Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences–physical and emotional abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence or substance abuse, and other early exposures to violence–are more common than thought and can cause profound and pervasive effects on physical and mental health. As adults, survivors of early trauma may experience:
- complex disruptions of affect regulation,
- disturbed attachment patterns,
- rapid behavioral regressions and shifts in emotional states,
- aggressive or destructive behavior against self and/or others,
- delays or disruptions in achieving developmental competencies,
- altered schemas of the world,
- an overactivation of their stress response system,
- altered awareness or assessment of danger, dissociation or numbingx
- multiple health problems: cardiovascular, metabolic, immunological, and sexual disorders,
- problems with self-concept and self-regulation, and
- chronic feelings of shame, self-hatred, self-blame.
While the DSM-5 does not include a diagnostic category of “developmental trauma disorder,” treating these constellation of problems in a piece meal fashion would miss out on how they express a system of internal disorganization.
In this workshop, Kate Gotelli will explore ways that adults who have a history of adverse childhood experiences can learn to make sense of their own struggles and begin a process of healing with self-awareness, compassion, and safe re-connection in present relationships. Kate will explain and demonstrate how to approach charged schemas, emotions and sensations in a manner that reduces sympathetic arousal, overwhelm, and helplessness while increasing clients’ capacity to negotiate stress and trauma. She will also offer practical recommendations on how to use the therapeutic relationship itself to help individuals with developmental trauma to restore control and power that creates safety, allows for remembrance and mourning, and promotes reconnection with everyday life.
Trainer: Kate Gotelli, LCSW, SEP
Kate Gotelli, LCSW, SEP is a psychotherapist and owner of her solo practice, Mindful Awakening, PLLC in Carrboro, NC. She is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, a Certified EMDR Therapist, and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator with over 20 years of clinical experience in behavioral healthcare services. Kate specializes in psychotherapy with adults and her interests focus on trauma resolution, shame resilience and wholehearted living. She runs weekly groups and intensives in The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ based on the research of Brené Brown. She also provides clinical consultation and supervision to other licensed mental health professionals and is an approved SE Session Provider for Beginning and Intermediate Level SE Participants/Students towards earning the SEP certification. She has experience working with individuals, couples and groups in a variety of settings; home visit counseling, outpatient community mental health, inpatient psychiatric hospital, an AIDS service organization, and a local birthing & wellness center for women. She provides clinical case consultation, as an NASW certified Clinical Supervisor. through NASW and has prior affiliations with UNC School of Social Work (SSW) as an adjunct instructor, field instructor, and training consultant for SSW and Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) centers. She continues to provide professional trainings and workshops for clinicians on topics including trauma, resilience, adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and anger management, and to community groups on mindful parenting, healthy relationships and HIV/AIDS.
Learning objectives: By the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- List at least 2 mental, behavioral, and physical health conditions that are highly correlated with adverse childhood experiences.
- Explain at least 3 mechanisms through which developmental trauma can impact emotion regulation, safety, trust, and connection.
- Describe at least 2 resources that are essential to help developmentally traumatized clients access.
- Identify at least 3 therapist skills or characteristics to facilitate clients’ attachment repair.
- Name at least 2 therapist interventions that help build clients’ capacity to regulate emotions and nervous system activation.
- Explain at least 3 reasons that individuals with development trauma may engage in behavior that appears to be perceived at excessively clingy, compliant, oppositional, and/or distrustful.
- 8:30 am Registration
- 9:00 am Overview of Developmental Trauma & Attachment Styles
- 10:30 am BREAK
- 10:45 am Danger, Distrust and Emotion Dysregulation
- 12:00 pm LUNCH
- 1:00 pm Rebuilding Safety, Trust and Emotional Skillfulness
- 2:45 pm BREAK
- 3:00 pm Expanding Capacity in Relationships
- Therapist Self-Care and Presence in Session
- 4:30 pm Adjournment
- van der Kolk, B. (2005). Developmental trauma disorder. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 401-408.
- Heller, L & LaPierre, A. (2012). Healing Developmental Trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
- Rahim, M. (2014.) Developmental trauma disorder: An attachment-based perspective. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 19 (4), 548 – 560.
Van Der Kolk, Bessel. (2014). The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma. New York & London: Allen Lane, Penguin Books.
Clinical Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work