There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Zora Neale Hurston
Students will be able to convey understanding of basic neurobiology as pertains to clinical work with trauma.Students will be able to educate patients about fundamental aspects of trauma neurobiology as appropriate to augment clinical engagement and response. Students will develop an understanding of the neurobiology of trauma that will enable them to pursue further study on their own or through additional training. Students will develop an understanding of several key frameworks for understanding neurobiology as pertains to trauma, and appreciate their clinical and practical significance.
Through reading, silent guided experiential processes, and discussion of clinical material, students will learn: Wilma Bucci’s Multiple Code Theory as a theoretical model for understanding the somatic/implicit/nonverbal impact of emotional and physical trauma; how to apply Multiple Code Theory in discussing clinical material; how to track somatic responses to clinical case material, thereby enhancing their ability to identify and engage nonverbal aspects in the treatment of trauma.
Some key papers on dissociative process and dissociative structure are covered, including readings from classical psychoanalytic and contemporary relational authors (Ferenczi, Bromberg), involving the phenomena of dissociated self-states. Two chapters from the instructor’s book, Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder – one on types of dissociative parts in Dissociative Identity Disorder, and one on dissociative psychodynamics – are also taught.
Students will: know the difference between dissociation and repression; be able to explain the differences between dissociative; process and dissociative structure; be able to explain what Bromberg means by dissociated self-states; be able to explain multiplicity, dissociation, and dissociative multiplicity; increase their capacity for applying the above concepts in clinical practice.
This clinical seminar will address narcissistic states, including shame, and the defenses erected against them, that arise in the aftermath of complex trauma. Unattended, these processes may lead to an acute or chronic intrapsychic and interpersonal downward spiral. In treatment, the narcissistic bastion may seem impenetrable and can easily result in impasse and enactment. The concepts of negative therapeutic reaction and malignant narcissism will be introduced and defined. This seminar will provide participants with guidance in addressing the challenging transference/countertransference matrix of such entrenchment, and will present ways of getting beyond these negative constellations.
In this forum, advanced students will have the opportunity to interact with three faculty members. The primary vehicle for this forum is the presentation of actual clinical cases by one or more of the faculty members. Each case exemplifies difficult conditions that commonly occur in the treatment of traumatized individuals. Through in-depth processing of these cases within the forum, candidates’ integration of theory with its practical applications will be enhanced. Students will be encouraged to ask critical questions and to discuss their own clinical experiences as appropriate to the particular themes.
Specific learning objectives include: increased understanding of the role of theory to the task of organizing and assessing the data accumulated within the patient-therapist dyad; enhanced ability to experience and identify probable emotional reactions and typical interactional styles that are evidenced within an ongoing treatment; and to appreciate how these reactions comprise information that can be organized theoretically, and subsequently employed by the clinician, to guide interventions in working with traumatized individuals.