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Restoring the Self in the Aftermath of Trauma

Regaining Our Rhythm, Balance, Regulation, And Connection

A Virtual Conference February 17 & 18, 2022

Program Directors: Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, & Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

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Neuroscience and Practical Therapeutic Skills for Resilience In Troubled Times

Many of us have stories about how we survived traumatic events or coped with loss or crisis. But just how do we restore ourselves in the aftermath of trauma? In the last decade, research has changed our understanding of how trauma impacts us emotionally, socially, and physically. These discoveries are leading to innovative treatments that build resilience, are culturally responsive, and support healing of mind, body, and spirit. They form the foundations of how we not only survive trauma, but also learn to flourish in the aftermath of traumatic events.

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Janina Fisher, PhD

Implicit Bias and Racial Trauma

Implicit bias is inherent in all living things. Our brains scan for signs of danger or difference, and our bodies respond instinctually to what we sense is safe and to what we fear. Unlike explicit bias, implicit bias is nonverbal and often unconscious, and it usually goes unrecognized. Most therapists have been trained to be ‘color blind’ rather than comfortable initiating discussions on race, privilege, or microaggression and discrimination. Rarely are therapists trained to understand the potential effects of their skin color or educational status on the client. Becoming more aware of our implicit biases is a sign of health, not a sign of being ‘racist,’ and will make us better clinicians overall.

 

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Sherain Harricharan, Ph.D.

Sensory Perception After Trauma

How External and Internal Senses Shape Perspective in the Aftermath of Trauma

In the aftermath of trauma, emotional dysregulation shapes how we perceive sensory information from the internal and external worlds. In this session, we'll explore how these signals can be affected, and how they are translated to higher-order brain structures involved in emotion regulation and social engagement. Highlighting different trauma-informed sensorimotor clinical treatments that can enhance the mind-body connection and promote an embodied self, we'll introduce a hierarchy of sensory transmission in the aftermath of trauma, and discuss its clinical impact on the distinct PTSD and dissociative subtype symptom profiles.

 

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Benjamin Pandev-Girard, M.OT, Occupational Therapist

Feeling Felt In Every Sense

Bridging Trauma Neuroscience Literature With Practical Sensory Interventions

Trauma literature documents sensory changes following trauma and during recovery. Used by occupational therapists, particularly with autism, for decades, sensory processing and especially the practical applications of sensory integration, are increasingly used in trauma therapy.  With growing interest in somatic therapeutic approaches, it is time to bridge practical multisensory interventions with emerging trauma research. Aimed at professionals (occupational therapists, psychotherapists, social workers, etc.), this session will especially help those working with trauma patients who wish to integrate trauma-informed evidence-based sensory processing principles in their practice.

 

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Sebern Fisher, MA, BCN

Neuro-feedback, Fear and Therapist Burnout

Why therapy with neurofeedback is successful, and what research says about it

 For many years, the behavioral, mental and physical health effects of a history of developmental trauma have been considered nearly impossible to treat. Neuroscience research and work by a growing number of skilled therapists using clinical neurofeedback demonstrates that things are changing. In this session, we'll explore what research suggests about what happens in the brain during good-enough therapy and clinical neurofeedback.

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Patricia June Vickers, PhD

Indigenous Perspectives of Trauma

Separating social conditioning from neuroscience through ancestral principles

The impact of colonialism/oppression has impacted generations of Indigenous Canadians. Providing an overview of the dynamics of PTSD in Indigenous communities on the northwest coast of British Columbia, this course will discuss best approaches to awareness, understanding and healing, and common ancestral teachings amongst Indigenous Canadians.

 

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Donna Jackson Nakazawa

New Doors to Healing

How a New View of the Brain is Opening New Doors to Healing in Troubled Times 

Recent discoveries in neuroscience tell us that the body and brain are constantly responding to perceived threats from our environment, deciding -- on a cellular level -- whether we are safe or unsafe. This profoundly affects not only our physical and immune health, but our brain health and mental health. In exploring the latest neuroscience on the biophysical link between trauma, inflammation, and mental health, we'll learn how early trauma sets the stage, how chronic stressors in adult life exacerbate potential ill effects, and how our communal state of trauma and isolation during the the troubled pandemic era is affecting brain health.

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Dr. Amber Elizabeth L Gray, BC-DMT, LPCC

Getting Our Beat Back

Restoring Core Rhythmicity Through Movement-based Expressive Arts

The events of the past two years have been individually and collectively life-changing. Whether our personal experience has been one of grief, fear, extreme stress, trauma, loss or most to all of the above, we may feel like we’ve lost our beat.The human body is a sea change of rhythm and movement; an embodied creative process.

In this presentation we explore Neuro-physiologically based Dance/Movement Expressive Arts Therapy approaches to re-regulate and restore balance and connection.

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Elizabeth Warson, PhD

Discovering Healing Pathways

Restorative Visual Journaling

In Discovering Healing Pathways, we will work to Restore the Self through the visual journaling process, combining bilateral movement, mark making, and sensorimotor engagement.

Part of Dr. Warson’s research on arts-informed stress and pain reduction, this promising intervention incorporates visual, written, and spoken narratives

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Raphael Travis Jr., PhD, LCSW
J.C. Hall, LMSW, EXAT

Overcoming Trauma Through Hip Hop

Restoring Self and Community Through Rhythmic Regulation and Social Action

On a spectrum of strategies for the promotion of mental health, ranging from self-care to long-term treatment, the expressive arts and cultural values embedded within Hip Hop can be particularly effective in encouraging self- and co-regulation. Through rhythmic engagement, evoking emotions, and fostering community, Hip Hop based strategies help promote regulation, a more empowered sense of self, and opportunities to challenge trauma inducing environments.

 

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In this conference, we'll focus on four key factors in restoration
of the self and the process of healing:

Balance

Regaining equilibrium, emotional stability, equity, and compassion for self and others.

Regulation

Resourcing experiences to support self-care, co-
regulation, self-efficacy, and empowerment.

Rhythm

Regaining the internal tempo of well-being through movement, musicality, playfulness, curiosity, and imagination.

Connection

Responding with interpersonal synchrony, transgenerational resilience, community and unity, and optimal relationship to self and the world.

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About Conference Faculty

About organizers Dr Malchiodi & Dr Lanius

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT, holds a doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in research and health psychology, and is a clinical mental health counselor, expressive arts therapist, and art therapist who has spent over 30 years working with individuals with traumatic stress and studying how the arts support reparation, integration and recovery from trauma.

Originator of Somatosensory Psychotherapy® and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy®, she is the founder and executive director of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute .She has given more than 550 presentations around the world and iswidely published, with more than 20 books, including Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body and Imagination in the Healing ProcessUnderstanding Children’s Drawings, Handbook of Art Therapy, Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Attachment Problems, and Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children. She is an occasional ukulele and hulusi musician.

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD

Acclaimed presenter, researcher, and clinician, Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry is the director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario. She established the Traumatic Stress Service and the Traumatic Stress Service Workplace Program, services that specialized in the treatment and research of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid disorders. She currently holds the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests focus on studying the neurobiology of PTSD and treatment outcome research examining various pharmacological and psychotherapeutic methods. She has authored more than 150 published papers and chapters in the field of traumatic stress and is currently funded by several federal funding agencies. She regularly lectures on the topic of PTSD nationally and internationally. She is author of ‘Healing the traumatized self: consciousness, neuroscience, treatment’ with Paul Frewen.