90 Minute Workshop
Through the Eyes of a Child: A Non-pathologizing Approach to the Treatment of Trauma
Monday, March 26
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Salon 3
This presentation will demonstrate that rather than “manage” difficult behaviors, clinicians need to view current symptoms from their original state; that is, when the client was a child, trying to survive. Using case examples, the presenters will illustrate how helping clients to see through the eyes of a child, is a transformative experience. Symptoms such as suicidality, self-harm, persistent depression and anxiety come to be viewed as helpful coping skills developed at an early age, when the options for survival were limited. When seen through this lens, symptoms are honored and respected, and clients begin to see themselves as human beings who fought, and continue to fight, for the right to live, in spite of surface appearances. This presentation will demonstrate how seeing symptoms through the eyes of a child, helps keep the therapeutic process moving in a way that benefits both clinicians and clients. Participants will leave with practical explanations, specific techniques, and tools for working with traumatized clients.
Case examples, didactic information and group discussion will be used in the presentation.
- Participants will be able to identify and describe specific complex defense mechanisms utilized by survivors of childhood familial abuse
- Participants will be able to explain how these defense mechanisms operate to protect survivors from knowledge of the abuse, and the overwhelming emotions related to the abuse in order to maintain the primary attachment
- Participants will be able integrate this information to improve best practices when working with survivors of abuse