I have provided these trainings to many county contracted mental health organizations, professional training sites, and conferences.
Please contact me for details on providing any of these trainings or a more specific training for your location.
Working with Young Adults / TAY and Complex PTSD
TAY is a term that refers to Transitional Aged Youth, generally defined as the range between 18 and 24 years old. In giving an overview of working with TAY who struggle with symptoms of complex trauma and dissociation, I will start with some background on why TAY should be considered as a distinct developmental group with unique needs and concerns.
TAY exist in a space of no longer being children but new at the demands of adulthood. Clinicians often consider them a difficult group to work with, in part, because they are navigating multiple life challenges which may intersect with race, economics, orientation and gender identity. In my experience, TAY can be an extremely rewarding age range to work with.
The most complicated TAY clients are often not interested in traditional sit-down therapy with the normal constraints of a weekly 50 minute session. They demand that we become masters of engagement.
So, how do we reach them? Connecting with TAY requires being fiercely in touch with our own unique vulnerabilities while being comfortable with them. We have to be prepared to encounter what may be unfamiliar to us and admit that we don’t have the answers all of the time.
TAY / Emerging Adults and the Developing Brain
This presentation will provide an overview of why adolescence is a different time from the Emerging Adulthood / TAY experience in terms of neurobiology. I will talk about how brain development impacts behavior during these years, why this particular time is of specific importance in the development of human behavior, as well as how trauma is speculated to impact individuals during this specific time. I will also provide some background around sociological impacts and the emergence of TAY as a current and distinct developmental age range worthy of a clinical approach that respects this unique stage of personal growth.
Introduction to Assessing Dissociation and Basics of Treatment
This training will provide an overview of how to identify and work with clients who are struggling with dissociation and dissociative processes. It addresses all age groups, but primarily focuses on managing symptoms in teens and adults. Some forms of treatment used to treat trauma are more helpful when used with clients who have systems that are engaged in a fight/flight response, but these same treatment methods can backfire when used with clients whose default mode is to freeze. The training will introduce concepts around how a person’s biology is organized, when they lean towards freezing as their main coping and defense, how to identify this client in comparison to clients who lean towards other forms of response, and treatment approaches to help this type of client towards healing.
Psychosis is an issue that is highly stigmatized and often misunderstood. Understanding it and finding ways to manage symptoms early is helpful in terms of managing it. Psychosis can take a lot of forms that are very different from each other and can have a transitory impact or will need more of a global change in lifestyle. Contrary to more popular belief, therapy is extremely helpful with psychosis. Learning skills for stress management and working with the previous impacts of PTSD as well as creating collaborations with voice hearing are all techniques that can stabilize and reduce intrusive symptoms from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Working with the Multiply Neurodivergent: When Autism and OSDD/DID Overlap
Working with individuals who experience OSDD/DID can be unique if they are also autistic. Autism is a neurotype, as a result the entire OSDD/DID system will also be autistic as a result. However, different parts within an OSDD/DID system will not all present with the same autism spectrum issues. Some may have more or different sensory issues, some may have higher masking, and some may refuse to mask at all. In addition there are common complications to consider and adjust for in treatment. Many autistic individuals have aphantasia and common techniques that utilize visualization may not work well without significant alterations. Some may have a more concrete style that will need to be understood and some may find that their creativity has caused them to feel more alienated or misunderstood by others in their environment. Some past traumatic experiences may be more directly tied to their experiences as an autistic system and this may have even included mental health professionals.