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CC08 Workshop 04 - Effects of Stress and Trauma on Relationships: Treatment - Bessel van der Kolk, MD

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Topic Areas:
Workshops |  Couples Therapy |  Trauma |  Relationships |  Treatment Planning |  Stress
Couples Conference |  Couples Conference 2008
Bessel van der Kolk, MD
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Original Program Date:
Apr 26, 2008
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Effective treatment of post-traumatic problems needs to include addressing the imprint of trauma on the physical experience of the self as helpless and in danger. Recovery needs to incorporate dealing with defensive efforts that helped ensure survival, incorporate physical experiences that contradict feelings and sensations associated with helplessness and disconnection, as well as an effective way of integrating fragmented memories of trauma. Experiencing physical mastery (as in yoga and specific body based techniques) often is necessary to initiate new ways of perceiving reality and promote new behavior patterns. Helping the organism to bring the traumatic experience to an end is the goal of treatment. Workshop includes: Assessment and treatment planning; Recognition and treatment of trauma-based action patterns and dissociative responses; Completing of incomplete trauma responses; Words, actions, and relationships in the treatment of learned helplessness and dissociation; Specific techniques that address affect regulation, the integration of dissociated aspects of experience, overcoming helplessness, and the re-integration of human conditions.

Educational Objectives:

  1. To list three effective techniques to treat trauma.
  2. To describe two specific techniques to overcome helplessness.

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*



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Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.