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What to Do Now? How to Overcome Resistance in Treatment of Dissociative Children​

Presenters: Frances Waters, MSW, DCSW, LMSW, LMFT and Joy Silberg, PhD

When: March 15, 2020 (1:30 PM - 5:00 PM)

Where: Cathedral Hill, San Francisco

One of the biggest factors to successful treatment of children with disruptive behaviors and intense emotions is how to overcome resistance to treatment. Resistance is natural when change is required. Yet, underlying resistance is a fear of change and of the unknown that accompanies change.  In particular, treating traumatized and dissociative children is an even more delicate and challenging process given the unique dynamics related to the child’s heightened sense of fear, the child’s often chaotic internal system and stress on the family environment. Therefore, a critical goal for the therapist is to be a master of overcoming resistance with children  and their parents because that is often a primary cause for treatment failure 

This workshop will examine five main factors that can influence resistance in treatment of dissociative children and adolescents: how safe the child feels in therapeutic relationship, how safe the child’s internal system feels toward one another and toward the therapist; how safe the child feels in his/her own environment, and contingent upon that is how open or resistant the parents are to receiving treatment for their own histories of trauma that interfere in the child’s safety, and finally, how the therapist manages countertransferences to resistance.  These obstacles can be narrowed down to emphasizing the goal of healing that can help to mitigate resistances.  Many effective interventions and creative solutions will be described throughout the therapeutic process with case examples that will help to overcome the different levels of resistance and emphasize the goal of healing at criticial junctures. Artwork and clinical videotapes will illustrate these points.

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Where to start first? Treating dissociative youth with high rate of comorbidity​

Presenters: Frances Waters, MSW, DCSW, LMSW, LMFT, Joy Silberg, PhD, Adrian Stierum, MD

When: March 16, 2020 (1:30 PM - 6:00 PM)

Where: Mission, San Francisco

Dissociative children and adolescents often present with a plethora of comorbid symptoms that can cause severe impairment in attention, relationships, school adjustment, and self-control. Some disturbing behaviors, such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, and destructive, suicidal or homicidal behaviors, can be very dangerous and often difficult to manage. These behaviors can take center stage in the treatment trajectory and be very resistant to typical interventions. Often, these children’s placements are disrupted, and they cycle through residential, psychiatric hospitals, foster and adoptive homes with little improvement. Increased dosages and varied medications are prescribed with little efficacy. 

This workshop will describe when and how to target these disturbing and resistant symptoms while exploring dissociative mechanisms that are driving the symptoms. Examining internal dynamics of often hidden states, origin of past, unresolved traumas and environmental stressors that contribute and perpetuate these symptoms will be discussed. Creative Intervention strategies that uncover and treat these symptoms will be described. A careful analysis of the use of medications that targets the most disruptive symptoms with consideration of internal and external dynamics impacting the behaviors, and how to administer them safely will be described. Clinical vignettes, artwork, and videos will illustrate the process of treatment.

Social Justice for Victims of Internet Child Pornography: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Presenters: Joy Silberg, PhD, James Marsh, Esq, Kathleen Faller, David Corwin

When: March 25, 2020 

Where: Huntsville, Alabama

This presentation will provide data on characteristics of internet child pornography, its impact on victims and their families, legal interventions, treatment models, and innovative interventions.

Dr. Silberg will present her research on a cohort of 70 victims of child pornography with video clips of children's disclosures and the overwhelming community denial that followed these disclosures. 

Creative Movement Interventions for Traumatized Families

Presenters: Joy Silberg, PhD, Dahlia Silberg, MA, LPC, BC-DMT

When: April 29, 2020 (8:15 AM - 8:45 AM; Training 8:45 AM - 4:00 PM)

Cost: $169.00

Where: Woodholme Country Club, 300 Woodholme Ave., Pikesville, MD

In this experiential all-day workshop the presenters will demonstrate with audience participation various creative movement interventions that can be used with families that have experienced trauma. These interventions allow clients to embody in action, dance, and psychodrama healing metaphors of therapeutic change. The didactic portion of the program will review neurobiological theories on how trauma affects initiative, motor movements, sensation, proprioception, and somatic experiences in families and discuss why creative movement interventions aimed at the whole body’s experience of trauma can be particularly helpful in healing. The participants will have an opportunity to create a movement intervention for a ”stuck” family in their practice by applying principles learned in the workshop. Issues such as dissociative responses, rage reactions, misattunement, cognitive distortions, and emotional dysregualtion will be addressed and creative exercises that target these issues will be demonstrated. At the end of the workshop, participants will have an opportunity to use these interventions to work on their own vicarious trauma and to deal with any self-critical cognitions that can interfere with their therapeutic effectiveness.

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Assessment and Treatment of Complex Trauma and Dissociation in Children and Teens

Presenter: Joy Silberg, PhD

When: May 16-17, 2020

Where: Glasgow, Scotland

Sponsored by TTIS, Trauma Training In Scotland

Joyanna Silberg is a clinical child psychologist in private practice who is also the President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence. Her psychotherapy practice specializes in children and adolescents suffering from dissociative symptoms and disorders, and her forensic practice specializes in child sexual abuse.

In this two-day workshop, Dr Silberg will cover the highlights of her EDUCATE model which takes young clients through a systematic sequence of steps that leads to healing from severe trauma and dissociation. Theoretical points will directly relate to interventions so that the participants can understand how theory directly leads to the choice of interventions.

The workshop will include active demonstrations of therapeutic techniques such as the “time machine method”, “thank you note” exercises, and creating “mixed feeling charts”.

Special emphasis will be placed on how to assess progress and stuck moments in therapy and how to prioritize interventions at any given time. When is a family session important? When is it important to find the traumatic source of a trigger? When is it appropriate to uncover hidden trauma? When working with traumatized youth it often feels like there is so much to be done, and difficult to know where the key points of intervention are. Dr Silberg will address how to assess the most important areas to address as treatment progresses.

There will be an opportunity for participants to present case material and utilize material presented in the workshop to problem solve new solutions.

Trauma-Informed Parenting & Custody Examinations​

Presenters: Philip J. Kinsler, PhD and Joy Silberg, PhD

CE credits: 3

Live webcast and on-site workshop fees: Member: $65; Non-member: $80

Psychologists working in family court matters often have to assess and manage disputes where issues of psychological trauma are central to the cases. Issues of possible child sexual and/or physical abuse and/or domestic violence arise repeatedly. Issues such as alleged "parental alienation" or "high conflict parenting" are placed before courts with little attention to the evidence-based trauma literature. The presenters will first discuss the evidentiary base for some common trauma myths… Are children easily coached to claim sexual abuse when there has not been any? Are children easily subject to misinformation and leading questions by child abuse interviewers? Are children able to remember abusive events, and at what ages? Is child sexual abuse actually traumatic and harmful? An enormous body of experimental and clinical literature has developed on these questions, which the workshop will review. This workshop presents how this evidence base is reflected in the formal guidelines for child custody evaluations, for evaluations in child protection matters, and in the guidelines developed for evaluation of cases involving psychological trauma. The presenters will specifically attend to allegations of parental alienation or high conflict parenting, and discuss the effects of such charges on children and families.

This workshop is designed to help you:

1) Comprehend and incorporate child-abuse research into your work.

2) Comprehend and incorporate up-to-date findings on child suggestibility in interview situations into their your and reports.

3) Gain awareness of proper protocols for interviewing children about possible child abuse.


Presenter: Joyanna Silberg, PhD

There are few clinical experiences as disconcerting and heartbreaking as sitting with a traumatized child experiencing dissociation. What do you do when a child or teenager seems frozen or dazed, hears illusory voices, and seems to have lost any connection to his or her customary identity? This comprehensive workshop will provide not just the theoretical and developmental background to understand the phenomenon of childhood dissociation, but also the specific tools and strategies needed to help these clients heal. You’ll learn the EDUCATE model, an approach that leads patients step-by-step from psychoeducation through affect regulation to trauma processing. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how to approach dissociative symptomatology in young people to promote healthy development and self-awareness.

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