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April 27, 2018 10:00 am until April 27, 2018 4:00 pm

CCMH, 2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA, UK




Date: Friday 27 April (10.00-16.00)


Dr Bessel van der Kolk, world-leading researcher and clinician on trauma and traumatic stress, will explore how to successfully treat the impact of overwhelming life experiences on brain, body and mind and the many mental problems which result from trauma and traumatic loss. He will explore the process that ‘ our minds desperately try to leave trauma behind, our bodies keep us trapped in the past with wordless emotions and feelings’ (Stephen Porges), causing havoc to work, life and relationships. He will discuss how the long-term effects of extreme stress on brain, body and attachment systems can be effectively healed by a whole range of interventions. So this is a not to be missed event for all mental health professionals who want to keep up-to-date with the most important scientifically-based breakthroughs in mental health in the last twenty years.

Dr Bessel van der Kolk will explore in easily accessible language the latest brain science of trauma, developmental trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. Delegates will take away a far clearer understanding of what is happening in the brain and body under acute and chronic stress states and why the traumatised child, teenager or adult can suffer such ongoing emotional torment and major disruption to their ability to think, learn, relate and function effectively.

The body is one of the theatres where the memory of trauma is re-enacted in all manner of stress-related symptoms, sleep disorders, illness and hyperaroused states. Traditional interventions, counselling and talking therapies have approached the resolution of trauma as something that needs to be understood, worked through and put into the larger perspective of one’s life. However, from the emerging understanding about the neurobiology of trauma, it is now clear that physical action is necessary to initiate new ways of perceiving reality and to promote new behaviour patterns. This day will therefore present a variety of programmes that demonstrate how physical action, somatic work, theatre and imagination can powerfully help overcome traumatic repetition and continued flight/fight and freeze responses.

Benefits from attending this conference

  • Learn to recognise signs and symptoms of trauma
  • Gain a working knowledge about how and why people can move from trauma to violence
  • Learn how to recognise when people are re-enacting key aspects of their traumatic experience
  • Learn how theatre, bodywork and imagination have enabled traumatised people to work through and heal
  • Know how to respond when trauma has resulted in chronic hyperarousal or dissociative states
  • Understand how trauma can lead to conduct disorder or psychopathic behaviour
  • Hear about a wealth of fascinating and effective interventions



World-leading expert on traumatic stress. Founder and Medical Director of the Trauma Centre in Massachusetts, US and Director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network. Author of several major books in the field including The Body Keeps the Score. Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (2014). His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery. He has published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatised children and adults, and the psychobiology of trauma. Co-principal investigator of the DSM IV Field Trials for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His current research is on how trauma affects memory processes and brain imaging studies of PTSD. Past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. Taught at universities and hospitals worldwide. Co-editor: Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society.




CCMH, 2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA, UK