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Challenges in Working with Attachment and Dependency in Complex Trauma

nscience UK

Thursday, 10 May 2018 from 10:00 to 17:00

Challenges in Working with Attachment and Dependency in...

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Individual Ticket for London, UK 10 May 2018 £125.00 £0.00
'Bring a Friend Ticket' - 2 tickets with a 5% discount 10 May 2018 £237.50 £0.00

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Challenges in Working with Attachment and Dependency in Complex Trauma

A one-day workshop with Kathy Steele

London, May 10th 2018, 10:00AM to 5:00PM


While therapy for complex trauma often focuses on the integration of traumatic memories, an even more challenging problem is often the profound relational distress of clients. This typically becomes a major difficulty in the therapeutic relationship itself. The client is unable to maintain a stable relationship with the therapist and subsequently experiences him or her as hostile, uncaring, or unhelpful, and sometimes even abusive, despite the best intentions of the therapist. Conflict ensues, and the therapist may unwittingly participate by becoming defensive and withholding or by appeasing the client.

Designed to be of practical value to psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, this one-day workshop by Kathy Steele, focuses on an understanding of and an integrative approach to resolving attachment and dependency issues in clients with complex trauma. We will explore:

  • the underlying evolutionary and biological origins of attachment in the face of threat, how these manifest in therapy and can serve as a basis of practical therapeutic approaches
  • Dependency in the client will be discussed at length
  • The reasons for intense dependency yearnings and specific ways to use the therapeutic relationship to contain and resolve this painful experience without overwhelming the client or the therapist will be discussed
  • A specific model of therapeutic relationship will be shared, with implications for therapy

Our learning objectives at this workshop will include:

  • Participants will be able to describe the basic underlying neurobiological and evolutionary foundations of attachment and dependency problems in complex trauma
  • Participants will be able to employ at least five strategies to effectively manage dependency in therapy with complex trauma survivors
  • Participants will be able to describe a specific model for the therapeutic relationship that can be effective in containing and treating relational difficulties in complex trauma


The workshop includes discussions of case vignettes illustrating the practical implications of our theoretical discussions.


About the speaker

Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been treating complex trauma, dissociation, and attachment issues since 1985. She is in private practice with Metropolitan Psychotherapy Services and is Adjunct Faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US.  Ms. Steele is a Past President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and has also previously served on the Board of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). She has been involved with developing treatment guidelines for Dissociative Disorders and well as for Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Ms. Steele has received a number of awards for her work, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD, an Emory University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006, and the 2011 Cornelia B. Wilbur Award for Outstanding Clinical Contributions.  She is known for her humor, compassion, respect, and depth of knowledge as a clinician and teacher, and for her capacity to present complex issues in easily understood and clear ways using an integrative psychotherapy model that draws from both traditional and somatic approaches. She is sought as a consultant and supervisor, and as an international lecturer.


She has co-authored three books as part of the acclaimed Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology: The Haunted Self: Structural dissociation of the personality and chronic traumatization (2006, Van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele - W. W. Norton); Coping with trauma-related dissociation: Skills training for patients and therapists (2011, Boon, Steele, & Van der Hart - W. W. Norton); and most recently, Treating trauma-related dissociation: A practical, integrative approach (2017, Steele, Boon, & Van der Hart - W. W. Norton). She has also (co)authored numerous book chapters and journal articles.


© nscience UK, 2017 / 18

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When & Where

Broadway House
Tothill Street
SW1H 9NQ London
United Kingdom

Thursday, 10 May 2018 from 10:00 to 17:00

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nscience UK

nscience is an independent organisation that seeks to explore the interdisciplinary richness of mental health disciplines. Through a series of seminars, workshops and conferences that are conducted throughout the year, we aim to present the latest advances in theory and research to practitioners; with a view to furthering their continuing professional development.

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Challenges in Working with Attachment and Dependency in Complex Trauma
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