Treating Attachment & Trauma Dysregulation: An Introduction

“At their core, children and youth with Attachment- and Trauma- Dysregulation do not know how to have relationships with other human beings. It is no wonder, then, that even well-trained psychotherapists often struggle to bring positive change to their lives and relief to their caregivers.”

William S. Kaplan, LCSW

Program Overview

This workshop explores the key concepts of Attachment and Trauma Dysregulation. After reviewing the circumstantial and neglect/ abuse causes for the development of maladative attachment of an infant/ toddler with his/her caregiver, the workshop describes the manifestations of Attachment and Trauma Dysregulation on children and youth in the following areas: behavioral, cognitive, affectivity, physical and spiritual/ moral. The workshop discusses the complexities of diagnosing Attachment and Trauma Dysregulation and the reasons for its common misdiagnoses. It offers methods and criteria for accurately assessing children and youth.

Most significantly, the workshop focuses on introducing participants to core concepts and practices of three treatment approaches which have demonstrated effectiveness for treating children and youth with Attachment and Trauma Dysregulation. These approaches are:

  • Theraplay┬«, developed by Ann M. Jernberg and Phyllis B. Booth
  • Attachment-Focused Family Therapy (also known as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) developed by Daniel A. Hughes
  • An Interpersonal Neurobiology of Psychotherapy, developed by Daniel J. Siegel

The presenter will utilize a didactic process on the key points of the presentation. The presenter will use case examples, encourage the participants to engage in dialogue, and utilize experiential activities to illustrate the use of the treatment approaches.

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Workshop Outline

After the morning, participants will:

  • Understand the attachment cycle and its importance for the development of healthy attachment between an infant and a primary caregiver
  • Understand the circumstantial and neglect/abuse causes of the disorder
  • Develop an understanding of the behavioral, emotional and social manifestations of the disorder in children and youth
  • Be able to differentiate between the diagnosis of the disorder and its common misdiagnoses
  • Be introduced to key components and dimensions of Theraplay┬«.

By the end of the workshop participants will also:

  • Be introduced to key concepts and some applications of An Interpersonal Neurobiology of Psychotherapy
  • Be introduced to key concepts and practices of Attachment-Focused Family Therapy (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy)
  • Develop an understanding of an integration of the three primary treatment approaches.

About the Presenter

William S. Kaplan, LCSW, is the President and Clinical Director of House Calls Counseling, a human services company providing individual, couple and family counseling in the comfort of the home. He earned a Master of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University, the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. He has been a clinical supervisor in foster care, residential and counseling programs, a training coordinator for a statewide child welfare agency, a facilitator of Boot Camp for New Dads, and he has held adjunct teaching appointments at Loyola University School of Social Work and Governor’s State University.

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