Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy -26/02/16

Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy – A Mindsite workshop in Stockport on Friday 26th February 2016

09:30 – 16:00

Trauma 1Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy is a deeply challenging issue; yet it is poorly understood, and the literature is patchy and inconsistent. It challenges us theoretically, ethically and therapeutically to understand and work with it effectively without doing harm. Part of the challenge results from the need to view the topic widely, and take account of perspectives that are outside our theoretical frame. In working with trauma, it is necessary to think about biology, neuro-science and evolutionary psychology – as well as other more familiar ideas. The workshop approaches the subject from the point of view of practitioners who are striving to incorporate an understanding of the subject into their practice.

This is the fourth time we have run this workshop on Trauma in counselling and psychotherapy.  This year we have restructured and upgraded it to include the most recent idea and more examples of master practitioners at work.

Within the participative framework of the workshop we will argue that all counsellors and psychotherapists work with the after effects of trauma, even if they avoid clients with a diagnosis of PTSD; or symptoms of post traumatic stress. The condition becomes somatised and symbolised in complex ways that are not always obvious in the presentation of the client or the issues that they bring. We will also argue that a direct approach is not always appropriate, because of: retraumatisation; the triggering of avoidant patterns of thinking; the strengthening of already intractable defences; and the encouragement of false recovered memories. We believe that less direct approaches are often more effective and less likely to cause harm.

Because of the difficult nature of the topic it is difficult to include experiential material.  We have therefore chosen to look at the work of a number of prominent practitioners and to offer their approaches as material for discussion.

The workshop will cover:

  • Medical definition of trauma, post-traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder
  • NICE guidelines on the treatment of PTSD
  • Wider understandings of trauma
  • Working with trauma in different theoretical perspectives (person-centered, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural) and touching on EMDR
  • Interactive evaluation of the work of prominent practitioners using modalities that include CBT, Counting method, Somatic experiencing, Psychodrama, Metaphor and ‘clean language’.

It will appeal to all counsellors and psychotherapists; students of these disciplines; and other caring professionals who work with traumatised clients or patients. The morning focuses on answering the questions – what is trauma? and How do WE work with it.  The afternoon, will focus on specific approaches to working with trauma illustrated by the work of prominent practitioners.  We will provide space to discuss these in groups so that delegates can form a view of the various approaches and consider incorporating them into their practice.  Jonathan will illustrate his favoured approach of the use of metaphor in the resolution of traumatic memories. This is an approach originally developed by the clinical psychologist David Grove that can be particularly effective in cases where it is difficult, impossible or counterproductive to talk directly about the trauma.

The workshop is lead by Jonathan Lloyd and George Macdonald, who run Mindsite. We hope that it exemplifies the type of CPD and training that Mindsite was set up to promote – relevant, challenging and, we hope, inspirational.

Participants will gain:

  • increased understanding of the nature of trauma
  • greater confidence in working with various forms of trauma
  • the opportunity to discuss issues and ask questions relating to this crucial topic

We looked for some relevant thought starters on working with trauma. Firstly here is a reminder of the biological basis of PTSD and some insights from neuro-science provided by Frank Ochberg.

And here is a compatible view from Bessel Van der Kolk based on his 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score.

Now a conventional view of the treatment of the after effects of trauma with psychotherapy. (How comfortable are you with this approach?). This is typical of a type of ‘treatment’ that is described in the literature (e.g. Resick & Schnicke, 1996)

The presenters

Trauma 2Dr Jonathan Lloyd is an NCS accredited counsellor and a hypnotherapist who runs a busy private practice in Bramhall (see He has diplomas in counselling and hypnotherapy and a DCouns from the University of Manchester for which he researched the use of metaphor in therapy. He has lectured in counselling at Stockport college and ran a diploma course in hypnotherapy at Tameside General Hospital. He is also an accredited supervisor and runs a variety of workshops and courses for teachers. Jonathan has an interest in many different models of counselling and psychotherapy; and has specific interests in ASD, metaphor, trauma, stress and the integration of hypnosis and counselling.

Trauma 3Dr George MacDonald is a BACP accredited counsellor and psychotherapist, who works in private practice and volunteers with a number of agencies. He has diplomas in Counselling and Groupwork practice, an MSc in psychology and counselling and a Professional Doctorate in counselling from the University of Manchester for which he researched ‘Culture as a positive resource in therapy’. His experience was gained in a variety of settings, including primary and tertiary care in the NHS. Although his initial training, and most of his current practice is integrative, he has strong psychoanalytic roots. He has trained in group psychotherapy and is an associate member of the Institute of Group Analysis.

The event will start at 09:30 and finish at 16:00.

The cost is £90 per delegate. For registrations made before 15th January 2014 there will be an ‘Early Bird’ rate of £80.  After this date the ‘Early Bird’ rate will be maintained for groups of three or more who register and pay at the same time.

To download the flyer for the event click here

To download the programme for the day click here

The event, which includes lunch, will be held in the comfortable, recently renovated St Thomas Conference Centre in Lower Ardwick, Manchester.

6 hours CPD. An individually signed certificate of attendance will be provided to all registered delegates. Those who register within 24 hours of the event, or who wish to obtain a duplicate, can order one from the website.

To register immediately, press the button below.  You can register with confidence through Eventbrite and pay by Paypal. card or cheque.  Alternatively, call Jonathan at 0161 439 7773, or email Or we can invoice you or your organisation. To view our cancellation policy click here.

Eventbrite - Trauma in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Recommended references:

Baradon T. (2010) Relational Trauma in Infancy: Psychoanalytic, Attachment and Neuropsychological Contributions to Parent-Infant Psychotherapy. London: Routledge.

Battino R. (2002) Metaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and Healing. Carmarthen: Crown House Publishing.

Boss, P. (2006) Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss. New York, NY: Norton

Christopher M. (2004) ‘A Broader View of Trauma: A Biopsychosocial-Evolutionary View of the Role of the Traumatic Stress Response in the Emergence of Pathology and/or Growth’, Clinical Psychology Review 24(1): 75-98.

Cohen J.A., Mannarino A.P. and Deblinger E. (2012) Trauma Focused CBT for Children and Adolescents. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Foa E.B., Keane T.M., Friedman M.J., et al. (2009) Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practical Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Grove D.J. and Panzer, B.I. (1991) Resolving Traumatic Memories: Mataphors and Symbols in Psychotherapy. New York, NY: Irvington Publishers.

Heller, L. and LaPierre, A. (2012) Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self Image, and the Capacity for Relationship. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books

Herman J. (1997) Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Hopper E. (ed.) (2012) Trauma in Organisations. London: Karnac.

Lee, D. and James, S. (2012) The Compassionate Mind Approach to Recovering from Trauma using Compassion Focused Therapy. London: Constable and Robinson.

Levine, P.A. and Frederick, A. (1997) Waking the Tiger; Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Levine, P.A. (2008) Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body. Boulder, CO: Sounds True

Levine, P.A. (2010) In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Luckhurst, R. (2008) The Trauma Question. London: Routledge.

Porges, S.W. (2011) The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, Self-regulation. New York, NY: Norton

Resnick, P.A. and Schnicke, M.K. (1996) Cognitive Processing Therapy for Rape Victims: A Treatment Manual. London: Sage.

Rothschild, B. (2000) The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. New York, NY: Norton.

Rothschild, B. (2006) Help for the Helpers: The Psychophysiology of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma. New York, NY: Norton

Rothschild, B. (2010) 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery. New York, NY: Norton. Saari, S. (2005) A Bolt from the Blue: Coping with Disasters and Acute Trauma. London: Jessica Kingsley

Sanderson, C. (2013) Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley

Schauer M., Neuner F. and Elbert T. (2011) Narrative Exposure Therapy: A Short-Term Treatment for Traumatic Stress Disorders. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.

Stolorow R. (2007) Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections. Hove: The Analytic Press. Turnbull G. (2011) Trauma. London: Bantam.

Turner A. (2012) ‘Person-Centred Approaches to Trauma, Critical Incidents and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’, in: J. Tolan and P. Wilkins (eds) Client Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy, pp. London: Sage.

Taylor S. (2006) Clinician’s Guide to PTSD: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Van der Kolk, B.(2014) The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York,NY: Viking.

Wilson, J.P. and Lindy, J.D. (2013) Trauma, Culture, and Metaphor: Pathways of Transformation and Integration. Hove: Routledge.

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