A Look Inside the Psychotherapy 2.0 Training Sessions
Training Session 1
Bessel van der Kolk, MD
Wednesday, September 7, 10 am (MT)
Trauma, Body, and the Brain: Restoring the Capacity for Synchronicity and Imagination
The body keeps the score: overwhelming experiences are lived out in heartbreak and gut-wrenching sensations, which leaves survivors feeling unsafe, frazzled, on edge, overwhelmed, and shut down. The trauma that started outside is lived out in the theater of the body. As a result, survivors no longer feel safe inside their own skin.
Recovery from trauma involves learning how to restore a sense of visceral safety and reclaim a loving relationship with one’s self, one’s entire organism. Awareness of physical sensations forms the very foundation of our human consciousness. Healing can only occur if survivors can feel safe, self-led, and effective. This session will explore how the brain is shaped by experience and how our relationship to ourselves is the product of our synchronicity with those around us, with specific techniques for bringing our healing capacities back online.
In this training session, we will explore:
How we grow happiness, compassion, and resilience by turning passing experiences of these inner strengths
into lasting changes in the brain
Why positive experiences wash through us like water through a sieve, while negative experiences “stick"
due to the brain’s negativity bias—which makes psychotherapy, coaching, and human resources training much
Mindfulness alone is not enough: this talk will explore six practical ways to increase neural encoding of
beneficial experiences, easing the client's learning curve and turning even daily life into multiple great
opportunities for healing and transformation
Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, has been active as a clinician, researcher, and teacher in
the area of post-traumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. 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 that need to be addressed for recovery.
Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact
of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and
self-mutilation, cognitive development in traumatized children and adults, and the
psychobiology of trauma. He was 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.