Secure Attunement Framework

Working with survivors of developmental trauma (trauma that took place ages 0-6) requires a different framework of treatment than work with trauma experienced later in life. 


During the first two years of childhood, the brain is wired to develop through reciprocity and attuned attachment.  When this fails to happen, the resulting sense of mis-attunement leads to a continuous state of physiological distress. Since the resulting trauma is caused in reference to others, treatment must, therefore, take place in the context of an attuned relationship.

The brain develops from the bottom upward. Lower parts of the brain are responsible for functions dedicated to ensuring survival and responding to stress. Upperparts are responsible for executive functions, like making sense of what you are experiencing or exercising moral judgement.

Development of the upper parts depends upon prior development of lower parts. In other words, the brain is meant to develop like a ladder, from the bottom up. When stress responses (typically due to consistent neglect or abuse) are repeatedly activated over an extended period in an infant or toddler, sequential development of the brain is disturbed. The ladder develops, but foundational steps are missing and many things that follow are out of kilter.

Developmental trauma can manifest in a variety of ways and thus often goes unrecognized: Sensory processing disorder, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Conduct Disorder, DMDD, Eating-Disorder and Body Dysmorphia, Self-Harm, Major Depression, Bi-Polarity, personality disorders (especially borderline personality disorder), PTSD, cognitive impairment, speech delay, learning disabilities, and more may have developmental trauma at their core.

This series of two (90min sessions) will focus on theories and treatment practices of developmental trauma and how to apply them in clinical practice.

Note that while content and objectives are the same,  each series (kids or adults) will focus on a different age group. Kids Series will take place on Sundays, and Adult Series will take place on Tuesdays.



  1. Understand and learn about the ETI Secure Attunement Framework. 

  2. Increase therapeutic adeptness in blending bottom-up experiential modalities (expressive arts and somatic/body-oriented approaches) and top-down approaches (narrative processing) in the context of a secure-attunement framework.

  3. Develop a clear understanding of the foundational role of attunement in brain development in the early years of life and what type of intervention is needed according to the age when the trauma took place.

  4. Learn what is trauma integration in the context of developmental trauma based on case presentations of treatment plans.


Session One: Introduction to ETI Secure Attunement Framework.

Session Two: Application of Secure Attunement Framework in Online Sessions.

Target audience

Mental health counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists and other clinicians working with clients affected by developmental trauma, complex trauma (reactive attachment disorder, BPD, CPTSD).


Secure Attunement Series for Working with Kids Ages 1-18

When: TBA

Location: Zoom. A recording will be sent to participants who missed the webinars, to view for 7 days.



Secure Attunement Series for Working with Adults

When: TBA

Location: Zoom. A recording will be sent to participants who missed the webinars, to view for 7 days.







$90 payable in advance.



3 CEUs through the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.  



Do I need to be an artist or expressive therapist to participate or to apply these methods with my clients?

No, these are simple techniques that anyone can learn to use in clinical settings.  While we will use art-making, drawing, and role reversal, our focus will be on the process of expression and experiencing "imaginal space", not on the end product. 

​What if I miss a workshop?

You will be missed. We will send you a recording of the session that will be available to watch for 7 days. You are responsible for payment for all sessions even if circumstances do not allow your participation. 

+1 240 544 7863

Appreciate our approach?
Please consider making

a donation to support our work

©2010-2020 by Expressive Trauma Integration™