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Jenna E. Bollinger, B. Psych (Hons), M. Psych (For), MAPS

Psychologist, Southern Cross Psychology, Sydney, Arkansas, Australia



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Stephanie Scott-Smith, B. Psych (Hons), M. Psych (For), MAPS

Psychologist, Corrective Services NSW, Sydney, Australia



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Workshop 2: The Nature of Complex Trauma in Residential out of Home Care: How Does Trauma Manifest and Why?

Saturday, November 28

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Room: Ballroom 3

Primary Presenter(s):

Jenna E. Bollinger, B. Psych (Hons), M. Psych (For), MAPS

Psychologist, Southern Cross Psychology, Sydney, Arkansas, Australia

Co-Presenter(s):

Stephanie Scott-Smith, B. Psych (Hons), M. Psych (For), MAPS

Psychologist, Corrective Services NSW, Sydney, Australia

Complex developmental trauma impacts neurobiological development through the creation of a frightening and unpredictable environment in which the brain develops. This early experience results in deficits in brain development. For some children and young people, their experiences of early trauma lead them to the residential Out of Home Care (OOHC) system. This is a system in which young people aged between 12 and 18 are removed from their families, and/or foster families, to live in houses with between one and three other young people that are staffed on a rotating roster in 24-hour shifts. Neurodevelopmental delays that occur as a result of early trauma and abuse often become particularly pronounced during adolescence, including impulse control, emotional regulation and attachment impairments.


The current workshop will identify the correlates of trauma in young people in residential OOHC, including traumatic triggers, negative relationship templates and elevated baselines. It will also explore the impact of trauma on the development of the hyper- and hypo-arousal continuum and how that plays out in young people in care. The workshop will also explore how to work with these traumatised and vulnerable young people more effectively in therapeutic settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Outline the current understanding and practices of therapeutic residential out-of-home care (OOHC)
  • Analyse the major principles associated with the impact of trauma on the development of the hyper- and hypo-arousal continuum and how that plays out in young people in care
  • Describe practical skills to differentiate and interpret the correlates of trauma in young people in residential OOHC, including traumatic triggers, negative relationship templates and elevated baselines.
Slides