ETI Trauma Processing Series
Trauma processing requires a strong and safe bond between the client and therapist and a careful, one-step-at-a-time approach. Often work with preliminary strategies needs to take place before working with the trauma story itself.
Trauma processing also requires self-regulation for the client to be in the present in the face of what comes up and often this must be an early priority in therapy. For some clients, this increases their quality of life enough that they feel little need to do extensive processing of the trauma event itself. Improved self-regulation may suffice for now, and in the future, they can engage further with deeper trauma processing if they wish.
Other clients feel a need to go over certain aspects of their trauma experience experientially, again and again, until they are able to gain a sense of control over this pivotal event that separates life for them into two phases, before trauma, and after trauma.
The underlying principle is that, in order to regain access to memories and responses of the body that have been frozen by trauma, survivors need to expand their control over instinctual (ie: spontaneous) stress responses to the trauma. However, this needs to be achieved without activating an alert response (fight/flight/freeze) that is often triggered by reminders of the traumatic story.
This requires a client to make a conscious decision to act, which in the ETI roadmap marks the fifth stage of trauma integration. This must be carefully tailored to the circumstances of each survivor. Three things need to be part of action for it to be effective: (1) The timing of action needs to be chosen by the survivor, not imposed by life, by other people, or by the therapist; (2) Action needs to somehow engage the trauma story or the pain and injury that resulted from the aftermath of it; (3) Action needs to involve some element of tolerable emotional risk for the survivor, no matter how small (thereby expanding the window of tolerance and highlighting the power of choice).
This five-session consultation group is a series for advanced therapists and caregivers who are working with trauma survivors and interested in an experiential approach for trauma processing.
Mental health counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists and other clinicians working with trauma survivors.
$500 for five sessions, payable in advance, or in monthly installments ($110 for 5 months).
Limited to 5 participants.
Tuesday Group 5-6pm EST
What is included in this series?
This series is designed to provide input and training on experiential trauma processing as well as case consultation in applying the approaches learned. See the next item in this FAQ for a description of the format of each session.
In addition to the monthly session, participants will have the opportunity, if they wish, to participate in an online group discussion.
What will take place in each face-to-face workshop?
Participants will engage in experiential tools for trauma processing in the first part of the session and discuss how they apply with client cases. In the first session, we will use the ETI roadmap as a theoretical base to understand the value of action-methods in trauma processing.
The first part of each workshop will incorporate a warm-up. Then, with a focus on a case presentation, we will learn how to apply experiential methods to the case. Sessions will end with processing and discussion.
Do I need to be an artist or expressive therapist to participate or to apply these methods with my clients?
No. Experiential modalities are bottom-up modalities (targeting lower parts of the brain affected by trauma) that aim to enhance spontaneity, and movement in trauma survivors. Since trauma is a frozen moment in time, the antidote is movement. Sometimes it is playful movement (even with adults, not just with kids). Sometimes it is a symbolic ritual kind of movement that helps clients shift a feeling of contraction (stagnation) to expansion.
While we will use art-making, drawing, body-sculptures, and role reversal, our focus will be on the process of expression and experiencing "imaginal space", not on the end product. These are simple techniques that anyone can learn to use in clinical settings.
What if I miss a date?
You will be missed. While there is a flow of content and group dynamics, we will do our best to communicate to you what you missed.
You are responsible for payment for all sessions even if circumstances do not allow your participation.