Trauma and the Body: Mapping Autonomic Responses for Assessment and Intervention in Mental Health (Plenary Talk)

Current research shows that at the root of many physical and mental health disorders is trauma. Specifically, the highly stressful or overwhelming experiences that occurred in early childhood which correlate to disease processes well into adulthood. The evidence is so strong that it suggests working in mental health inherently means working with traumatic reactivity and it’s repercussions.

This talk is an introduction to a number of key aspects of how trauma functions. We will discuss the memory systems involved in storing, triggering and ultimately resolving trauma. We will look at the physiological responses we have to traumatic events with a focus on how the autonomic nervous system plays a key role in symptomology. Finally, we will discuss resolution techniques that are trending towards bottom-up, somatic processing and away from top down, cognitive oriented talk therapy models.

  • Learn how to better navigate through your client’s PTSD by developing an  overarching, coherent understanding of post traumatic stress
  • Understanding the memory systems involved in PTSD
  • Be able to map the 5 major autonomic nervous system states associated with stress and trauma