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Digital Seminar

Deactivating the Polyvagal Response to Racial Trauma

Candice Richardson Dickens, LCPC-S, LCADC-S, CCTP, MAC
6 hours 19 minutes
Audio and Video
Jan 21, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
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Good intentions are not enough to heal generational wounds incurred by racial trauma and decades of systematic racism.

It requires refined knowledge and skills that many clinicians were never taught.

That’s why we’re bringing you a brand-new approach to treatment!

Polyvagal theory for complex racial trauma offers a profound method for developing connection with clients to resolve trauma. Targeting the vagus nerve, polyvagal response deactivation interventions soothe the nervous systems of both you and the client. Through this interactive co-regulating process you will transform your clients’ minds, bodies, and your practice.

Get ready for an incredibly impactful one-day training with Candice Dickens, LPC. With 30 years of experience as a clinician, she specializes in trauma-based care and the intersection of race, ethnicity and other cultural factors. Candice shares with you a moving experience of learning to lead clients through processing their own complex trauma related to race, childhood experiences, and more - while also deepening your understanding of your own nervous system reactions in session.

In this online training you’ll learn how to receive the client as they are, enriching your dyadic attunement. The unique application of polyvagal response to racial trauma encourages:

  • Processing of intergenerational and legacy trauma
  • Growth of new neurological connections changing old patterns
  • Decreased reaction to triggering stimuli related to race seen on media and other places
  • And much more!

Don’t wait, learn how to help clients resolve complex racial trauma symptoms today in this one-of-a-kind training!



PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 6.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Candice Richardson Dickens, LCPC-S, LCADC-S, CCTP, MAC's Profile

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Candace R. Dickens is a PESI Faculty Member and Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Maryland as well as the District of Columbia. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Saybrook University. She is a strong advocator for creating culturally sensitive counter spaces that promote racial/ethnic healing, identity formation and group resiliency. Her proudest accomplishments as an advocator for racial healing are found in her creating the BIPOC Provider Directory Color of Trauma and Healing, and founding Kujichagulia, a BIPOC therapeutic counseling group for African American female students attending Bowling Green State University. She is a popular speaker and has been featured at major conferences such as NAADAC National Conference, the Maryland Tuerk Conference, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors of Maryland Conference, Black Mental Health Alliance Conference, the Psychotherapy Networker, and Boston University School of Social Work.  


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Candice Richardson Dickens has employment relationships with CRA Counseling & Consulting Agency and Life Care Bridge. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Candice Richardson Dickens an executive board member for The Night of Peace Shelter. She is a member of the Maryland Association of Imago Therapists and the American Counseling Association.



  1. Analyze signs of racial trauma and how generational adaptations manifest in the form of survival coping skills.
  2. Hypothesize how racial trauma is an exaggerated form of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
  3. Apply trauma and multisensory mind-body based therapies to deactivate the trauma response and create internal regulation.
  4. Utilize internal resourcing to ground clients who experience racial trauma.
  5. Resolve complex trauma experienced vicariously or directly by exposure to repeated racial trauma.
  6. Develop transgenerational trauma and adaptive cultural coping mechanisms.


Pathways of Trauma Genesis: Development of Generational Transmission
  • Intergenerational trauma – how it works
  • Racial Trauma as Infinity Complex traumas
  • Redefining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Eurocentric cultural biases
  • Discerning complex racial and ethnic trauma
  • Enhance skills for clients of intersectional identities
Racial Trauma and the Polyvagal Response: Healing Its Impact and Moving Forward
  • Essential components of polyvagal theory
  • Polyvagal response to racial trauma for all
  • Neurological connections and our clients’ worlds
  • Adrenaline fatigue, burnout from “survival mode”
  • Shame, grief, and self-deprecation, a psycho-social perspective
Unique Aspects of Assessing Racial Trauma: Find Hidden Trauma
  • Comorbidities – discern symptoms from systemic oppression
  • How to identify index traumas
  • Tips for deactivating response to internal and external triggers
  • Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
  • Identification of racial specific trauma and stress
  • Use cultural competency to foster rapport
Deactivate Trauma Responses and Move Toward Safety
  • Experiential mind-body breathwork for vagus nerve soothing
  • How to use internal resourcing for healing trauma
  • 5 Ways to liberate traumatic racial memories
  • Legacy trauma unburdening and unpacking
  • Building community support and other protective factors
  • Creating safety regulation in traumatized clients
Tools for Therapeutic Racial Justice in Session
  • Tips for incorporating cultural humility
  • Cultural practices as tools for generational healing
  • Scripts for enhancing communication on difficult topics

Target Audience

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

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