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Digital Seminar

Bessel A. van der Kolk's 30th Annual Trauma Conference: Main Conference

Bessel van der Kolk, MD |  Tarana Burke |  Robert Whitaker |  Ed Tronick, Ph.D. |  Martin Teicher, MD, PhD |  Julian Ford, Ph.D., ABPP |  Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT |  Ali Smith |  Atman Smith |  Andres Gonzalez
8 Hours 45 Minutes
May 31, 2019
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Digital Seminar
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The study of trauma has probably been the single most fertile area in helping to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship among the emotional, cognitive, social and biological forces that shape human development.

Starting with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults and expanding into early attachment and overwhelming attachment and social experiences in childhood (“Developmental Trauma”), this endeavor has elucidated how certain experiences can “set” psychological expectations, bodily experiences and biological selectivity.

When addressing the problems of traumatized people who, in a myriad of ways, continue to react to current experience as a replay of the past, there is a need for therapeutic methods that do not depend exclusively on drugs, talk or understanding. We have learned that most experience is automatically processed on a subcortical level of the brain; i.e., by “unconscious” interpretations that take place outside of conscious awareness. Insight and good intentions have only a limited influence on the operation of these subcortical processes, but synchrony, movement and reparative experiences do.

This conference will present both basic research about the impact of trauma over the life cycle, and a range of effective interventions that are being practiced in clinics, schools, prisons, families, and communities around the world.

Workshops included in this recording:

  • Three Decades of Explorations in Trauma: Welcome & Introduction - Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD
  • Me Too: At the Intersection of Sexual Violence and Racial Justice— A Fireside Chat with Tarana Burke - Tarana Burke
  • Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury and Prescriptions for Reform - Robert Whitaker
  • Trust and Meaning Making in Parent-Child Interactions - Edward Tronick, Ph.D.
  • The Enduring Neurobiological Effects of Abuse and Neglect - Martin Teicher, MD, Ph.D.
  • The Evolution of Developmental Trauma Disorder - Julian Ford, Ph.D, ABPP
  • Panel Discussion - Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, Edward Tronick, Ph.D., Martin Teicher, MD, Ph.D., Julian Ford, Ph.D.
  • Expressive Arts as Healing Engagement - Cathy Malchiodi, Ph.D.
  • DE-CRUIT: Treating Trauma in Military Veterans through Shakespeare & Science - Stephan Wolfert, MFA
  • Dealing with Trauma in the Heart of the Community: Implementing a Comprehensive Yoga Program in a Large Public School System - Ali Smith, Atman Smith, & Andres Gonzalez

PLEASE NOTE: This is the same content from the 30th Annual International Trauma Conference, you cannot receive self-study credit for this program if you have already attended the live workshops.



Bessel van der Kolk, MD's Profile

Bessel van der Kolk, MD Related seminars and products

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.

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, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater, and EMDR. 

He is founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts and President of the Trauma Research Foundation, which promotes clinical, scientific, and educational projects. 

His 2014 #1 New York Times best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma, transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring – specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, somatically based therapies, EMDR, psychodrama, play, yoga, and other therapies.

Dr. van der Kolk is the past president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at conferences, universities, and hospitals around the world.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a professor at Boston University School of Medicine, the Director of the Trauma Center, and the National Complex Trauma Network. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. van der Kolk receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Tarana Burke's Profile

Tarana Burke Related seminars and products

Tarana J. Burke, Founder, “Me Too” movement. Activist and advocate at the intersection of sexual violence and racial justice. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly black women and girls. She is the recipient of the 2018 MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Tarana Burke is an activist and founder of the #MeToo movement.
Non-financial: Tarana Burke has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


Robert Whitaker Related seminars and products

Robert Whitaker, author, Anatomy of an Epidemic and publisher of the web magazine, Mad in America.

Ed Tronick, Ph.D.'s Profile

Ed Tronick, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Edward Tronick, PhD, is a developmental and clinical psychologist and is recognized internationally as a researcher on infants, children, and parenting. He developed the Face-to-Face Still-Face Paradigm and videotaped micro-analytic studies of infant en face interactions, pioneered studies of the effects of maternal depression on infants, and carried out numerous cross-cultural studies of infant and child development. His Mutual Regulation Model and Dyadic Expansion of Consciousness hypothesis are widely accepted accounts of social interactions and therapeutic processes. Dr. Tronick is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is director of the Child Development Unit, a research associate in Newborn Medicine, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, an associate professor at both the Graduate School of Education and the School of Public Health at Harvard.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Edward Tronick has employment relationships with Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts. He is a research associate with the Newborn Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Edward Tronick receives royalties as a published author. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Edward Tronick is a member of the scientific review board Neo-Aqua Project on NICU Environment and a member of the ECD Science Council of EMPOWER. He serves on several advisory boards, please contact PESI, Inc for a complete list.

Martin Teicher, MD, PhD's Profile

Martin Teicher, MD, PhD Related seminars and products

Martin Teicher, MD, PhD, has been director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital since 1988. He was the director of the former Developmental Psychopharmacology Laboratory (now the Laboratory of Developmental Neuropharmacology) and is currently an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Teicher is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Current Pediatric Reviews, and Current Psychosomatic Medicine. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation and has been part of Harvard University’s Brain Development Working Group. He has served on or chaired numerous review committees for the National Institutes of Health, published more than 150 articles, and has received numerous honors.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Martin Teicher has employment relationships with Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. He receives grants from MindLight, LLC. Martin Teicher receives grants and a consulting fee from Brain Balance Centers and Interactive Metronome. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Martin Teicher serves on the scientific advisory board for SMARTfit™ and is a board member National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the Trauma Research Foundation. He is on the advisory board for Penn State P50 Childhood Adversity CAPSTONE Center.

Julian Ford, Ph.D., ABPP Related seminars and products

Julian D. Ford, Ph.D., ABPP, Professor, department of psychiatry and law, University of Connecticut; President International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS); director, Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders and Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice; co-author, Treatment of Complex Trauma & Hijacked by Your Brain: How to Free Yourself when Stress Takes Over; author, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Scientific and Professional Dimensions; co-editor, Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders & Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents.

Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT's Profile

Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT Related seminars and products

Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT, is an expressive arts therapist and art therapist who has spent over 30 years working with individuals with traumatic stress and studying how the arts support reparation, integration and recovery from trauma. She is the founder and executive director of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute that trains mental health and health care practitioners in medical, educational, and community settings and assists in disaster relief and humanitarian efforts throughout the world. Cathy has given more than 500 invited presentations in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia and has published numerous articles, chapters, and more than 20 books, including Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body and Imagination in the Healing Process, Understanding Children’s Drawings, Handbook of Art Therapy, Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Attachment Problems, and Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children. She has received numerous awards for distinguished service, clinical contributions and lifetime achievements, including honors from the Kennedy Center and Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. A passionate advocate for the role of the arts in health, she is a contributing writer for Psychology Today Online with more than 5 million readers and a visual artist and occasional ukulele and Hulusi musician.  


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Cathy Malchiodi is the co-founder and president of Art Therapy Without Borders. She has an employment relationship with the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute. Dr. Malchiodi receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Cathy Malchiodi is a member of the American Art Therapy Association.

Ali Smith Related seminars and products

Ali Smith, Executive director, the Holistic Life Foundation. He has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs at public and private schools, drug treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, mental crisis facilities, and retreat centers, mental crisis facilities, and retreat centers, nationally and internationally. Ali has authored a series of children’s books and co-authored several yoga and mindfulness-based curriculum’s as well as developed numerous workshops and trainings.

Atman Smith Related seminars and products

Atman Smith, Co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation, and director of development. Since 2001, he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to a diverse population including underserved and high-risk youth in Baltimore City Public Schools, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.

Andres Gonzalez Related seminars and products

Andres Gonzalez, MBA, Co-founder and marketing director for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. in Baltimore, MD since 2001. He has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is a published author in the Journal of Children’s Services.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Present an overview of the impact of trauma on the various parts of the brain, body and nervous system.
  2. Identify culturally aware and effective therapeutic interventions with post-trauma student populations
  3. Utilize the individual and social interventions developed by the Me Too movement to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence
  4. Assess current research findings in regard to long-term antidepressant treatment and possible negative outcomes
  5. Explain the relationship between maternal responsiveness and infant development of ability to manage arousal
  6. Describe how traumatic experiences impact brain development and affect regulation as it relates to clinical practice.
  7. Recognize the five symptom clusters used in the DSM-5® to define Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
  8. Identify why sensory-based, arts interventions are essential to reducing the body’s response to stress and put to practical use in-session.
  9. Critique current research into the efficacy of expressive arts approached to trauma treatment
  10. Utilize DE-CRUIT techniques to transform military camaraderie into camaraderie among treatment group members to communalize the process of healing from the trauma of war.
  11. Implement mindful and stress reducing techniques in school settings to reduce disciplinary actions and the academic impact of trauma


Three Decades of Explorations in Trauma: Welcome & Introduction (Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD)

  • Viewing trauma through the perspective of neuroscience and military experience
    • Political implications of the role of childhood trauma history
    • Prevalence and impact of violence and poverty
  • Limitations of research and current diagnostic framework for trauma
    • Omission of social context and importance of interpersonal connections

Me Too: At the Intersection of Sexual Violence and Racial Justice— A Fireside Chat with Tarana Burke (Tarana Burke)

  • Developmental history of the 21st Century program for survivors of poverty and abuse
    • Transition into the Me Too movement
  • Cultural influences on trauma processing and identification of trauma survivors
    • Structuring intervention with vulnerable student populations
  • Evolution of Me Too platform – maintaining focus on survivors, training organizers
    • Central importance of facilitating a culture shift

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury and Prescriptions for Reform (Robert Whitaker)

  • International research into treatment response and change over time
    • Adjusting the psychiatric narrative to reflect current research and effective treatment models
  • Impact of DSM-III – disease model and theories of chemical imbalance
    • Dramatic expansion of medication interventions
  • Iatrogenic responses to psychiatric medications – Star*D research trial
    • Tardive Dysphoria and Oppositional Tolerance – increased vulnerability to relapse

Trust and Meaning Making in Parent-Child Interactions (Edward Tronick, PhD)

  • Humans as makers of meaning 
    • Infant development in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world
  • Developmental stages in the meaning making process – involved psychobiological systems
  • Infant self-regulation processes and arousal responses
    • Persistent and generalized cardiac reactivity
  • Maternal influences on the development of stress response  
  • Developmental consequences of early chronic adverse effects
    • Hemispheric adaptations in the amygdala

The Enduring Neurobiological Effects of Abuse and Neglect (Martin Teicher MD, PhD)

  • Risk factors related to childhood abuse and neglect
    • Cascade of physiological and neurohumoral responses disrupting brain development
    • Sensitive exposure periods
  • Neurological expression of early adverse experiences  
    • Disrupted hemispheric integration – Borderline and Dissociative symptom manifestation
    • Heightened response to threat – functional adaptation to malevolent environment
  • Fear circuit regions and pathways - amygdala and hippocampus
    • Gender and developmental differential response to abuse and neglect 
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Structural connectivity networks – emotional regulation and self-centered imagery
  • Architectural differences in traumatized individuals who do not develop pathology

The Evolution of Developmental Trauma Disorder (Julian Ford, PhD, ABPP)

  • Origins of Developmental Trauma Disorder – differentials from other trauma diagnoses
    • Central issues in production and expression
  • DSM-5 PTSD criteria changes from DSM-IV
    • Adaptations to threat environments
  • Case example – therapeutic engagement with DTD adolescent
  • Effects of developmental trauma on infants and children – relationship disruptions
  • Core elements of the DTD diagnosis - attentional, physiological and relational self-regulation
    • Contrasts between DTD and PTSD symptom presentations – field trial results
    • Future directions of research
  • Case example – family intervention

Panel Discussion (Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD; Edward Tronick, PhD; Martin Teicher MD, PhD; Julian Ford, PhD, ABPP)

  • Creating a new narrative – functional adaptation to the tribe
  • Adapting therapeutic approach to varied settings and individuals
    • Understanding cultural and socio-economic influences on trauma experience 
  • Developing resources and research base for treating childhood trauma
    • Social reluctance to acknowledge the impact of developmental trauma

Expressive Arts as Healing Engagement (Cathy Malchiodi, PhD)

  • Integration of expressive arts into expressive art therapy
    • The “silos” of expressive art
  • Current expressive arts programs in health and community settings
  • Continuum of expressive arts therapies
    • Asset driven approach as opposed to pathology driven interventions
  • Limitations of evidence base underlying expressive arts therapy for trauma treatment
    • Directions for future research
  • Effective implementation of community-based interventions
  • Four part model for expressive arts and trauma – movement, sound, storytelling, and silence
    • Examples of effective implementation

DE-CRUIT: Treating Trauma in Military Veterans through Shakespeare & Science (Stephan Wolfert, MFA)

  • Racial and colonization history related to social trauma
  • Origins of DE-CRUIT program
    • Impact of Shakespearian themes on personal trauma and symptom expression
  • Projective measures for expression and identifying trauma symptomatology
  • Parallels between Shakespearian content and PTSD symptoms
    • Applying specific passages to dreams and experience
    • Pacing, rhythm and grounding  
  • Research into the efficacy of the DE-CRUIT program

Dealing with Trauma in the Heart of the Community: Implementing a Comprehensive Yoga Program in a Large Public School System (Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez)

  • Demonstration of Silent Reflection technique
  • History and development of the Holistic Life Foundation
  • Top down approach – establishing mindfulness in caretaking adults first
    • Centrality of presence and consistency
  • Setting boundaries and self-care to create sustainable programs
  • Mindful Moment Program – turning detention into meditation
    • Outcome measures of reduced suspensions
  • Relationship development with gatekeepers
  • Reciprocal teaching process
  • Mindful Ambassadors Program
    • Leveraging the impact of limited resources
  • Demonstration of Stress Breath technique
  • Managing poorly engaged or motivated students effectively
    • Using trauma informed language
    • Cultural avenues for facilitating engagement
  • Adapting programs to diverse or changing environments

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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