatment of attachment disturbances.

The Congress will also be live-streamed online so as to allow those who are unable/unwilling to come to Rome to take part in the event while staying at home. The Congress will be videotaped, too: recordings will be on sale on ISC website and accessible without time limits.

Besides being an important opportunity for professional development, this 14th edition of the “Attachment and Trauma” Congress will also be a valuable moment to share with other mental health professionals from all over the world: if you are fed up with online courses and feel the need to meet your fellow colleagues in person to have an enriching and engaging learning experience, then join us in Rome! The number of available seats is limited.

The Presenters:

  • Jeff Conway (USA)
  • Bruce Hersey (USA)
  • Jennifer Sweeton (USA)
  • Vincenzo Caretti (ITALY)
  • Jan Winhall (CANADA)
  • Athena Phillips (USA)
  • William Bumberry (USA)
  • Alessandro Carmelita and Marina Cirio (UK/ITALY)
  • Fabrizio Didonna (ITALY)
  • (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm (USA)
  • Maggie Schauer (Germany)
  • Dafna Lender (USA)

What will this event be about?

Read the abstract of the event

Vincenzo Caretti

The Dissociation of Intimacy and the Attachment Bond in Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy

Through a shared exploration of the patient’s fantasies, Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy allows therapists to mentalize negative persistent chronic emotions, as well as traumatically-originated body sensations and states of tension such as fight, flight and immobilization, as expressions of the Internal Saboteur part (or Anti-bonder) that twists the Self-image and the interpersonal bonds, by destroying them, to the detriment of the individual’s wellness and trust. The Internal Saboteur (or Anti-bonder) shuts down the relational attachment system and dissociates intimacy behaviors and deep attachment bonds, thus compromising the patient’s ability to feel safe and get pleasure from connecting with themselves and the others. Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy aims to mentalize – through the therapeutic alliance and in the here-and-know – how the “scripts” that lead the patient to repeat traumatic working models and patterns related to Self-Other representations, shut down the social attachment system in order to attack and dissociate any bond based on dependence, thus leaving the patient agitated or not motivated to socially engage or to engage in intimacy behaviors, both when they connect with others and when they need to deal with or repair a conflict with others. Based on this clinical process, the therapeutic alliance supports the patient in acting in a more conscious way, thus progressively gaining autonomy from the Internal Saboteur (or Anti-bonder). This helps them develop more trust in interpersonal bonds and in their ability to repair relational wounds, thus allowing them to change the way the connect with themselves, the others and their communities, both from and emotional and bodily perspective.

Jan Winhall

Understanding and Treating Attachment Trauma with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™

Our current model of understanding traumatic attachment relies on a pathologizing approach, viewing dysregulated styles of attachment as ‘disorders’ that are dysfunctional. This approach leaves out the inherent wisdom of the body. Therapists need a fresh approach that addresses the intersection of trauma and attachment from an embodied perspective. The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™ (FSPM) shifts the current pathologizing paradigm to a strength-based approach. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory offers a new way of understanding the autonomic nervous system, the bodily process that monitors humans’ sense of safety. Through the Polyvagal lens, traumatic attachment styles and the self-survival/self-harming behaviors that accompany them, are seen as the bodies adaptive attempt to survive when the environment is not safe enough to support emotionally regulated responses. This presentation is an introduction to Jan Winhall’s book Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model. She will give a description of the theoretical framework of the model as she developed it over four decades in working with trauma survivors. The FSPM™ guides clinicians into a new way of working with two major embodied processes: interoception (felt sense) and neuroception (Polyvagal). Participants will also learn about Gendlin’s Focusing/Felt Sense method of psychotherapy and how to guide clients into connecting with their bodies, an essential pathway to healing. The model provides a generic framework that supports any therapeutic modality. Application of the model will be demonstrated in an introduction to The Embodied Assessment and Treatment Tool™ (EATT). The tool provides a somatic assessment of client’s capacity to regulate their autonomic nervous system, integrating embodied experiences and healing traumatic attachment wounds. As therapists develop the experiential assessment over time, it becomes an organized treatment plan and can be stored online as a clinical record. Examples of how to use the Tool will be demonstrated. Case examples will be presented, so that clinicians can start applying the model right away. This presentation will be a mixture of didactic information, experiential practices, and case examples.

Athena Phillips

Dissociation and Ketamine Treatment: A Case Study with Heather

Patients with complex trauma and dissociative symptoms often present with significant and stratified complexity. The treatment trajectory is lengthy, arduous, and milestones typically occur in scarce intervals. While research has contributed to notable strides in treatment outcomes for dissociative patients, the length and severity of suffering remains a feature of the clinical picture. Interventions that combine traditional psychotherapy with novel approaches have the potential to decrease the overarching length and cost of treatment to the patient. Ketamine and psilocybin may have potential to significantly shift the treatment trajectory given the research that is emerging for those with treatment resistant depression. While there may be a great deal of promise in these interventions, of equal concern is the risk potential with their use being applied to those with complex trauma and structural dissociation. Heather’s experience with and response to ketamine as an intervention may offer insight to both the risks and possibilities in the application of ketamine to this population. 

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the potential treatment outcomes in the use of Ketamine treatment with dissociative patients.
  2. Identify potential risks in the use of ketamine treatment with dissociative patients. 
  3. Discuss the importance of pursuing additional research in utilizing ketamine as an intervention with dissociative patients. 
  4. Discuss the cultural denial of dissociation as a contributing factor in research gaps with novel interventions, such as ketamine. 
  5. Discuss possibilities for the use of ketamine in adjunct with psychotherapy in patients with dissociative disorders.
William Bumberry

Working with Infidelity: The Gottman Method 

Infidelity, with the core ingredients of emotional and/or sexual betrayal, is a distressing, disorienting experience. The impact is visceral, the pain profound. While the bond can be destroyed in a flash, healing and rebuilding take time. Those who have experienced this in their own relationship, or navigated the path with clients, know the journey is turbulent. Intense emotions open quickly. Reactivity is the norm. As a therapist, staying present, attuned and balanced is crucial. A healthy therapeutic alliance is essential. This presentation will focus on the paradigm shifting Gottman “Atone, Attune, Attach” approach to treating infidelity. This model offers clarity and wisdom about how to weather the storm, heal the hurt and rebuild the broken bond. Building on Drs. John and Julie Gottman’s seminal research, this model emphasizes the centrality of Trust and Commitment in the journey from betrayal to intimacy.

Alessandro Carmelita and Marina Cirio

MIMT: Beyond the Intrapsychic and Relational Integration, Towards a Deep Connection with the Whole

Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy has been working for many years with patients on overcoming trauma, through integration, which is not only intrapsychic, but first and foremost relational.

The unique setting of this approach allows to directly access the deepest dimension of the attachment trauma, as the patient can see the organization of the different Selves that have differentiated during the development, starting from the internalization of the Other, who perpetrated abuse or deprivation. The mirror allows the patient to simultaneously relate with the child victim of the trauma and the Internalized Other, who feels disgust, anger, shame, and fear.

Moreover, the techniques used in therapy allow to work at a deep level, below the level of awareness, by accessing the core of the Self.

Through a continuous and careful process of mirroring in the therapeutic relationship, calibrated through deep compassion between therapist and patient, neural pathways for the integration of different selves and the reconstruction of a cohesive and integrated self are restored.

The ultimate goal of the MIMT is not only intrapsychic integration, but also a sense of compassion for everything surrounding human beings, in a broad, ecological view of reality where we are all interconnected at an ancestral and deep level.

Fabrizio Didonna

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for OCD and Trauma: Where New and Old Paths to Dealing with Suffering Meet

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are both challenging and difficult-to-treat psychiatric problems. They may share some common symptoms (such as avoidance, safety seeking behaviors), emotions (anxiety, guilt, disgust, shame), cognitive biases, a hyper reactivity to specific stimuli, a dysfunctional relationship with their own internal experience.

Mindfulness-based approaches, in particular MBCT, are thought to target several core features of both OCD and PTSD, including experiential avoidance, hyperarousal, safety seeking behaviors, and distressful emotions. There are several components of mindfulness that may promote recovery from OCD and PTSD, including attention, a mindful cognitive style, a shift in perspective and non judgment and normalization toward the internal experience.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for OCD is an innovative, manualised and empirically validated 'third wave' treatment programme designed to create significant clinical and life improvement in those suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The programme integrates the most effective tools of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with the clinical application of the principles and practices of mindfulness and self-compassion. 

During this presentation the strengths of a mindfulness-based approach, and in particular MBCT, to both disorders and how these interventions act powerfully and effectively on some overlapping etiological and phenomenological factors will be highlighted.

Dr Didonna will also share the latest research results on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for OCD and PTSD. 

Participation in this intervention will ensure that participants learn more about this new therapeutic approach and how to use MBCT and more generally mindfulness-based interventionsto help clients with OCD and PTSD to radically change the dysfunctional relationship they have developed in a healthy way with their internal states in order to create meaningful well-being and balance.

Bruce Hersey: “Dual Attention in Healing: The Essence of IFS-Informed EMDR”

Survivor, Thriver, Overcomer: Human Trafficking and Narrative Therapy Practices to Re-Story Trauma

The term human trafficking is an overarching concept that includes various multifaceted and intersecting forms of maltreatment. Existing on a larger continuum of violence, human trafficking is ultimately a type of abuse and exploitation perpetrated for the purpose of labor or sex. Individuals subjugated to human trafficking endure holistic (physical, psychological, sexual, social, and spiritual) cruelty that cumulatively, results in psychophysiological trauma.

With a history of demonstrated success walking alongside survivors of human trafficking (as well as other forms of trauma), and a heart to grow with colleagues in developing effective transformational therapeutic practices, Dr. Roswurm will share her Lotus Emancipation ModelTM. In doing so, Dr. Roswurm will focus on how practitioners can utilize culturally relevant narrative practices to assist trauma survivors in re-storying their lives.

Participants will increase their capacity to assist clients through use of therapeutic narrative practices such as:

  • Identifying Maladaptive Self-Schemata as an Adaptive Challenge
  • Expressing The “Problem-Saturated” Account
  • Naming “The Problem”
  • Externalizing “The Problem”
  • Identifying Unique Outcomes
  • Utilizing Unique Account, Redescription, Possibility, and Circulation Questions
  • Utilizing Questions that Historicize Unique Outcomes
  • The Invitation to “Take a Position” in Life Re-Storying
Dafna Lender

Applying Polyvagal Theory: Harnessing Your Social Engagement System to Quickly Elicit Trust with Traumatized Children and Adolescents

In this workshop, you will learn about how the Polyvagal Theory (PVT) can help you in your work with children and caregivers.

Many presentations about PVT focus on adult treatment, despite the fact that it is early experiences that create the felt sense of safety or defense. It is critical for all child and caregiver therapy clients to feel safe and to be able to co-regulate; this is especially true for clients who have sustained trauma. This presentation will focus on two complementary forms of caregiver-child relationship interventions, Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). You will see the impact of physiological state on the child and caregiver client and detail how PVT concepts can be used more intentionally to strengthen your therapy with video examples, practice exercises and case discussion. Assessment methods, planning and treatment advice will be discussed for Video examples of clients with presenting issues of traumatic loss, orphanage care and adoption, dysregulation, autism and parenting difficulties will illustrate.

This presentation will focus on the first component of establishing safety and regulation.

In this workshop, you will learn to: 

  • Use voice, rhythm, facial expressions and touch to elicit trust
    • Exercises that hone in on various vocal qualities
    • Creating and maintaining an open facial expression with defensive clients
    • Strategies for incorporating safe touch
  • Surprise the brain of a defensive client with novel responses that will grab their attention, interrupt their automatic defensiveness, and generating curiosity.
    • Using playfulness and paradox
  • Learn exercises and activities to make shut down, guarded or angry clients feel more relaxed, open and read to connect. shutdownLearn exercises and activities to make shut down, guarded or angry clients feel more relaxed, open and read to connect.
      • Movement and breathing exercises that create connection
        • movement and breathing exercises that create connection.

      By the end of this seminar, attendees will be able to:

      1. Describe the foundational principles and features of the Polyvagal Theory.
      2. Discuss how to apply features of the Polyvagal Theory in clinical settings.
      3. Describe the Social Engagement System and how the brain-face-heart connection evolved.
      4. Identify when a client’s Social Engagement System is compromised by stress and trauma and help to reset it
      5. Describe how a therapy session can be planned and carried out to maximize client safety, social engagement and regulation. 

      Theraplay® treatment: Describe activities for responding to retraction of the client’s social engagement system.

    Maggie Schauer

    Narrative Exposure Therapy - Treatment after multiple and complex traumatisation 

    Adversities and multiple exposure to traumatic stressors are the 'building blocks' of psychopathology for the individual, the family and the society across generations. Narrative exposure therapy (NET) for children, adolescents and adults is an efficient, trauma-focused, short-term psychotherapeutic treatment for survivors of multiple and complex trauma. Within a life-span approach, it enables the integration of traumatic memories into the biographical context, activates the person's resources and allows meaning-making and corrective relationship experiences. The cross-cultural approach is straightforward and can be deployed by academic professionals as well as trained local counsellors in resource poor contexts and emergency settings within 'screen and treat'- and cascade models of stepped care. In NET, survivors individually and collectively, are supported to give words to injustice, to testify to human rights violations and thereby regain dignity, and satisfy the need for acknowledgement.

    Jeff Conway

    Attachment, Trauma and the schemas of impaired autonomy and performance

    Two of the most basic of core needs for all humans are the need to attach and the need to be autonomous. And although these two needs might appear to be quite distinct from each other; in fact, they are intrinsically tied and complementary. 

    When a secure base is built between a caregiver and child; when a child feels safe and protected and understood, their ability to thrive, to explore, to internalize this relational security plays out in their ability to have agency and feel confident in their life and in their capacity to form and develop relationships.

    But when there is not enough safety, and protection and understanding between the caregiver and child, this can be described as an attachment trauma. This trauma plays out in an internalized insecurity that engenders such Schemas or Impaired Autonomy and Performance as the Schemas of Dependency/Incompetence and Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self.

    We will explore the relationship between attachment trauma and the idea of a corresponding “autonomy trauma” in the form of these Impaired Autonomy and Performance Schemas and the perpetuating Coping Modes. We also explore the remedy of the limited reparenting relationship for healing these Schemas which can help cultivate within a patient a more secure attachment style and a greater sense of autonomy.

    Bruce Hersey

    Dual Attention in Healing: The Essence of IFS-Informed EMDR

    Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) have become widely popular approaches to treating disorders of attachment and trauma. Their shared assumption of the underlying innate human healing capacity, EMDR’s long association with ego state constructs, and IFS’s uniquely accessible formulation have combined to inspire broad curiosity regarding their allied application. At the core of this alliance, dual attention emerges as a key to unlocking their mutual connection to the universal process inherent in all successful healing. How each model approaches a dual attention template, how these parallel the necessary conditions for memory reconsolidation, and how a systematic synthesis of these templates assures more precise alignment to the essence, are illustrated in this presentation.

    Jennifer Sweeton

    Neural Desensitization and Integration Training: The New Evidence-Informed, Brain Science-Driven Approach to Trauma Treatment 

    Several evidence-informed approaches to trauma can be immensely helpful to clients. However, many of these therapies are either rigid, making it difficult to stay client-centered, or vague, mainly rooted in theory. Neural Desensitization and Integration Training (NDIT), developed by a neuroscientist-turned-psychologist, is a brain science-based, exposure, trauma-focused approach to trauma treatment that is both structured and flexible, providing clinicians with easy-to-incorporate strategies that promote trauma processing and help prevent flooding and re-traumatization. Attending this presentation will allow participants to learn more about this new therapy, which has been featured in Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance, as well as to learn key NDIT skills that can be immediately integrated into their own work with clients.


    Note. The following program may be subject to change.

    Main contents: 15/09/2023

    Friday 15th September

    9.15-9.30 Introductory meditation practice

    9.30-11.00 Vincenzo Caretti: “The Dissociation of Intimacy and the Attachment Bond in Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy”

    11.00-11.20 Break

    11:20-11:30 First artistic performance

    11.30-13:00 Jan Winhall: “Understanding and Treating Attachment Trauma with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™” Felt Sense™"

    13:00-13.50 Lunch break

    13.50-14.00 Second artistic performance

    14.00-15.30 Athena Phillips: “Dissociation and Ketamine Treatment: A Case Study with Heather”

    15.30-15.50 Break

    15.50-16.00 Third artistic performance

    16.00-17.30 William Bumberry: “Working with infidelity: The Gottman Method”

    17.30-18:30 Panel discussion, Q&A

    Main contents: 16/09/2023

    Saturday 16 September

    9.15-9.30 Introductory meditation practice

    9.30-11.00 Jeff Conway: 'Attachment, trauma and the compromised patterns of autonomy and performance' 

    11.00-11.20 Break

    11.20-11.30 First artistic performance

    11.30-13.00 Fabrizio Didonna: “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for OCD and Trauma” 

    13.00-13.50 Lunch break

    13.50-14.00 Second artistic performance

    14.00-15.30 (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm: 'Survivors thrive and overcome: human trafficking and narrative therapy practices to rewrite the history of trauma'

    15.30-15:50 Break

    15:50-16:00 Third artistic performance 

    16.00-17:30 Dafna Lender: “Applying Polyvagal Theory: Harnessing Your Social Engagement System to Quickly Elicit Trust with Traumatized Children and Adolescents”

    17.30-18:30 Panel discussion, Q&A

    Main contents: 17/09/2023

    Sunday 17 September:

    9.00-9.15 Introductory meditation practice

    9.15-9.30 Opening of the Congress

    9.30-11.00 Maggie Schauer “Narrative Exposure Therapy – Treatment after multiple and complex traumatization”

    11.00-11.20 Break

    11.20-11.30 First artistic performance

    11.30-13.00 Alessandro Carmelita and Marina Cirio: “MIMT: Beyond the Intrapsychic and Relational Integration, Towards a Deep Connection with the Whole”

    13.00-13.50 Lunch break

    13.50-14.00 Second artistic performance

    14.00-15.30 Bruce Hersey: “Dual Attention in Healing: The Essence of IFS-Informed EMDR”

    15.30-15.50 Break

    15:50-16:00: Third artistic performance

    16.00-17.30 Jennifer Sweeton: “Neural Desensitization and Integration Training: The New Evidence-Informed, Brain Science-Driven Approach to Trauma Treatment”

    17.30-18.30 Panel discussion, Q&A

    Any changes to the programme will be communicated by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ISC) as soon as possible.

    About the Speaker

    Read the Speaker’s biography

    Vincenzo Caretti
    Vincenzo Caretti is Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst and Professor of Dynamic Psychology at the LUMSA University in Rome. He is also the Director of the Post-Graduate Program in “Clinical Criminology and Forensic Science” at the LUMSA University in Rome, as well as the Director of Forma Mentis, the Specialization School in Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital in Rome. Furthermore, he is the Director of the Italian Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP) in Palermo. Over the years, his research studies have been focusing on different subjects: alexithymia, developmental trauma, psychopathic personality, the application of Polyvagal Theory to psychosomatic approaches in Psychotherapy. He is the author of several publications and has standardized various psychometric tests and semi-structured interviews (such as PDSS, ABQ, PDI, PCL-R and HCRv3), which are commonly used for assessment purposes and in the clinical practice.
    Jan Winhall
    Jan Winhall, M.S.W. F.O.T. is an author, teacher, and psychotherapist. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work, where she supervises graduate students. Jan is director of Focusing on Borden, a psychotherapy and training centre, and Co-Director of The Borden Street Clinic. She presents internationally on her book Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, Routledge, 2021.
    Athena Phillips
    Athena Phillips, LCSW, PsyD Candidate, started her career in behavioral health in 1995, where she worked with developmentally disabled children and adults. Working with this population prompted her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work, which she completed at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was Social Work Student of the Year in 2000. Her internship was at the Sexual Assault Resource Center, where she helped develop a sexual assault prevention curriculum for children to be utilized within the school system. Her interest in the treatment of trauma began to develop here and prompted her to pursue her graduate degree. She completed her master’s in social work from Portland State University, where she was the recipient of the Laurels Scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Following graduation, she worked as a medical social worker in the emergency department, medical floors and on an inpatient geriatric psychiatry unit. She started her private practice in 2007, which specialized in trauma and dissociative disorders. After five years of serving this population, the need for more holistic approaches to trauma that were safe and accessible to survivors became increasingly clear. The demand for a progressive view to working with post-traumatic stress, dissociative identity disorder and related mental health challenges prompted her to build Integrative Trauma Treatment Center (ITTC) in 2012, which is an outpatient mental health clinic housed in Portland, OR. ITTC has a continuing education arm called Integrative Trauma Treatment Academy (ITTA), which offers specialized trainings with a mission to include and elevate clinical voices from all over the world. Athena Phillips’s most recent endeavor was the launch of an online Trauma Coach Certification course that is designed to be globally accessible and culturally adaptable. She developed a coaching course as an effort to foster global capacity building through the lens of task sharing per the recommendation by the World Health Organization. Additionally, The Orenda Project will soon offer online, independent study courses as well as a remote community for providers who work with complex trauma and dissociation. This project was designed following trainings she facilitated in Rwanda that were an effort to provide a multicultural platform for clinicians to learn about other cultural lenses through which they could approach their work. Capacity building in the local country through the sharing of information was another driver behind this project. Her contribution in Rwanda extended to the development of mHub Rwanda, which is an outpatient mental health clinic that is run by Rwandans, for Rwandans. Athena Phillips continue to volunteer her services as a trauma consultant within the mHub community.
    William Bumberry
    William Bumberry, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with couples. He has been with the Gottman Institute for more than a decade and is a Senior Certified Gottman Couples Therapist, Trainer and Consultant. Dr. Bumberry is a member of the American Psychological Association and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at St. Louis University. Since becoming a certified trainer for the Gottman Institute, Dr. Bumberry has presented Gottman professional training throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is an experienced, clear, energetic speaker with the ability to present complicated material in a practical, easy to use manner. Dr. Bumberry is passionate about helping clinicians bring the Gottman Method into their life’s work … “making the world a better place, one couple at a time”. His presentations are highlighted by a blend of humor, creativity, and accessibility. In addition to his expertise in the Gottman Method, Dr. Bumberry is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy. For many years, he worked closely with Dr. Carl Whitaker. He is co-author of “Dancing with the Family: A Symbolic-Experiential Approach, A Different Kind of Caring” (videotape) and “Reshaping Family Relationships: The Symbolic Therapy of Carl Whitaker”.
    Alessandro Carmelita and Marina Cirio
    Alessandro Carmelita is a Psychologist and a Psychotherapist, as well as a Trainer and Supervisor in Schema Therapy certified by the ISST. After having been trained by some of the most important experts in the field of Psychotherapy and Interpersonal Neurobiology, he has created an innovative therapeutic approach named Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT) and has developed it together with Marina Cirio. He has travelled around the world to train Psychologists and Psychotherapists in using this revolutionary approach with their clients. Besides this, Dr. Carmelita has conducted 56 editions of the international training program in Schema Therapy and has trained/supervised hundreds of therapists.

    Marina Cirio is a Psychologist and a Psychotherapist. She has enriched her professional training with recent contributions in the field of Psychotherapy and Neuroscience. She has developed Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT) together with Alessandro Carmelita, thus contributing to expand both the clinical implications and the research work on the therapeutic interventions that can be used with different types of patients. After using this innovative approach for years, Dr Cirio is going to conduct - together with Dr Carmelita - a new training course in MIMT that will allow many other therapists to learn and understand this new way of relating to clients, which can facilitate a real and profound change.
    Fabrizio Didonna
    Prof. Fabrizio Didonna, Psy D, is an internationally known Clinical Psychologist, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at the School of Medicine, University of Padova, Professor in the Institute for Lifelong Learning of the University of Barcelona, Spain and Visiting Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is also a Director of the International Center of MBCT for OCD, in Vicenza, Italy ( He is the developer of the therapeutic model, and author of the related manual, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Guilford Press, 2020, translated in Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian), the first manualized and validated mindfulness-based treatment model for OCD. He is also a founder and Honorary President of the Italian Institute for Mindfulness (IS.I.MIND). He presented scientific papers, lectures and workshops at a number of international conferences and universities worldwide, including Harvard and Oxford, and published numerous articles, several chapters and three books. He is the Editor of the Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness (2009, Springer), the first manual on the clinical applications of mindfulness meditation (translated in five languages). He was for 25 years a Director of a Unit for Mood and Anxiety Disorders and a Unit for OCD at the Villa Margherita Private Hospital in Vicenza, Italy, where he implemented his therapeutic model for hundreds of severe and hospitalized patients. He is the founder of The Mindful Space Lab – Mindfulness at Work, a leading training company for the application of mindfulness based interventions in the workplace, and a Scientific Director of the Institute-sponsored One-Year Master's Program in Mindfulness-Based Therapy in Milan. He is an experienced instructor of mindfulness-based interventions and has trained more than 2,000 patients in inpatient and outpatient settings. He gives workshops and training retreats in the field of mindfulness and MBCT for OCD internationally, including United States, United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Spain, Panama, Israel, Finland and Poland.
    Bruce Hersey: “Dual Attention in Healing: The Essence of IFS-Informed EMDR”
    Dr. (karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. She also serves as a Field Educator for the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC). Cumulatively, Dr. Roswurm has more than 26 years of professional practice expertise in Movements working to not only end abuse, homelessness, exploitation, trafficking, and the adaptive “ism’s” these issues are often rooted in; but most importantly, promoting holistic healing and prosperity. A Native Blackfoot woman who remains grounded in her own life experiences of overcoming streets and systems (e.g. child welfare/foster care, criminal/legal judicial systems, etc.), Dr. Roswurm is a transformational leader who has committed her life to contemplative, emancipatory practices. Using her various first-hand vantage points, Dr. Roswurm offers pathways to holistic prosperity for individuals, groups, and communities facing abuse, exploitation, and trafficking through the provision of direct-service programming, education and training, consultation and technical assistance, research, and policy development. Acting as a street outreach worker, program coordinator, therapist, community response organizer, human rights advocate, researcher, educator, capacity builder, and public policy developer, she has walked alongside thousands domestically and internationally. Specifically, Dr. Roswurm has served as a forerunner in the Runaway, Homeless, and Anti-Exploitation Movements by advancing prevention, intervention, and prosperity-promoting strategies through her Lotus Anti-Trafficking ModelTM. She has more than twenty publications and has facilitated thousands of keynotes, workshops, and critical conversations around the globe. Largely known for her advocacy to reduce the criminalization of young people who are runaway/homeless and/or who have survived commercial sexual exploitation, dearest to Dr. Roswurm’s heart are opportunities and recognitions that reflect her commitment to journeying alongside survivors as the step into their true identities. Dr. Roswurm has served as a subject matter expert at the White House National Convening on Trafficking and Child Welfare and is an Indigenous (Native American) Survivor-Leader Fellow for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centers, Human Trafficking Leadership Academy (HTLA). Additionally, she is the elected Chair of Team Justice, Sedgwick County Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and often serves as an expert witness on cases regarding human trafficking. In recognition of her services such as this, Dr. Roswurm is the recipient of many awards including Distinguished Kansan and the Kansas African American Museum, Martin Luther King Jr. Award.
    Dafna Lender
    Dafna Lender, LCSW, is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families with attachment in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna’s style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter. Dafna is the co-author of Theraplay the Practitioner’s Guide (2020). She teaches and supervises clinicians in 15 countries in 4 languages: English, Hebrew, French and Spanish.
    Maggie Schauer
    Dr. Maggie Schauer is a psychotraumatologist at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Together with Frank Neuner and Thomas Elbert, she developed Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). She is also a founding member of the NGO Vivo International, the NGO Babyforum (through which she combats neglect and maltreatment in early childhood) and the NET Institute. Maggie is a trauma therapist who researches multiple and complex traumatisation as a result of domestic and organised violence, childhood trauma, torture and human rights violations, especially the transgenerational consequences of violence and neglect. Maggie continuously trains future generations of psychotherapists, mental health professionals and psychosocial staff to provide support to trauma survivors. Among her various achievements, she was recently appointed to the board of the Italian Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress (SISST). She lives in Germany and Italy.
    Jeff Conway
    Jeff Conway, MS, LCSW is the current President of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST). He is a founding member of the ISST and has served in several roles for the ISST since its foundation. His previous Executive Board position was Training Coordinator from 2018-2020. He continues to be a Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and has cultivated a training niche for understanding and effectively treating the Enmeshment and Undeveloped Self Schema. He has written about this schema and provided several workshops and supervision groups on this topic throughout the world. Jeff Conway is also a founding member of The NY Center for Emotion Focused Therapy and is trained in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), an innovative couple’s therapy model, based on Attachment Theory. He is also a Certified Couples Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and just completed a new online ST Couples Training Program in March of 2022. Other areas of training and experience include the treatment of early childhood trauma, Object Relations Theory and Group Therapy Models. He resides in New York City where he has a private practice, working with individuals, couples, and groups.
    Bruce Hersey
    Bruce Hersey, LCSW, is Co-Founder of the Syzygy Institute and the Creator of the Internal Family Systems Interweave for EMDR. Since creating, a website for self-learning through prerecorded CE courses on IFS, EMDR, and Coherence Therapy integration, Bruce’s teachings continue to develop and evolve to new levels of integration and complexity. While his methods began with the application of Richard Schwartz’s Internal Family systems (IFS) framework within the Standard Protocol of Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) from Francine Shapiro, further insight has been added through Bruce Ecker’s Coherence Therapy and its clinical application of neuroscience from memory reconsolidation research. Bruce is an experienced presenter and workshop leader, known for his clarity, humor, warmth, and humility. He has led and co-led numerous introductory IFS and IFS-Informed EMDR workshops, both in person and online. An EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Level 3 Trained, Approved IFS Clinical Consultant, Bruce has presented twice at the IFS Annual Conference, AASECT, and EMDR UK. Bruce has also published short animated educational introduction videos on IFS (Finding Your Parts) and EMDR (EMDR At A Glance) on YouTube. You can listen to Bruce talking about IFS-Informed EMDR on Therapy Explained Podcast with James Lloyd and The One Inside Podcast with Tammy Sollenberger.
    Jennifer Sweeton
    Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Dr. Jennifer Sweeton is a clinical and forensic psychologist, Amazon #1 best-selling author in clinical psychology, and internationally-recognized expert on trauma and the neuroscience of mental health. She is the author of the Trauma Treatment Toolbox (PESI Publishing), Train Your Brain Card Deck (PESI Publishing and Media), Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness (W. W. Norton & Company), and the forthcoming Traumatic Stress Recovery Workbook (New Harbinger Publications, Inc). Dr. Sweeton completed her doctoral training at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, and the National Center for PTSD. Additionally, she holds a master’s degree in personality psychology (with an emphasis in affective neuroscience) from Stanford University, and studied behavioral genetics and psychopathology at Harvard University. Dr. Sweeton resides in the greater Kansas City area, where she owns a group private practice, Kansas City Mental Health Associates. She is the founder and co-owner of a nationwide continuing education company,, which offers high-quality courses to over 15,000 licensed mental health providers. Dr. Sweeton holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and is a former President of the Greater Kansas City Psychological Association and the Oklahoma Psychological Association. Dr. Sweeton offers coaching, consultation, trauma-focused psychotherapy, and forensic assessment services to clients worldwide. She is the developer of Neural Desensitization and Integration Training (NDIT), an evidence-informed, module-based psychotherapy for PTSD. Referred to as a “world-renowned trauma treatment expert” by PESI, Dr. Sweeton has trained more than 15,000 mental health professionals in all 50 US states and over 20 countries.

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