Skills Building and Stabilization in Complex Developmental Trauma Disorders: Practical Individual and Group Interventions

Saturday, March 5, 2011: 10:40 AM-12:10 PM
Point Hilton at Squaw Peak
This workshop will offer practical interventions to support skills building and stabilization in patients with complex developmental trauma disorders. We will examine both individual and group skills training, including regulatory, mentalizing, relational, and self-development skills in the context of working with dissociation.
Phase-oriented treatment, the accepted standard of care for complex developmental trauma disorders, stresses the need for careful pacing and regulation of arousal, because many dissociative patients have many debilitating symptoms, are especially prone to regulatory difficulties, and lack essential life skills. The first phase of therapy is thus focused on symptom reduction, stabilization, and skills building. Therapists often have many questions about this phase: How do I help my client learn essential skills? How do I prioritize goals and begin treatment? How do I engage a client who desperately demands help, but also views with me with distrust and fear? How can I be in charge of the therapy while still making it a collaborative effort with the patient? How do I work with dissociation and also address other major symptoms and disorders? This workshop will address these and other questions, with an emphasis on using specialized skills training groups that promote stabilization. We will focus on a step-wise treatment of common problems such as lack of healthy routine and structure in life (sleep, eating, balance between work, rest, and leisure), overwhelming emotion and flashbacks, impulsivity, and relational and self regulatory problems. An emphasis will be placed on the early necessity of helping the client learn to mentalize and challenge the phobia of inner experience. In fact, many trauma-related difficulties result from inner-directed phobias, and which respond well to skills building. We will discuss both individual and group interventions.


Primary Presenter:
Kathy Steele, MN, CS, APRN, BC

Kathy Steele, MN, CS is Clinical Director of Metropolitan Counseling Services, a non profit, low cost psychotherapy and training center, and is in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a Past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma. Kathy is a frequent international presenter and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on trauma and dissociation, and has received several international awards for her work.

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