Advanced Training
Working Safely with Families and Trauma

Families affected by traumatic events can often break down as each family member struggles in their own way to come to terms with what has happened. Understanding distress reactions and their effect on family dynamics can help the family to cope better. If family members don’t understand each other’s experience, then misunderstandings, communication breakdowns and other problems can result. This is often because unresolved traumatic symptoms fuel behavioural and emotional problems and family conflict, and/ or the family interactions can maintain or exacerbate the pain of traumatic memories.

This workshop integrates a neurobiologically informed understanding of trauma, dissociation, and attachment within framework of family therapy. As with any teaching paradigm, the practitioner needs educational models and tools. For trauma stabilisation work, the most important tools are: psychoeducation, therapist modeling of attention to safety, skill-building, and empowering the client by teaching them how to take charge of the therapeutic process.

 

The workshop will demonstrate how to:

  • teach clients about trauma symptoms: how to recognise them, how to anticipate them, what they mean, how to manage them

  • decrease the client's shame, confusion, and sense of being overwhelmed

  • mobilise the strengths of families to amplify healing and change

This workshop will demonstrate the skills needed by trauma clients in order to stay stable include the following:

  • understanding that many of their trauma symptoms are memory equivalents

  • grounding and centering techniques

  • coping strategies for dealing with individual and interpersonal distress

  • contracting for safety with themselves and others

  • how to anticipate stressful or triggering events

  • learning how to calm the body and mind

  • distinguishing past and present reality and how to stay "in the present"  along with recognising and making better use of dissociative abilities

  • working with the impact of trauma on identity, and redefining the client's role from that of victim to that of survivor

 

Weaving a range of unique interventions adapted from a number of cutting-edge therapeutic approaches, including sensorimotor psychotherapy, family systems, mindfulness-based therapies, and EFT. This workshop provides a practical approach to trauma treatment in family systems, communicated in straightforward language accessible to both clients and practitioners. Participants will leave with a solid grasp of therapeutic approaches to trauma stabilisation, working with dissociative symptoms, integrating brain-based treatment methods, and much more. Most of all, they will come away with tools for helping clients create an internal sense of safety and compassion.

Picture This: Working Therapeutically with Genograms

This one day workshop will provide the context, foundational and theoretical concepts required to understand and complete genogram work, and also the opportunity to develop skills in using genograms in assessment, to plan interventions and as an intervention in itself.  There will be a specific focus on skill development and practical applications.

 

The Workshop will include the following areas:

  • The place of Genogram work within Systemic Family Therapy

  • Core systemic concepts related to genogram work

  • How to create a genogram and graphically organise information gathered in an assessment session 

  • How to conduct a Genogram Interview

  • Tracking family patterns through time and space

  • Interpreting family structure

  • Assessing family patterns and functioning, including relational patterns and triangles

  • Consideration of the Family Life Cycle

  • Mental Health implications

  • A Strengths based approach to genograms

  • Using genograms as assessment, to plan intervention and as an intervention

Systems and Stories: A Narrative Therapy Approach to Meaning Making and Change

This two-day workshop will provide participants with key skills in Narrative Practice including practical clinical skills that can be used immediately with individuals and families (children, adolescents, adults and older persons).  Participants will consider the relevance of Narrative Practice in their work setting, and applications relating to the context of trauma, attachment difficulties and grief and loss.  Participants will consider how to “tread lightly” but effectively with Narrative Practice.

 

Course Outline:

In this course participants will develop an understanding of:

  • What Narrative Therapy is

  • The Systemic Family Therapy context of Narrative Therapy

  • Assumptions underpinning Narrative Practice

  • The importance of stories in our own lives and the lives of those we work with

  • Therapist positioning in Narrative Therapy

 

Participants will develop skills in:

  • Externalizing Conversations

  • Reauthoring conversations, including

    • Absent but Implicit Conversations

    • Unique Outcomes Conversations

  • Thickening alternative storylines to amplify change, including

    • Remembering conversations

    • Outsider witnessing

    • Therapeutic documents

  • Working with the Landscape of Action and Landscape of Identity

Working Systemically with Stakeholders: Collaborative Practice in Action

This workshop is designed for practitioners working within services and agencies that promote collaborative practice for the benefit of client care.  The workshop is aimed at practitioners with a basic knowledge of Family Therapy concepts who have an understanding of how to work systemically with clients and families.  This workshop builds upon existing knowledge to assist practitioners in thinking and designing systemic interventions with stakeholders in the wider treating system supporting consumers of various ages and presenting problems.

 

The workshop is interactive, dynamic, experiential, and self-reflective in nature.  Specifically the workshop covers the following:

  • Developing a share definition and understanding of what it means to work systemically with stakeholders.

  • Exploring the similarities and differences of working systemically with clients and stakeholders.

  • Exploration of what allows, and hinders, practitioners to work systemically with wider treating systems.

  • Overview of Family Therapy schools and how key concepts apply to stakeholder work.

  • Overview of a framework to guide systemic intervention with stakeholders.

  • Application of course content via case studies and experiential exercises.

CONTACT QIFT

Queensland Institute of Family Therapy

PO Box 613

Nerang QLD 4211

qldfamilytherapy@gmail.com

Dr Leonie White

0401 002 544

Dr Kate Owen

0408 528 380