Complex Trauma and Attachment in Children

Providing a Therapeutic Response

Included in this Training Package

This training has been designed for anyone supporting vulnerable children and families who have been exposed to trauma, and provides all the crucial information required to engage traumatised children and provide them with the experiences they require to heal and develop.

Trent has been providing different evolutions of this training to therapists, case-workers, youth workers, teachers, carers and parents for over a decade.

Purchasing this workshop provides you with –

  • 3 months access to over 6 hours of training videos (16 modules) that you can watch at your own pace
  • Course content developed by Trent Savill (Consultant Therapist and Director of Complex Care) a highly sought after trainer and supervisor with over 16 years of experience working with complex trauma and high-risk children and families in the child protection system. Click here to learn more about Trent.
  • Ongoing access to our learning portal including a library of additional resources

Course Summary

This training provides professionals and carers with an in-depth understanding of how to support children with a history of relational trauma or attachment disruption. Supporting maltreated children can be challenging, confusing and even demoralising, particularly if you are unable to make sense of their behaviour and depersonalise it.

This workshop provides participants with a neuroscience-based framework for reinterpreting children’s emotional and behavioural issues and allows participants to make sense of complex behaviour in the context of trauma, attachment issues, and cognitive skill deficits.

This training aims to simplify contemporary research, and through integration with practice wisdom, provide real hands-on strategies for supporting children’s recovery, and repairing their capacity to regulate emotions, experience empathy and trust others.

Learning Outcomes

Introductory Module

This module explores the importance of having a therapeutic framework for working with children with a history of relational trauma. Trent discusses his early professional experiences and learnings upon entering the child protection/out-of-home care sector, and explains why typical (compliance-based) behaviour management systems are usually ineffective for supporting children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Part 1 Trauma (4 Modules)

1.1 – Defining trauma and Basic Brain Anatomy

    • This module will provide you with a working definition of trauma and outlines the factors typically connected to the severity of trauma.
    • This module will also provide you with an understanding of the left and right hemisphere of the brain in relation to the human experience of stress and overwhelming threat; and looks at a ‘top-down’ conceptualization of brain-anatomy through exploring the Triune brain (Survival, Emotional and Thinking brain).

1.2 – Response to Threat (Fight/Flight/Freeze/Collapse)

      • In this module you will be provided with an in-depth understanding of how the human brain and body respond to perceived threat.
      • You will learn how and when our different defensive systems are initiated (vigilance, hyperarousal and immobilization), and how these responses impact on the way we communicate, process information, perceive our environment and behave.

1.3 – 1.4 – Neurobiology of Trauma

    • In this module you will learn how trauma helps us to adapt to threat by making associations in lower parts of the brain (below conscious awareness) and how this can result in confusing, automatic, defensive reactions to things in our environment that may not actually be dangerous.
    • You will also learn how complex relational trauma (living with a threat) forces the brain to continue to try and predict and proactively respond to potential threats, and the consequences this can have for our future relationships and our base-line physiology.

Part 2 – Attachment (2 Modules)

2.1 – Basics of Attachment

    • In this module you will learn why attachment has been fundamental to our survival as humans
    • You will learn the different ways of classifying attachment (attachment styles), how they develop and how they can impact on the way we relate to others
    • You will learn about Disorganised Attachment and a distorted template for self and others

2.2 – Intersubjectivity, Empathy and Self-regulation

    • In this module you will learn about intersubjective experience: the impact of how a care-giver feels about their child and gazes at them, on the child’s developing self-concept and behaviour.
    • You will learn about the fundamental experiences we require to develop empathy and to learn to monitor and modify our emotional state.

Part 3 – Supporting Children to Heal and Develop

3.1 – 3.2 – Creating Safety and Repairing the Brainstem

    • In this module you will learn about a framework for providing children with the nurturing replacement experiences they require to heal, including the core principles of Bruce Perry’s Neuro-sequential model of therapy, brain-stem interventions that support better emotional-regulation and mindfulness.

3.3 – Rebuilding Healthy Attachment

    • In this module you will learn about some of the principles of Dan Hughes Dyadic developmental Psychotherapy for facilitating attachment in maltreated children (PACE model).

3.4-3.7 – Collaborative Problem Solving

    • Over these 4 modules you will learn about Ross Greene’s framework for reinterpreting explosive behaviours and non-compliance, as a reflection of cognitive skills deficits and be provided with a conversation-based strategy that helps children to stay calm, integrate the needs of others with their own and develop the core skills required to behave appropriately.

3.8–3.9 – Supporting a Child through an escalation

    • Over these 2 modules you will learn how to support a child through the different stages of an escalation/outburst, including proactive strategies for preventing further escalation during the triggering phase, guidance around managing the outburst and important strategies for supporting the child’s recovery and reconnection to you post-escalation.