Trauma, Memory, and the Restoration of One’s Self: When Talk Isn’t Enough

Led by: Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Following last year’s workshop based on his international bestseller, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk returns to Toronto with a one-day workshop to bring you up to date with emerging research about how people’s brains, minds, and bodies are affected by trauma and the principles of post-traumatic therapy.

The function of our brains is to take care of us and to be in sync with other people. Trauma changes the way the brain processes information and the way the body engages with the world. Trauma makes people afraid to know what they know and feel what they feel. The trauma that started outside is lived out in the theatre of the body. As a result, survivors no longer feel safe inside their own skin. Recovery from trauma involves learning how to restore a sense of visceral safety and reclaiming a loving relationship with one’s self, one’s entire organism.

Talk therapy by itself, even when combined with warmth and sympathy, doesn’t reset the limbic system, the part of the brain that contains an inner map of a dangerous world and a sense of oneself as being helpless within it. In this workshop, you’ll learn how traumatic imprints can be addressed using techniques drawn from neurofeedback, yoga, theatre, IFS, and EMDR.

During the past decade, an enormous amount has been learned about the neurobiology of trauma and the nature of memory in trauma survivors. Drawing from the insights discussed in The Body Keeps the Score and from emerging research, Bessel van der Kolk will explore the clinical implications of these discoveries and a range of new approaches based on the research.

Note to attendees of Spring 2017’s workshop The Body Keeps the Score: New Frontiers in Trauma Treatment: basic concepts and insights from that workshop will be reviewed, but Bessel van der Kolk will be supplementing these with new material drawn from emergent practices, research, and clinical experience.

Fees and Registration

Friday, June 15, 2018
Isabel Bader Theatre
(93 Charles Street, Toronto)
9:00 am to 4:40 pm

Regular Rate $295 (+HST)

You will learn —

  • How traumatized people process information
  • About the applications of attachment theory in the diagnosis and treatment of trauma
  • About disturbances in sensorimotor integration
  • Strategies proven to be effective for severe trauma, overcoming helplessness, and re-integrating human connections and dissociated aspects of experience
  • About the use of EMDR, DBT, and body-oriented therapies in trauma treatment
  • How to make yourself “heard” through your body language and movements, and techniques for projecting different messages (empathy, support, authority, guidance) through how you stand, sit, and walk
  • The various ways in which children adapt to trauma

This workshop may be eligible for Continuing Education Credits/Units (CECs/CEUs) by professional organizations in Canada/Ontario serving mental health professionals. Please click here for more information.

van der Kolk

Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, developmental trauma, yoga, theatre, and EMDR.

He is founder and Medical Director of the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts, past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world.

His New York Times Science bestseller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring — specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, and yoga.

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