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DISCOUNT of 30% for the students of the SITCC Schools of Psychotherapy.
Under the patronage of AISTED (Italian Association for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation).
20% DISCOUNT on the registration fee for MEMBERS AISTED.
In Convention (discount) with theOrder of Psychologists of the Regions: Emilia Romagna, Sardinia, Liguria, Marche, Tuscany, Apulia.
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.
What will this event be about?
Read the abstract of the event
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
By the end of this seminar, attendees will be able to:
Theraplay® treatment: Describe activities for responding to retraction of the client’s social engagement system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
11:20-11:30 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”
15.50-16.00 Third artistic performance
16.00-17.30 William Bumberry: “Working with infidelity: The Gottman Method”
17.30-18:30 Panel discussion, Q&A
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'
11.20-11.30 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'
15:50-16:00 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
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”
11.20-11.30 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”
15:50-16:00: 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.
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* If different types of credits are available (ECM, CPD and CE), please choose them according to your needs.
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