Leading global trauma therapist, author, and mentor Sebern Fisher teaches the integration of neurofeedback and psychotherapy in this six-hour course over two days.
Trauma and the Developing Brain. How abuse and neglect in childhood impacts the developing brain.
How does abuse and neglect manifest in a traumatized person's nervous system during development? What areas are most affected? Why can children not simply bounce back? What are the long-term effects of developmental trauma. Is it irreversible? Why is the therapeutic relationship important?
Behavior and Brain Circuits. Dissociation, repression and even regression as learned patterns in the brain and the implications for treatment of developmental trauma.
How can we understand the link between behavior and neurophysiology? What does it mean to talk about habitual firing patterns in brain networks? Why does these patterns emerge? What benefit do they serve? How do dissociation, repression, and regression arise from traumatic histories? Is there a neurobiological way of describing these behaviors?
The Science of Neurofeedback. What research shows about how it works, and why it is effective.
What happens in neurofeedback? What is understood about how it works? What kinds of changes can be expected? How quickly does the traumatized brain respond? What are some of the different kinds of brain-training, and what differentiates them? What is the evidence for the effectiveness of neurofeedback? What are some ways of describing neurofeedback to patients? How can a therapist help a patient set workable goals and expectations for the process? What risks are there?
Arousal, Affect, and the Process of Brain-training.
The arousal model of neurofeedback and its importance in the treatment of developmental trauma.
What is the arousal model? In what ways does this model offer a means of understanding "stuckness" and dysregulation? What does the arousal model say about the link between affect and activation? In what ways to the limbic system and frontal cortex play a role? How does the arousal framework help to describe the process of learning brain self-regulation through neurofeedback?
Self meets other.
The importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping the traumatized brain recover.
Why is the therapeutic relationship so important in helping your patient to cultivate a flexible sense of self and other? How does a therapist balance brain-training and therapy? What are some of the particular obstacles for people who have experienced abuse and neglect by a care-giver? How can a therapist overcome the special challenges these histories may present in terms of developing a relationship of trust and acceptance? What are some of the pitfalls to be aware of in this relationship? How can the therapist supportively address transference, blame, fear, distrust, paranoia?
How neurofeedback and therapy helped a patient recover from severe trauma.
Included: Video of young woman who has recovered from DID. (Sebern’s patient interviewed by Bessel van der Kolk)
How can brain-training and therapy help patients with devastating trauma histories to recover and thrive? How do patients understand this process? How long does this process take? Is it possible for the brain to change too quickly? What can the therapist do to help patients feel comfortable and safe as their brain begins to learn more effective functioning? What kinds of setbacks should be expected?
Trauma and the Fear-Driven Brain: How can neurofeedback and therapy empower recovery?
1. Participant will be able to explain how current neuroscience supports a neurophysiological understanding of how trauma impacts the brain.
2. Participant will be able to identify areas of the brain and brain function most impacted by developmental trauma.
3. Participant will be able to describe specifically how developmental trauma impacts the brain.
1. Participant will be able to identify and describe how circuits in a healthy, untraumatized the brain responds to threat.
2. Participant will be able to describe circuits in the brain that develop differently in response to developmental trauma and unrelenting threat.
3. Participant will be able to describe how the brain's response to trauma and threat gives rise to particular symptom presentations, such as states of dissociation and other distortions in the sense of self and other.
1. Participant will be able to describe the basic principles underlying neurofeedback.
2. Participant will be able to describe what is currently known about how neurofeedback works.
3. Participant will be able to elucidate how to clearly set expectations with patients.
1. Participant will be able to describe how arousal is affected by trauma.
2. Participant will be able to describe neurophysiological markers of high and low arousal.
3. Participant will be able to describe how high arousal in the nervous system can manifest as uncontrollable affect and behavior.
1. Participant will be able to describe why the therapeutic relationship is a critical part of successful recovery from trauma.
2. Participant will be able to describe how the therapist can provide support for the patient in the development of a sense self and other.
3. Participant will be able to describe what the therapist looks for and asks for to evaluate progress of the patient towards a healthy, functional sense of self and other.
1. Participant will be able to describe brain-training and therapy work together in calming the fear-driven brain.
2. Participant will be able to describe the process of recovery.
3. Participant will be able to describe strategies for therapists using neurofeedback when the patient's brain is not immediately responsive to training.