A full day of talks exploring mind, body and brain approaches to healing from trauma.
Trauma is at the root cause of many of the mental health problems we face today.
Research from The University of Liverpool has found that traumatic life events are the single biggest cause of anxiety and depression.
And with one in three adults in the UK reporting experiencing a traumatic event at least once in their lifetime, it’s a lot more widespread than we commonly think.
Until recently, our understanding of psychological trauma was limited.
We thought it was something we could ‘get over’ and eventually move on from.
But new developments in the fields of neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, and interpersonal neurobiology have revealed that trauma causes actual physiological changes in the brain and body. It alters the brain’s alarm system and increases stress hormone activity, causing physical and emotional problems long after the event has taken place.
The good news is – advances in our knowledge about the basic processes that underlie trauma, have led to the development of innovative treatments that can help us heal, and move on with our lives.
In this series of talks, we’ll explore three of these approaches, including:
- Somatic Experiencing and Trauma; how this body-orientated approach can address the root causes of traumatic symptoms, release traumatic shock, transform PTSD, and heal the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma – Giselle Genillard
- Polyvagal Theory and Trauma; how traumatic experiences get ‘trapped’ in the nervous system, triggering negative emotions and unwanted behaviours long after the event has taken place, and how a polyvagal approach can offer a powerful solution – Deb Dana
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Trauma; why traumas (particularly in early life) cause us to ‘exile’ and cut off from parts of our personality, how this creates toxic internal conflict, and how IFS can help us heal and reintegrate these parts, so we can enjoy more wellbeing in day to day life – Dr Richard Schwartz, PhD
You’ll learn how these unique insights can benefit your own life, but also your ability to help others too.
- 10:00am – 12:00pm: Somatic Experiencing & Trauma – Giselle Genillard
- 12:00 – 1:00pm: Lunch break
- 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Polyvagal Theory & Trauma – Deb Dana
- 3:00pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon break
- 3:30pm – 5:00pm: Internal Family Systems & Trauma – Dr Richard Schwartz, PhD
Lectures & Speakers
Somatic Experiencing & Trauma – Giselle Genillard
Trauma is an internal straitjacket created when a devastating moment is frozen in time. It stifles the unfolding of being, strangling our attempts to move forward with our lives. It disconnects us from our selves, others, nature and spirit. When people are overwhelmed by threat, we are frozen in fear. It is as if our instinctive survival energies are “all dressed up with no place to go.”
Somatic Experiencing® offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity to heal. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatised? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually “immune” to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Although humans possess regulatory mechanisms identical to those in animals, the function of these systems is often overridden by the rational mind. This restraint leads to the formation of a constellation of symptoms, including physical pain, emotional reactivity, cognitive dysfunction, depression and dissociation. Through the focal awareness of bodily sensation individuals are able to access the disconnected physiological action patterns, allowing the highly aroused survival energies to be safely and gradually re-regulated.
In this short introduction, Giselle will offer experiential exercises and some simple tools that can be used immediately in times of distress.
Giselle Genillard, founder and director of “SOS INTERNATIONALE”, is a Licensed Midwife, a member of the European Association of Body Psychotherapy (EABP), a Somatic Experiencing (SE)® Practitioner,, a Touch-in-Parenting Instructor and founding Secretary of the Board of EASE, the European Association for Somatic Experiencing.
Giselle combines her training as a somatic therapist with the art of midwifery, the core principles of SE, and her widespread cross-cultural experiences. She works internationally, is multilingual, and was a member of trauma outreach teams in South-East India post-tsunami, New Orleans post-Katrina and post-colonial South Africa post-independence. Giselle brought Peter Levine’s (“Waking the Tiger”) SE trainings to England and France and teaches workshops related to traumatic stress worldwide. Giselle specializes in working with PTSD in early childhood disorders, adolescents, combat and high-stress situations, and international disasters.
Polyvagal Theory and Trauma – Deb Dana
The autonomic nervous system is at the heart of daily living powerfully shaping experiences of safety and influencing the capacity for connection. Polyvagal Theory, through the organizing principles of hierarchy, neuroception, and co-regulation, has revolutionized our understanding of how this system works. We now know that trauma interrupts the development of autonomic regulation and shapes the system away from connection into patterns of protection. For many clients, states of fight, flight, and collapse are frequent, intense, and prolonged while the state of safety and connection is elusive. Their autonomic nervous systems now respond in characteristic post-traumatic patterns of hyperarousal, hypervigilance, disconnection, and numbing.
A Polyvagal approach uses an updated map of the autonomic circuits that underlie behaviors and beliefs so clinicians can reliably lead their clients out of adaptive survival responses into the autonomically regulated state of safety that is necessary for successful treatment. Polyvagal Theory gives clinicians a guide to help clients safely tune into their autonomic states, reshape their nervous systems, and rewrite the trauma stories that are carried in their autonomic pathways.
Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician and consultant specializing in working with complex trauma. She is a consultant to the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute, Clinical Advisor to Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte. She developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and lectures internationally on ways Polyvagal Theory informs work with trauma survivors. Deb is the author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices, co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies, and creator of the Polyvagal Flip Chart. For more information, please see: rhythmofregulation.com
Internal Family Systems & Trauma – Dr Richard Schwartz, PhD
The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., over the past 30 years as he learned to set aside his trained assumptions and truly listen to his clients. It is a highly efficient and effective way of guiding clients to a state of inner clarity and compassion, the Self, from which they know how to heal themselves. From the Self, clients are able to calm and transform their troubling inner voices, the critical and anxious chatter, the compulsive distractions, their feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and overwhelm. These parts of the psyche are surprisingly responsive and resilient when addressed with respect and patience. They readily forsake their inner battles, and take on valuable inner roles once they are accepted and witnessed.
This application of family systems principles and techniques to inner systems is now widely used internationally in the treatment of trauma and severe diagnoses, as well as in non-clinical applications such as business consulting and meditation practice.
The healing and reorienting of their “inner families” in an environment of genuine acceptance, translates into concrete behavioral change, plus improved ability to relate well to people. IFS is a gentle, yet powerful, healing delivery system that releases the therapist from the need to be clever because it trusts and empowers the clients’ Self.
This presentation will introduce the basic principles and techniques of IFS, and how they can be applied in the treatment of trauma.
Richard Schwartz, PhD., began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts.
A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz has published many books and over fifty articles about IFS. Learn more at: https://ifs-institute.com/
What TWU attendees are saying:
Great initiative! For people that like myself are passionate about psychology but wouldn't commit to long term course or training it's a wonderful opportunity to listen to qualified professionals in the area in a relaxed atmosphere.
Just attended my second Weekend University day of lectures at Birkbeck, this time on Memories, Dreams and Existentialism. A great mix of speakers, styles and content which left me wanting to go home and find out more about two out of the three subjects. Fantastic to see Emmy Van Deurzen in action - she's a bit of a heroine of mine! One tip would be to ask the audience to fill up the rows of seats before the start as inevitably some people arrive late (like I did) and it was all a bit chaotic at the back of the auditorium. There were empty seats near the walls but no way to get to them without having four or five people stand up.
Great initiative. Eminent speakers, fascinating talks.
Another amazing day of learning! Thank you Niall.
I just wanted to say what a fabulous day it was on Sunday. The presenters were all highly engaging and the material fascinating. I am ever so grateful to have been able to attend and look forward to any future similar events with 'zest'!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a well organized event with fantastic informative talks by knowledgeable and charismatic speakers. Looking forward to future events.
Great event, 3 fantastic lectures presented
I found the 3 speakers to be extremely well prepared, professional, charismatic, authentic in their delivery of there content. They all had something to share. They were very clear on the "takeaways" which I found in important for such a long day. They all 3 were also very generious in spending time after their talk, to answer more 1-2-1 questions on the side of the room. Very generious. I look forward to future weekend university days.
Just to say that I was so impressed with the quality of the lectures today. It is rare to find that kind of substance, and I imagine you looked long and hard to choose. You are doing a great job. I will definitely come again and tell those I know who would be very interested.
I have attended lots of psychology workshops and would rate this organisation very highly. Interesting, engaging speakers and well run course at an affordable price. Well done Niall. You deserve to do very well
What an intense and heartening day, Jan 28th at Birkbeck U venue. Despite being crowded (testiment to the desire for these events and the calibre) we were comfortable enough to be riveted by the material for hours. I appreciated the free coffee, because the day was long for those like me who come from outside the city. I look forward to the slides being sent to fill out my notes. Fellow audients were warm and attending for a variety of reasons, and are the second fab reason to be there for the day.
Just attended Scientific Behaviour Change - Ancient Wisdom & Modern Psychology and had the most fantastic, enlightening and inspiring day. All three speakers were at a tremendously high level and (to echo the reviewer below) the variety of approaches and theories around a single topic gave great insight. I've already booked for next month.
Today's event was so good, I immediately booked for next one in February!?
The day of Psychology was really insightful, it has inspired me to start researching into all spectrums of mental health & psychology. Something I particularly liked about the day, was the contrast and variety of theories and approaches by each of the three speakers
Interesting lectures on a variety of areas of Psychology and well organised.
A really good mix of topics. I was engaged all day and i'm looking forward to the next one!
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The Weekend University seeks to guarantee an excellent learning experience. If you are not fully satisfied with the day, you will receive 100% of your money back, and we will cover the cost of your travel to and from the venue.