Posts Tagged: trauma

What’s in a name? Reflections on how the dissociative coping strategies of survivors of trauma are anything but a disorder

Posted by & filed under audio, recorded.

This interview, which I gave in April, 2020, shares my process of becoming a therapist working with, and eventually attempting to be an ally to, people living with dissociation, especially with dissociative ego states. An important focus of this interview is my discussion of how I have come to abandon the use of “disorder” in… Read more »

Feminist perspectives on trauma treatment (March 8, Ramat Gan Israel)

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This informal discussion program is being offered by invitation by the School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University. I’ll be sharing my work and insights into how to integrate feminist frameworks into trauma treatment, and engaging with my Israeli colleagues to learn about how they have been doing the same. Where to attend Event:… Read more »

Insights and innovative feminist models and techniques for working with complex PTSD (March 6, Tel Aviv Israel)

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This informal discussion program is an invited presentation for the therapists of one of Israel’s oldest feminist therapy collectives. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned from my clients in four decades of working with the survivors of complex trauma, and engage with my Israeli counterparts to discover what their different social context brings to the… Read more »

Feminist and multicultural perspectives in trauma psychology

Posted by & filed under chapter, written.

This is one chapter in a two-volume book series. If you work with trauma survivors it would probably be worth your while to invest in this purchase. This particular chapter discusses the roots of trauma psychology in early feminist practice with survivors of rape, intimate partner violence, and childhood sexual abuse, and considers how and… Read more »

Effect of evidence-based treatment relationships on treatment outcome for adults with trauma: A systematic review

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Because there were few if any studies of the importance of the evidence-based treatment relationship variables on trauma therapy, our group set out to explore the existing literature. We found that as with other psychotherapy clients, trauma survivors in therapy find treatment more effective when those relationship variables are present. Where to find Buy from… Read more »

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy and related treatments for trauma: An innovative, integrative trauma treatment

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This article, co-authored with an expert consultant and trainer in EMDR, discusses its development as an innovative treatment for trauma. We describe the resistance and marginalization of this technique in its early years, and then discuss the growing body of research that demonstrates it being an evidence-based and effective practice for treating trauma. In an… Read more »

Trauma treatment: The need for on-going innovation

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This article introduces a special issue of the journal Practice Innovations. Dr. Courtois and I were inspired to create this special issue, and the accompanying special issue of Psychotherapy because of our collective dissatisfaction with both the process and outcome of APA’s PTSD Treatment Guidelines work group, of which I was a member, and which… Read more »

Guideline orthodoxy and resulting limitations of the APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults: Introduction to the Special Issue

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This article introduces a special issue of the journal Psychotherapy. Dr. Courtois and I were inspired to create this special issue, and the accompanying special issue of Practice Innovations because of our collective dissatisfaction with both the process and outcome of APA’s PTSD Treatment Guidelines work group, of which I was a member, and which… Read more »

Not the price of admission: Having healthy relationships for trauma survivors (February 8, Orlando FL)

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This workshop for adult survivors of complex childhood trauma and their therapists will introduce the “Price of Admission” model for how disrupted attachment during childhood creates problematic paradigms for all kinds of emotionally meaningful relationships in adult life. I will then talk about ways to break the chain of trauma reenactments in those relationships, emphasizing… Read more »

Ethical and practical applications of Aikido principles to trauma treatment (November 8, Seattle WA)

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This workshop for therapists who treat trauma survivors will introduce the use of concepts and movement strategies from Aikido, the martial art of peace. We will base our work on current findings about the neuroscience of trauma, and focus on interventions that affect the polyvagal system and the stress response system. The relational nature of… Read more »

Cultural competence and cultural humility in the treatment of trauma (September 27, Arlington TX)

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This workshop will address two issues central to working with psychotherapy clients; how do we demonstrate cultural humility, so at to move toward greater competence, and how do we integrate that cultural awareness into the treatment of trauma survivors? Since so many people entering treatment have histories of trauma, both childhood complex developmental trauma and… Read more »

Contextual trauma therapy for clients with complex trauma: Skill-building using a video recording (August 8, Chicago IL)

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I will be a discussant on this workshop in which members of the Nova Southeastern University trauma treatment program discuss the latest developments in their work – in this case, looking at how and whether skills at coping with trauma-related difficulties can be enhanced through the use of video material. Where to attend Event: Annual… Read more »

Feminist perspectives on the treatment of trauma (April 13-14, Prague Czech Republic)

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This two-day workshop is aimed at psychotherapists wishing to integrate feminist therapy principles into their work with trauma survivors. The workshop will explore feminist models of trauma beyond the diagnostic manuals. It will attend to issues of intersectional identity as sources of both risk and resilience in the face of trauma exposure, and will consider… Read more »

Helping trauma survivors to have the relationships they deserve (December 9, Burlingame CA)

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Survivors of complex childhood trauma – systemic abuse, neglect, and disrupted attachment schemata — enter adulthood with internal working models of relationship that often lead them into difficult and painful connections with others. I will address the specific challenges in empowering these survivors to stop “paying the price of admission” to intimacy, and discuss how… Read more »

Culturally competent trauma practice (December 7, Burlingame CA)

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Just as human beings are not generic, so, too, trauma is an event that is affected by and interacts with people’s intersectional identities. This workshop will introduce participants to a mindful model for understanding how to move towards cultural competence in practice with trauma survivors. We will pay particular attention to therapist countertransference/fragility, and to… Read more »

Feminist perspectives on the treatment of trauma (February 14, Beersheva Israel)

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This full-day workshop is aimed at psychotherapists wishing to integrate feminist therapy principles into their work with trauma survivors. The workshop will explore feminist models of trauma beyond the diagnostic manuals. It will attend to issues of intersectional identity as both risk and resilience in the face of trauma exposure, and will consider ways in… Read more »

Women, trauma and psychotherapy: New insights (February 13, Beersheva Israel)

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This invited address will introduce participants to feminist perspectives on treating women survivors of trauma, with an emphasis on interpersonal and intimate trauma. Feminist models for understanding trauma and for looking at women within the context of intersectional identities will be a focus of this speech. Where to attend Event: Women’s Health and Mental Health… Read more »

Culturally competent trauma treatment (October 13, Seattle WA)

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This full-day workshop will focus on self-awareness of the therapist’s own intersecting strands of identity, cultural norms and biases and the ability to be sensitive to the nuances of human difference. This model of cultural competence is inherently integrative in that it focuses on people, not theories, and on distress, dysfunction, strength and resilience, not… Read more »

How can we engender healthy relationships for survivors of complex childhood trauma? (August 25, Bellevue WA)

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This keynote address will introduce participants to the “Price of Admission” model for analyzing problematic relationship patterns found in adult survivors of childhood complex trauma. We will explore how to utilize EMDR, both trauma processing and resource development strategies, as a means of achieving the goal of having healthier emotionally meaningful relationships for adult survivors…. Read more »

Implementing culturally competent strategies in clinical work with trauma survivors (September 2, Nashville TN)

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This workshop will explore clinical strategies for integrating culturally competent practice models into clinical work with trauma survivors. We’ll consider issues of transference and countertransference as they’re affected by the identities of all parties in the room, and explore how to work across both apparent difference and apparent similarities. There will be an emphasis on… Read more »

Cultural competence in the 21st Century (September 2, Nashville TN)

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This keynote address will cover elements of emerging models of culturally competent practice for professionals working with mental health and substance abuse populations. I’ll have a particular emphasis on working with trauma survivors in those populations, and on integrating the identity of a trauma survivor into people’s other intersectional identities. Where to attend Event: Trauma,… Read more »

Forensic practice with vulnerable populations: The victim-victimizer-victim cycle (August 7, Denver CO)

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I’ll be serving as the discussant on this panel, which features presentations on trauma as a factor in the lives of incarcerated people, people of color, death penalty defendants, and survivors of abuse by clergy. I’ll be tying together themes in the four presentations as they emerge in the practice of forensic trauma psychology. Where… Read more »

A past-presidential panel on getting the word out on trauma (August 5, Denver CO)

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This panel discussion features the past presidents of the Division of Trauma Psychology discussing how we can better disseminate information about trauma in the widest possible range of both lay and professional settings. I’ll be discussing the topic of how we can integrate trauma more effectively into the training of professional psychologists. Where to attend… Read more »

Establishing a Clinical Practice in Trauma Psychology (August 5, Denver CO)

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This program will feature a discussion among myself and my co-presenters, Christine Courtois, Constance Dalenberg, Steve Gold, Dawn Hughes, and Lisa Rocchio, all of whom have maintained successful trauma-focused practices of psychology. We’ll discuss the rewards and pitfalls of being trauma specialists and explore how to sustain oneself as a trauma psychologist in independent practice…. Read more »

Ethics and self-care: Challenges in treating trauma (August 5, Denver CO)

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This program will feature a discussion between myself and my co-presenter, Dr. Christine Courtois, in which we dive into the complexities of caring for oneself and engaging in ethical practice while working with trauma survivors, particularly survivors of complex childhood developmental and attachment trauma. Our focus will be on the dynamic tension between boundaries, flexibility… Read more »

Belief, patience, connection: Relationship above and beyond evidence in trauma treatment (August 4, Denver CO)

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The evidence-based psychotherapy relationship variables constitute the entry point for psychotherapy with survivors of complex childhood trauma. In the absence of empathy, positive regard, respect, genuineness, and the strong desire to repair ruptures on the part of the therapist, any treatment will likely fail. This is because the psychotherapist working with those who have been… Read more »

How can I care for the person who harmed me? Abuse survivors as filial caregivers (August 4, Denver CO)

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Estimates are that around one third of the U.S. adult population has a history of some kind of childhood maltreatment, with most of this occurring in the family of origin at the hands of parents or parental figures. These adverse childhood experiences are associated with a range of psychological and somatic problems in later life,… Read more »

Laura talks about fear and disempowerment as barriers to social action on Seattle’s public radio station

Posted by & filed under audio, recorded.

What do feminist therapy principles of empowerment have to do with responding to climate change? Well, a lot, as it turns out, because empowering people to respond effectively to scary and overwhelming social issues looks very much like empowering people to make change in the therapy process. You can hear me talk about this with… Read more »

Assessing trauma in the forensic context (April 30, Pasadena CA)

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Although trauma is implicated in a large percentage of cases that appear in the office of forensic practitioners, very few forensic psychologists appear to be aware of how to consider its effects in choosing assessment tools, developing standard interview protocols, or analyzing findings. Assessment of the effects of psychological trauma is not limited to assessment… Read more »

Cultural competence in trauma treatment: Beyond symptoms to the context and the person (March 3-4, Sydney NSW Australia)

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The experience of psychological trauma is one that affects humans on somatic, intrapsychic, interpersonal, and spiritual/existential dimensions. Yet almost all of the literature on trauma treatment proceeds as if trauma occurs outside of the social, historical, and political contexts. A problematic consequence of this approach to work with trauma survivors is that while treatment may… Read more »

A contextual approach to treating dissociation (August 8, Toronto ON)

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I will serve as the discussant on this program, responding to the work of colleagues who will be describing the use of a contextual model to assist people dealing with trauma-related dissociation. Where to attend Event: 123rd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association Sponsoring organization: Division of Trauma Psychology Registration information: Open to all… Read more »

Feminist therapy with complex trauma: Accompanying a survivor on her hobbit journey (August 6, Toronto ON)

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Part of a symposium, Frodo and Sam Enter Mordor—The Feminist Therapy Alliance in Complex Trauma, this presentation will reflect my experiences of a feminist trauma specialist working as a therapist with a colleague who is a survivor of complex childhood trauma, as well as a member of several of the same small professional and social… Read more »

Your turn for care: Surviving the aging and death of perpetrators in your family (January 31, Orlando FL)

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This workshop draws upon my book of the same title, and is aimed at assisting adult survivors who are confronting the complexities evoked by the aging and death of perpetrators in their families. We will cover some of the basic constructs foundational to making decisions about whether or how to participate in the care of abusive elders,… Read more »

Your turn for care: Surviving the aging and death of perpetrators in your family (October 5, Seattle WA)

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This workshop draws upon my book of the same title, and is aimed at assisting adult survivors who are confronting the complexities evoked by the aging and death of perpetrators in their families. We will cover some of the basic constructs foundational to making decisions about whether or how to participate in the care of… Read more »

Forensic issues in trauma psychology (August 9, Washington DC)

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This discussion program explores the application of trauma psychology to the forensic contexts, including expert witness testimony, forensic treatment, and forensic psychological evaluation. A CD of useful documents for forensic trauma practice will be available for a small fee. Where to attend Event: 122nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association Sponsoring organization: Division of… Read more »

First do no harm: Is it any longer safe to write case reports?

Posted by & filed under article, written.

This article, part of a special issue of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, explores the risks of harm to clients whose lives become the topic of a professional case study. Drawing upon the experience of Nicole Taus, who was subjected to multiple invasions of privacy by a psychological researcher intent on refuting her report of… Read more »

Eek, there’s dissociation in my office!: The art of mentoring therapists in working with dissociation (November 17, Baltimore MD)

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This workshop, with co-presenter Kathy Steele, is aimed primarily at supervisors working with clinicians who are new to practice with complex trauma and dissociation. Because this novice experience may occur at different points in a therapist’s professional development, we will address both the issues inherent in working with trainees early in their career, and consulting… Read more »

Your turn for care: Assisting clients with the aging and death of perpetrators (November 16, Baltimore MD)

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This workshop draws upon my book of the same title, and is aimed at assisting clinicians whose adult survivors clients are facing the aging and death of perpetrators in the family. We will cover some of the basic constructs to assist survivors with making decisions about whether or how to participate in the care of… Read more »

Self-care as a path to ethical behavior (November 15, Baltimore MD)

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This presentation, part of the day-long Ethics workshop with co-presenters Phil Kinsler, Joan Golston, and Christine Courtois, will explore the particular ethical dilemmas that arise for clinicians working with clients who present with complex trauma and dissociation. My portion of the workshop will focus on how failures of therapist self-care create risks for boundary crossings,… Read more »

Treating the effects of psychological trauma

Posted by & filed under chapter, written.

This chapter is a brief introduction to the essentials of working psychotherapeutically with survivors of traumatic experiences. The range of traumagenic phenomena is explored, and evidence-based treatments for symptoms of trauma exposure are presented. Readers also have access to a bibliography of foundational literature in the field of psychology trauma. Where to find Buy from… Read more »

Breathing in power: Bringing the body back in feminist practice (August 3, Honolulu HI)

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This presentation will discuss and describe the presenter’s integration of the body into the practice of feminist therapy. One persistent effect of women’s disempowerment in the context of interpersonal trauma has been disconnection from the body. Utilizing constructs from the martial art of aikido that emphasize the importance of moving from the center and awareness… Read more »

Establishing a forensic trauma practice (August 2, Honolulu HI)

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This session will provide information to trauma psychologists with an interest in creating a trauma-informed forensic practice. Practical tips and helpful documents will be made available to those present. Registration for this workshop, which costs $35.00, is limited to 12 people Where to attend Event: 121st Annual APA Convention Sponsoring organization: APA Division 56, Trauma… Read more »

Cultural competence in trauma treatment (April 19, Oakland CA)

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In this workshop I’ll be covering the basics of my mindfulness-based approach to cultural competence, and integrating that viewpoint into paradigms for working with trauma survivors. I’ll also be exploring some of the boundary challenges inherent in working with survivors, and discussing how to develop culturally competent paradigms for understanding what constitutes trauma. Where to… Read more »

Laura talks about Your Turn for Care on The Mary Waldon Show

Posted by & filed under audio, recorded.

A discussion of Your Turn for Care with internet radio host Mary Waldon. In this frank conversation, I talk about the concept of the contracts between children and the adults who raise them, and the pain and challenges that arise for people who had those contracts for care broken by their elders. I discuss some…

Cultural competence in trauma therapy (March 1, New York NY)

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In this workshop I’ll be covering the basics of my mindfulness-based approach to cultural competence, and then integrating that viewpoint into paradigms for working with trauma survivors. I’ll also be exploring some of the boundary challenges inherent in working with survivors. Where to attend Event: CE workshop ICP calendar page that includes information about this… Read more »

Recovered memory revisited (October 20, Nashville TN)

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This workshop for professionals reviews the most recent research on the relationship between memory and psychological trauma. It explores the specific issues inherent in working with remembering clients and the risks to therapist and client of over-or-under response to client material. Where to attend Event: Fall Workshop Sponsoring organization: Nashville Psychotherapy Institute Date: October 20,… Read more »

Vicarious traumatization and self-care (September 21, Steilacoom WA)

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This workshop addresses clinician’s needs for self-care in the context of inpatient work with challenging and sometimes dangerous patients. An emphasis on un-silencing self and awareness of needs and feelings as a guide to transforming traumatic experiences into growth is a focus of this training. Where to attend Event: In-service staff training Date: September 21,… Read more »

Ethical and scientific issues in forensic assessment of alleged trauma (August 4, Orlando FL)

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This CE workshop is an introduction to forensic assessment where allegations of trauma are central to the legal matter. Where to attend Event: 120th Annual Convention Convention page for this workshop Sponsoring organization: American Psychological Association Date: August 4, 2012 Time: 1:00 pm – 4:50 pm Room: Hilton Orlando Turkey Lake Room Venue: Orange County… Read more »

Cultural competence and forensic issues in working with adult trauma survivors (August 2, Orlando FL)

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These are two segments of a full-day workshop on working with adult trauma survivors. Where to attend Event: 120th Annual Convention Convention page for this workshop Sponsoring organization: American Psychological Association Date: August 2, 2012 Time: 1:00 pm-2:50 pm Room: Hilton Orlando Lake Sheen Room Venue: Orange County Convention Center City: Orlando, Florida

Cultural competence in trauma therapy (July 13, Seattle WA)

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Laura S. Brown, PhD

I am offering this workshop to raise funds for the Fremont Community Therapy Project, the low-fee feminist, culturally competent, queer-friendly, trauma-focused training clinic that I established in 2006. Finally, a chance for Seattle-area colleagues to attend one of my workshops without having to travel out of state! I’ll be covering the basics of my mindfulness-based… Read more »

Cultural competency in treating trauma (June 3, Toronto ON)

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This presentation briefly reviews the basic tenets of cultually competent practice with survivors of psychological trauma. Where to attend Event: Trauma talks: Advancing the dialogue on trauma-informed care Sponsoring organization: Canadian Mental Health Association Date: June 3, 2012 Time: 11:00 – 11:40 am Room: Grand Banking Hall Venue: One King West Hotel and Residence City:… Read more »

Your turn for care: Surviving the aging and death of the adults who harmed you

Posted by & filed under book, featured, written.

Your Turn is a book I wrote for adult survivors of childhood maltreatment and abuse whose abusive elder family member is now aging or dying. In it I speak to the special challenges and needs of people in this predicament and offer support for dealing with the emotional challenges of being a family caregiver or surviving the death of the abusive elder.

Motivated forgetting and misremembering: Perspectives from Betrayal Trauma Theory

Posted by & filed under chapter, written.

This chapter describes recent research in and applications of Betrayal Trauma Theory (BTT). It discusses how the BTT model has explicated relationships between trauma and memory where interpersonal betrayal has been a factor in trauma. Where to find Buy from amazon.com Citation DePrince, A.P, Brown, L.S., Cheit, R.E., Freyd, J.J., Gold, S.N., Pezdek, K. &… Read more »

Cultural competence in trauma treatment

Posted by & filed under recorded, video.

This on-line video course describes a paradigm for culturally competent psychotherapy practice, and its integration into work with survivors of psychological trauma. In it I propose that trauma does not occur to a generic human being. Rather, trauma interacts with the unique set of characteristics and experiences that each person brings to their encounter with… Read more »

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in trauma psychology: A topic comes out of the closet

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This article is the editors’ introduction to the special issue of the journal, which is the first complilation of original research examining the intersection of LGBT issues and psychological trauma. Where to find Buy from publisher Citation Brown, L.S. & Pantalone, D. (2011). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in trauma psychology: A topic comes… Read more »

Guidelines for treating dissociative identity disorder in adults, Third revision: A tour de force for the dissociation field

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This article introduces and briefly reviews the Guidelines developed by the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Where to find FREE – Download full text from publisher Citation Brown, L.S. (2011). Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision: A tour de force for the dissociation field. Journal of Trauma… Read more »

Multiple identities in context of trauma: Increasing cultural competence

Posted by & filed under audio, recorded.

In this recording of a six-hour workshop originally presented live at the annual conference of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies you will be introduced to a model of identity development which conceptualizes people in terms of their multiple social locations and intersecting senses of self, rather than as a unitary identity as externally… Read more »

True drama or true trauma? Forensic trauma assessment and the challenge of detecting malingering

Posted by & filed under chapter, written.

In this chapter I discuss a step-wise process, using both formal psychometrics and interview data, for determining the likelihood that a forensic presentation of dissociative symptoms is genuine or feigned. I also discuss the difficulties inherent in teasing apart the very dramatic presentations of truly traumatized persons from those who are attempting to malinger dissociation…. Read more »

Cultural competence in the treatment of complex trauma

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This chapter offers a very condensed discussion of themes that I treat at length in my book on this topic. I discuss the specifics of treating complex trauma survivors through the lens of my model of culturally competent practice. Where to find Buy from amazon.com Citation Brown, L.S. (2009). Cultural competence in the treatment of… Read more »

Feminist therapy and self-inflicted violence

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This article offers an excellent example of how feminist principles of empowerment and self-determination are applied in work with clients who harm themselves. Where to find Buy from publisher – free for those with Society for Clinical Psychology (Division 12) membership or institutional access. Citation Brown, L.S. & Bryan, T.C. (2007). Feminist therapy and self-inflicted… Read more »

Trauma and dissociation in convicted offenders: Issues of gender, science, and treatment

Posted by & filed under book, written.

This is an edited volume of papers looking at the relationship between a history of severe trauma, dissociative symptoms, and the experience of incarceration. It is the first book to make the direct connection between variables that have long been identified as risk factors for entry into the criminal justice system. Where to find Buy… Read more »

Finding my center: Martial arts on the way to Tikkun Olam

Posted by & filed under audio, recorded.

This is a talk that I gave at APA as part of a symposium about therapist self-care. It’s a highly personal description of how I came to the practice of aikido, and how that practice has transformed my capacities to care for myself in the work of trauma therapy. Where to find FREE – Download… Read more »

Working with men survivors of trauma and abuse

Posted by & filed under recorded, video.

It can be a challenge to illustrate an approach to therapy in one session, but this video does a nice job of showing how narratives of masculinity affect experiences of a male survivor of childhood maltreatment. Includes a voice-over in which I explain and critique my own work, and some post-session analysis of how and… Read more »

Working with women survivors of trauma and abuse

Posted by & filed under recorded, video.

This video of a one-session therapy with a volunteer client (not an actor) probably comes closer to showing what happens in my office most days than any of my other recorded work. It’s a nice example of feminist principles of empowerment in action, and demonstrates how feminist analysis of gender informs and strengthens trauma treatment…. Read more »

Symptomatic clients and memories of childhood abuse: What the trauma and child sexual abuse literature tells us

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This article represents the final work and opinions of the three trauma experts, myself included, who served on the APA Working Group on Recovered Memories of Abuse. Although practice norms have evolved and the scientific foundation for working with remembering adults has expanded, this is an important historical document for anyone interested in the memory… Read more »

The private practice of subversion: Psychology as Tikkun Olam

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This is the awards address I gave after being honored by APA for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service. In it I used the Biblical metaphor of “dry bones” as a springboard for exploring external and internal threats to the practice of a social justice-oriented psychology. I use the concept of Tikkun Olam, the Hebrew… Read more »

Recovered memories of abuse: Assessment, therapy, forensics

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This book reviewed the scientific literature on memory and trauma available at the time, and proposed strategies for therapists to practice ethically and competently with clients who are experiencing delayed recall of trauma. Introduces the concept of “emotional competence” for working with trauma survivor clients. Although the science of trauma and memory has evolved and… Read more »

From alienation to connection: Feminist therapy with Post-traumatic stress disorder

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This is my first published work on trauma, which won the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology. The start of my integration of feminist and trauma treatment concepts. Where to find Buy from publisher Citation Brown, L.S. (1986). From alienation to connection: Feminist therapy with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Women and Therapy…. Read more »