Embracing and Repairing the Traumatised Self in Psychotherapy – Attachment and Trauma Congress 2023 (Rome)

led by Alessandro Carmelita, Marina Cirio, Jennifer Sweeton, Dafna Lender, William Bumberry, Vincenzo Caretti, Samantha Chase, Athena Phillips, Jeff Conway, Fabrizio Didonna, (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm, Maggie Schauer, Bruce Hersey

The 14th edition of the Attachment and Trauma Congress explores the origins and potential evolutions stemming from traumatic experiences in attachment. Traverse innovative research, therapeutic models and perspectives focusing on the relational development of the Self and its embodied dimensions. Neurosciences have underscored the critical importance of safety in individual self-development and the fulfilment of the need for autonomy and self-recognition. Learn to provide your patients with forms of adaptation to their new reality, based on their needs, safety, trust, relational attunement and deep connections with others.

🪙 19 CPD/CE credits included in the price, no extra fees! 🪙
Whether you practice in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, or any other country, our credits are valid for all the organizations. (Read more). Please note that the CPD/CE credits will be available 15 days after the event has ended.
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Learning Outcomes

Part 1

  • Understand the bodily sensations that arise with fight, flight and immobilisation.
  • Learn the role “scripts” play in the repetition of traumatic patterns and how this impacts the patient’s life.
  • Learn how to redefine the patients emotional and physical connection with themselves and thus others and their communities.

Part 2

  • Discuss the potential treatment outcomes in the use of Ketamine treatment with dissociative patients.
  • Identify potential risks in the use of ketamine treatment with dissociative patients.
  • Learn the importance of pursuing additional research in utilising ketamine as an intervention with dissociative patients.
  • Understand the cultural denial of dissociation as a contributing factor in research gaps with novel interventions, such as ketamine.
  • Discuss possibilities for the use of ketamine in adjunct with psychotherapy in patients with dissociative disorders.

Part 3

  • Recognise the importance of adopting an approach that merges trauma and attachment through an embodied lens.
  • Understand the role of the autonomic nervous system in assessing safety and working with it for healing.
  • Learn to work with the patient using FSPM and EATT to assess a client’s ability to manage their nervous system.

Part 4

  • Learn techniques to help couples deal with intense emotional reactivity.
  • Describe the Gottman “Atone-Attune-Attach” model.
  • Understand the steps for working with infidelity from an EFT perspective.
  • Gain techniques to build emotional intimacy.

Part 5

  • Learn from in-depth audience Q&A with the speakers from Day One.

Part 6 

  • Understand the critical relationship between the need to attach and the need to be autonomous.
  • Identify how safety and attachment comes into play when developing autonomy.

Part 7

  • Understand the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy approach for treating OCD and PTSD.
  • Learn and evaluate the latest research on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions.

Part 8

  • Identify Maladaptive Self-Schemata as an Adaptive Challenge.
  • Learn the model: Expressing The “Problem-Saturated” Account; Naming “The Problem”; Externalising “The Problem”.
  • Understand how to identify unique outcomes utilising unique account, redescription, possibility, and circulation questions.
  • Learn the process of utilising questions that historicise unique outcomes.
  • Apply the invitation to “Take a Position” in life re-storying.

Part 9

  • Describe the foundational principles and features of the Polyvagal Theory.
  • Discuss how to apply features of the Polyvagal Theory in clinical settings.
  • Describe the Social Engagement System and how the brain-face-heart connection evolved.
  • Identify when a client’s Social Engagement System is compromised by stress and trauma and help to reset it.
  • Describe how a therapy session can be planned and carried out to maximise client safety, social engagement and regulation.
  • Theraplay® treatment: Describe activities for responding to retraction of the client’s social engagement system.

Part 10

  • Learn from in-depth audience Q&A with the speakers from Day Two.

Part 11

  • Learn, understand and apply Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) for all ages.
  • Identify the varying areas in which patients can be supported to testify to human rights violation.

Part 12

  • Understand the key role of the mirror when integrating different parts of the Self.
  • Learn the method of Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT) to reconstruct and restore a cohesive and integrated self.

Part 13

  • Understand the Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) approaches.
  • Learn a systematic synthesis of both approaches to ensure precise alignment to their essence.

Part 14

  • Learn from in-depth audience Q&A with the speakers from Day Three.
Course Breakdown:

Part 1: The Dissociation of Intimacy and the Attachment Bond in Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy by Vincenzo Caretti

Emotional and Psychosomatic Regulation Psychotherapy delves into the patient’s fantasies to understand and address chronic negative emotions and trauma-induced body sensations. These sensations, like fight, flight and immobilisation, arise from the Internal Saboteur (or Anti-bonder). This Saboteur warps self-image and disrupts interpersonal bonds, undermining trust and wellness. By disrupting the relational attachment system, it hinders intimacy and deep attachment bonds. The therapy seeks to recognize the “scripts” causing patients to repeat traumatic patterns, which shut down social attachment and hinder their motivation to engage socially or intimately. The therapeutic alliance assists patients in becoming more conscious, reducing the Saboteur’s grip. This aids in building trust in relationships, mending relational wounds, and refining their emotional and physical connections with themselves, others and their communities.

Part 2: Dissociation and Ketamine Treatment: A Case Study with Heather by Athena Phillips

Patients with complex trauma and dissociative symptoms often present with significant and stratified complexity. The treatment trajectory is lengthy, arduous, and milestones typically occur in scarce intervals. While research has contributed to notable strides in treatment outcomes for dissociative patients, the length and severity of suffering remains a feature of the clinical picture. Interventions that combine traditional psychotherapy with novel approaches have the potential to decrease the overarching length and cost of treatment to the patient. Ketamine and psilocybin may have potential to significantly shift the treatment trajectory given the research that is emerging for those with treatment resistant depression. While there may be a great deal of promise in these interventions, of equal concern is the risk potential with their use being applied to those with complex trauma and structural dissociation. Heather’s experience with and response to ketamine as an intervention may offer insight to both the risks and possibilities in the application of ketamine to this population.

Part 3: Understanding and Treating Attachment Trauma with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™ by Samantha Chase

The current understanding of traumatic attachment is based on a pathologising approach that labels dysregulated attachment styles as disorders. This fails to recognise the body’s innate wisdom. Therapists should adopt an approach that merges trauma and attachment through an embodied lens. The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model™ (FSPM) offers a strength-based perspective, building on Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, which provides insights into the autonomic nervous system’s role in assessing safety. Through this theory, traumatic attachment and associated behaviors are understood as adaptive reactions to unsafe environments. This session introduces Jan Winhall’s book on the FSPM, summarising her four-decade journey with trauma survivors. The FSPM promotes a novel method of engaging with embodied processes: interoception and neuroception. Attendees will learn about Gendlin’s Focusing method and the importance of bodily connection for healing. The model is versatile and complements various therapeutic approaches. Its application will be showcased through the Embodied Assessment and Treatment Tool™ (EATT), which assesses a client’s ability to manage their nervous system. This tool evolves into a structured treatment plan and can be digitally archived. The presentation will offer hands-on examples and case studies for immediate application, blending instructional content with experiential insights.

Part 4: Working with Infidelity: The Gottman Method by William Bumberry

Infidelity, with the core ingredients of emotional and/or sexual betrayal, is a distressing, disorienting experience. The impact is visceral, the pain profound. While the bond can be destroyed in a flash, healing and rebuilding take time. Those who have experienced this in their own relationship, or navigated the path with clients, know the journey is turbulent. Intense emotions open quickly. Reactivity is the norm. As a therapist, staying present, attuned and balanced is crucial. A healthy therapeutic alliance is essential. This presentation will focus on the paradigm shifting Gottman “Atone, Attune, Attach” approach to treating infidelity. This model offers clarity and wisdom about how to weather the storm, heal the hurt and rebuild the broken bond. Building on Drs. John and Julie Gottman’s seminal research, this model emphasises the centrality of Trust and Commitment in the journey from betrayal to intimacy.

Part 5: Day One Panel

An in-depth Q&A panel with Vincenzo Caretti, Athena Phillips, Samantha Chase (Jan Winhall’s student) and William Bumberry.

Part 6: Attachment, Trauma and the schemas of impaired autonomy and performance by Jeff Conway

Two of the most basic of core needs for all humans are the need to attach and the need to be autonomous. And although these two needs might appear to be quite distinct from each other; in fact, they are intrinsically tied and complementary. When a secure base is built between a caregiver and child; when a child feels safe and protected and understood, their ability to thrive, to explore, to internalise this relational security plays out in their ability to have agency and feel confident in their life and in their capacity to form and develop relationships.

But when there is not enough safety, and protection and understanding between the caregiver and child, this can be described as an attachment trauma. This trauma plays out in an internalised insecurity that engenders such Schemas or Impaired Autonomy and Performance as the Schemas of Dependency/Incompetence and Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self. You will explore the relationship between attachment trauma and the idea of a corresponding “autonomy trauma” in the form of these Impaired Autonomy and Performance Schemas and the perpetuating Coping Modes. You will also explore the remedy of the limited reparenting relationship for healing these Schemas which can help cultivate within a patient a more secure attachment style and a greater sense of autonomy.

Part 7: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for OCD and Trauma: Where New and Old Paths to Dealing with Suffering Meet by Fabrizio Didonna

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are both challenging and difficult-to-treat psychiatric problems. They may share some common symptoms (such as avoidance, safety seeking behaviors), emotions (anxiety, guilt, disgust, shame), cognitive biases, a hyper reactivity to specific stimuli, a dysfunctional relationship with their own internal experience. Mindfulness-based approaches, in particular MBCT, are thought to target several core features of both OCD and PTSD, including experiential avoidance, hyperarousal, safety seeking behaviors, and distressful emotions. There are several components of mindfulness that may promote recovery from OCD and PTSD, including attention, a mindful cognitive style, a shift in perspective and non judgment and normalization toward the internal experience.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for OCD is an innovative, manualised and empirically validated ‘third wave’ treatment programme designed to create significant clinical and life improvement in those suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The programme integrates the most effective tools of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with the clinical application of the principles and practices of mindfulness and self-compassion. During this presentation the strengths of a mindfulness-based approach, and in particular MBCT, to both disorders and how these interventions act powerfully and effectively on some overlapping etiological and phenomenological factors will be highlighted.

Dr. Didonna will also share the latest research results on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for OCD and PTSD. Participation in this intervention will ensure that you learn more about this new therapeutic approach and how to use MBCT and more generally mindfulness-based interventions to help clients with OCD and PTSD to radically change the dysfunctional relationship they have developed in a healthy way with their internal states in order to create meaningful well-being and balance.

Part 8: Survivors thrive and overcome: human trafficking and narrative therapy practices to rewrite the history of trauma by Dr. (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm

The term human trafficking is an overarching concept that includes various multifaceted and intersecting forms of maltreatment. Existing on a larger continuum of violence, human trafficking is ultimately a type of abuse and exploitation perpetrated for the purpose of labor or sex. Individuals subjugated to human trafficking endure holistic (physical, psychological, sexual, social, and spiritual) cruelty that cumulatively, results in psychophysiological trauma.

With a history of demonstrated success walking alongside survivors of human trafficking (as well as other forms of trauma), and a heart to grow with colleagues in developing effective transformational therapeutic practices, Dr. Roswurm will share her Lotus Emancipation Model. In doing so, Dr. Roswurm will focus on how practitioners can utilize culturally relevant narrative practices to assist trauma survivors in re-storying their lives.

Participants will increase their capacity to assist clients through use of therapeutic narrative practices such as:

Part 9: Applying Polyvagal Theory: Harnessing Your Social Engagement System to Quickly Elicit Trust with Traumatized Children and Adolescents by Dafna Lender

In this workshop, you will learn about how the Polyvagal Theory (PVT) can help you in your work with children and caregivers.

Many presentations about PVT focus on adult treatment, despite the fact that it is early experiences that create the felt sense of safety or defense. It is critical for all child and caregiver therapy clients to feel safe and to be able to co-regulate; this is especially true for clients who have sustained trauma. This presentation will focus on two complementary forms of caregiver-child relationship interventions, Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). You will see the impact of physiological state on the child and caregiver client and detail how PVT concepts can be used more intentionally to strengthen your therapy with video examples, practice exercises and case discussion. Assessment methods, planning and treatment advice will be discussed for Video examples of clients with presenting issues of traumatic loss, orphanage care and adoption, dysregulation, autism and parenting difficulties will illustrate.

This presentation will focus on the first component of establishing safety and regulation.

You will learn how to:

  • Use voice, rhythm, facial expressions and touch to elicit trust
    • Exercises that hone in on various vocal qualities
    • Creating and maintaining an open facial expression with defensive clients
    • Strategies for incorporating safe touch
  • Surprise the brain of a defensive client with novel responses that will grab their attention, interrupt their automatic defensiveness, and generating curiosity.
    • Using playfulness and paradox
  • Learn exercises and activities to make shut down, guarded or angry clients feel more relaxed, open and read to connect. Learn exercises and activities to make shut down, guarded or angry clients feel more relaxed, open and read to connect.
    • Movement and breathing exercises that create connection.

Part 10: Day Two Panel

An in-depth Q&A panel with Jeff Conway, Fabrizio Didonna, Dr. (Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm and Dafna Lender.

Part 11: Narrative Exposure Therapy – Treatment after multiple and complex traumatisation by Maggie Schauer

Adversities and multiple exposure to traumatic stressors are the ‘building blocks’ of psychopathology for the individual, the family and the society across generations. Narrative exposure therapy (NET) for children, adolescents and adults is an efficient, trauma-focused, short-term psychotherapeutic treatment for survivors of multiple and complex trauma. Within a life-span approach, it enables the integration of traumatic memories into the biographical context, activates the person’s resources and allows meaning-making and corrective relationship experiences. The cross-cultural approach is straightforward and can be deployed by academic professionals as well as trained local counsellors in resource poor contexts and emergency settings within ‘screen and treat’- and cascade models of stepped care. In NET, survivors individually and collectively, are supported to give words to injustice, to testify to human rights violations and thereby regain dignity, and satisfy the need for acknowledgement.

Part 12: MIMT: Beyond the Intrapsychic and Relational Integration, Towards a Deep Connection with the Whole by Alessandro Carmelita and Marina Cirio

Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy has been working for many years with patients on overcoming trauma, through integration, which is not only intrapsychic, but first and foremost relational. The unique setting of this approach allows to directly access the deepest dimension of the attachment trauma, as the patient can see the organization of the different Selves that have differentiated during the development, starting from the internalization of the Other, who perpetrated abuse or deprivation. The mirror allows the patient to simultaneously relate with the child victim of the trauma and the Internalized Other, who feels disgust, anger, shame, and fear. Moreover, the techniques used in therapy allow to work at a deep level, below the level of awareness, by accessing the core of the Self.

Through a continuous and careful process of mirroring in the therapeutic relationship, calibrated through deep compassion between therapist and patient, neural pathways for the integration of different selves and the reconstruction of a cohesive and integrated self are restored. The ultimate goal of the MIMT is not only intrapsychic integration, but also a sense of compassion for everything surrounding human beings, in a broad, ecological view of reality where we are all interconnected at an ancestral and deep level.

Part 13: Dual Attention in Healing: The Essence of IFS-Informed EMDR by Bruce Hersey

Eye-Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) have become widely popular approaches to treating disorders of attachment and trauma. Their shared assumption of the underlying innate human healing capacity, EMDR’s long association with ego state constructs, and IFS’s uniquely accessible formulation have combined to inspire broad curiosity regarding their allied application. At the core of this alliance, dual attention emerges as a key to unlocking their mutual connection to the universal process inherent in all successful healing. How each model approaches a dual attention template, how these parallel the necessary conditions for memory reconsolidation, and how a systematic synthesis of these templates assures more precise alignment to the essence, are illustrated in this presentation.

Part 14: Day Three Panel

An in-depth Q&A panel with Maggie Schauer, Marina Cirio, Jennifer Sweeton and Bruce Hersey.

Vincenzo Caretti

Vincenzo Caretti is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst and Professor of Dynamic Psychology at the LUMSA University in Rome. He is also the Director of the Post-Graduate Program in “Clinical Criminology and Forensic Science” there, as well as the Director of Forma Mentis, the Specialization School in Integrated Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital. He is the Director of the Italian Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IIPP) in Palermo. His research studies have been focusing on different subjects: alexithymia, developmental trauma, psychopathic personality, the application of Polyvagal Theory to psychosomatic approaches in Psychotherapy. He is the author of several publications and has standardized various psychometric tests and semi-structured interviews which are commonly used for assessment purposes and in the clinical practice.

Athena Phillips

Athena Phillips, LCSW, PsyD Candidate, started her career in behavioral health in 1995, where she worked with developmentally disabled children and adults. Working here prompted her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work, which she completed at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was Social Work Student of the Year. Phillips completed her master’s in social work from Portland State University, her internship was at the Sexual Assault Resource Center, where she helped develop a sexual assault prevention curriculum for children to be used within the school system. The demand for a progressive view to working with post-traumatic stress, dissociative identity disorder and related mental health challenges prompted her to build Integrative Trauma Treatment Center (ITTC) in 2012.

Jennifer Sweeton

Originally trained as a neuroscientist, Dr. Jennifer Sweeton is a clinical and forensic psychologist, Amazon #1 best-selling author in clinical psychology, and internationally-recognized expert on trauma and the neuroscience of mental health. She is the author of the Trauma Treatment Toolbox, Train Your Brain Card Deck, Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness, and the forthcoming Traumatic Stress Recovery Workbook. Dr. Sweeton completed her doctoral training at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, and the National Center for PTSD. Additionally, she holds a master’s degree in personality psychology (with an emphasis in affective neuroscience) from Stanford University, and studied behavioral genetics and psychopathology at Harvard University.

William Bumberry

William Bumberry, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with couples. He has been with the Gottman Institute for more than a decade and is a Senior Certified Gottman Couples Therapist, Trainer and Consultant. Dr. Bumberry is a member of the American Psychological Association and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at St. Louis University. Since becoming a certified trainer for the Gottman Institute, Dr. Bumberry has presented Gottman professional training throughout the U.S. and abroad. In addition, Dr. Bumberry is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy. He has worked closely with Dr. Carl Whitaker. He is co-author of “Dancing with the Family: A Symbolic-Experiential Approach, A Different Kind of Caring” (videotape) and “Reshaping Family Relationships: The Symbolic Therapy of Carl Whitaker”.

Jeff Conway

Jeff Conway, MS, LCSW is the current President of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST). He is a founding member of the ISST and has served in several roles for the ISST since its foundation. His previous Executive Board position was Training Coordinator from 2018-2020. He continues to be a Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and has cultivated a training niche for understanding and effectively treating the Enmeshment and Undeveloped Self Schema. He has written about this schema and provided several workshops and supervision groups on this topic globally. Conway is also a founding member of The NY Center for Emotion Focused Therapy and is trained in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), a couple’s therapy model based on Attachment Theory. He is also a Certified Couples Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor and recently completed a new online ST Couples Training Program.

Fabrizio Didonna

Prof. Fabrizio Didonna, is an internationally known Clinical Psychologist, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology at the School of Medicine, University of Padova, Professor in the Institute for Lifelong Learning of the University of Barcelona, and Visiting Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is also a Director of the International Center of MBCT for OCD, in Vicenza. He is the developer of the therapeutic model, and author of the related manual, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Guilford Press, 2020, translated in Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian), the first manualized and validated mindfulness-based treatment model for OCD. Didonna is a founder and Honorary President of the Italian Institute for Mindfulness. He has presented research, lectures and workshops at international conferences and universities worldwide.

(Karen) Irene Countryman-Roswurm

Dr. Countryman-Roswurm is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. She also serves as a Field Educator for the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC). Cumulatively, Dr. Roswurm has more than 26 years of professional practice expertise in movements working to not only end abuse, homelessness, exploitation, trafficking, and the adaptive “ism’s” these issues are often rooted in; but most importantly, promoting holistic healing and prosperity. A Native Blackfoot woman who remains grounded in her own life experiences of overcoming streets and systems (e.g. child welfare/foster care, criminal/legal judicial systems, etc.), Dr. Roswurm is a transformational leader who has committed her life to contemplative, emancipatory practices. She has more than twenty publications and has facilitated thousands of keynotes, workshops, and critical conversations around the globe.

Dafna Lender

Dafna Lender, LCSW, is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families with attachment in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna’s style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter. Dafna is the co-author of Theraplay the Practitioner’s Guide (2020). She teaches and supervises clinicians in 15 countries in 4 languages: English, Hebrew, French and Spanish.

Maggie Schauer

Dr. Maggie Schauer is a psychotraumatologist at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Together with Frank Neuner and Thomas Elbert, she developed Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). She is a founding member of the NGO Vivo International, the NGO Babyforum (through which she combats neglect and maltreatment in early childhood) and the NET Institute. Maggie is a trauma therapist who researches multiple and complex traumatisation as a result of domestic and organised violence, childhood trauma, torture and human rights violations, especially the transgenerational consequences of violence and neglect. Maggie continuously trains future generations of psychotherapists, mental health professionals and psychosocial staff to provide support to trauma survivors. Among her various achievements, she was recently appointed to the board of the Italian Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress (SISST).

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Alessandro Carmelita

Dr. Alessandro Carmelita is an Italian psychotherapist and psychologist in London with over 20 years’ experience in the clinical and sports psychology fields. He qualified in Cognitive Therapy before training with international experts in Schema Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Therapy and Accelerated Dynamic Psychotherapy. Dr. Carmelita gained his degree in Clinical Psychology at Padua University of Clinical Psychology in 1999. Since then, he has completed specialist training in Cognitive Therapy at APC Rome, Schema Therapy at the Schema Therapy Institute of NY, Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples at the Ackherman Institute of NY, and Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy at ISC International. Dr. Carmelita has trained and mentored hundreds of fellow therapists internationally. He is a compassionate therapist and co-creator of the pioneering Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy.

Marina Cirio

Marina Cirio is a Psychologist and a Psychotherapist. She has enriched her professional training with recent contributions in the field of Psychotherapy and Neuroscience. She has developed Mindful Interbeing Mirror Therapy (MIMT) together with Alessandro Carmelita, thus contributing to expand both the clinical implications and the research work on the therapeutic interventions that can be used with different types of patients. After using this innovative approach for years, Dr. Cirio is going to conduct – together with Dr. Carmelita – a new training course in MIMT that will allow many other therapists to learn and understand this new way of relating to clients, which can facilitate a real and profound change.

Samantha Chase

Samantha Chase, your Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitator, is a passionate mental health advocate and clinician. Following several years of work in community mental health services, she completed University of Toronto’s Master of Social Work program. As a Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitator, Samantha assists in Jan Winhall’s Felt Sense Polyvagal Model certificate course at the Polyvagal Institute, as well as facilitating groups on the model. Samantha is trained in Focusing, Mindfulness (MTER), and Narrative Therapy. Now, she operates a private practice working with trauma and addiction. Her approach is relational and integrative, founded in mindfulness, narrative, and trauma-informed approaches shown to give people results. Collaboratively, she works with clients to explore a collection of practices, skills, and perspectives to find strategies that work for them today.

Bruce Hersey

Bruce Hersey, LCSW, is Co-Founder of the Syzygy Institute and the Creator of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Interweave for EMDR. Since creating emdrifs.com, Bruce’s teachings continue to develop and evolve to new levels of integration and complexity. While his methods began with the application of Richard Schwartz’s IFS framework within the Standard Protocol of Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) from Francine Shapiro, further insight has been added through Bruce Ecker’s Coherence Therapy and its clinical application of neuroscience from memory reconsolidation research. Bruce is an experienced presenter and workshop leader, known for his clarity, humor, warmth, and humility. He has led and co-led numerous introductory IFS and IFS-Informed EMDR workshops, both in person and online.

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Embracing and Repairing the Traumatised Self in Psychotherapy – Attachment and Trauma Congress 2023 (Rome)

What happens when someone has a traumatic experience in attachment? This course outlines the latest research in trauma and attachment as well as different therapeutic models and perspectives which can be used to treat any issues which have evolved.


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