Attachment Disruption, Unresolved Childhood Memories & Self-Disturbance: An Evolving Approach to Complex Trauma

This is a 6 hour On Demand Webinar. Access information, resources and CEU information will be sent to you shortly after registration and registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year.

This webinar was broadcasted live on Thursday, June 23, and Friday, June 24, 2022

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When complex trauma involves early abuse, disattunement, and neglect, the outcome may be not only post-traumatic stress, but also disturbance of self-organization associated with attachment disruption and altered self-schema. As a result, complex trauma can lead to problems accessing a benign and grounded sense of self; easily triggerable and especially painful trauma/attachment memories; problems with emotional regulation; and, for some, a plethora of risky or self-harming behaviours.

Based on significant developments over the last 5-10 years, his upcoming (early 2023) 3rd edition of Principles of Trauma Therapy, and his in-progress complex trauma assessment book for the APA, Dr. Briere will introduce in this workshop a client-empowering model of assessment, therapeutic exposure, and relational processing that takes implicit attachment memories, chronic emotional dysregulation, and memory reconsolidation into account. He will also outline the principles of trigger management; and offer mindfulness approaches (including the ReGAIN procedure) to distress reduction behaviours.

At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees will be better able to —

  • Describe the etiology of complex trauma outcomes
  • Outline the primary psychological impacts of early, sustained, relational trauma and parental disengagement
  • Outline a philosophy of psychological assessment for complex trauma presentations
  • Describe the role of a positive therapeutic relationship in modern trauma treatment
  • Describe the steps of ReGAIN as they relate to de-escalating triggered responses
  • Define interspersal and trigger management
  • Discuss memory reconsolidation as it relates to processing and updating painful memories
  • Describe the principles of titrated exposure

John Briere, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the Keck USC School of Medicine. Recipient of the APA’s award for contributions to the science of trauma psychology, he is author of over 150 articles and chapters and 15 books, and lectures world-wide on trauma, therapy, and mindfulness.


Time Topic Covered
First 90 minutes
  • Describing etiology of complex trauma outcomes 
  • Describing disturbance of self-organization, classic PTSD, Complex PTSD, and Borderline personality disorder
15 minutes
  • Break
Last 90 Minutes
  • In-depth discussion of specific symptoms associated with PTSD, Complex PTSD, and borderline personality disorder
  • Synthesis of this information to generate conclusions about the major targets for modern trauma therapy
  • Outline a philosophy of psychological assessment that takes complex trauma presentations into account
  • Highlight dangers associated with Distress Reduction Behaviors


Time Topic Covered
First 90 minutes
  • How to establish a therapeutic relationship to provide stabilization, provide empathy and compassion, and activate and process early attachment schema and relational memorieS
  • Use of specific treatment techniques: Grounding, relaxation, mindfulness training, and emotional discrimination
15 minutes
  • Break
Last 90 Minutes
  • Urge/emotion “surfing”
  • Use of the ReGAIN mindfulness exercise
  • Principles of titrated exposure
  • Discussion of memory consolidation and related techniques as they informs trauma therapy
  • Techniques to deepen extinction of distress conditioned to trauma memories

This training offers 6 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Attendees of On Demand/Recorded Version

If you cannot verify 100% attendance of the Live Broadcast or if you are watching the On Demand/recorded version of this webinar, you will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For Canadian and International participants

Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, Canadian and international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation which features:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least 80% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

For general information about Continuing Education for Canadians and International participants, please click here.  

For US Participants


Continuing Education Information:

This professional continuing education activity was sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and co-sponsored by Leading Edge Seminars. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, who has been approved as a provider of continuing education by the organizations listed below, maintains responsibility for the educational activity offered and for following the standards and regulations for the organizations listed below. This non-live on-demand activity is approved for 6 CE hours. 

No partial credit will be awarded. At the end of the workshop, Leading Edge Seminars will provide attendees with an instruction sheet on how to complete the online evaluation and how to print your CE certificate of completion. You will be required to pass a post test with a score of 80% or higher.  You will be able to complete this process immediately after the conclusion of the activity.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below: 

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc and Leading Edge Seminars. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 6 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs. 

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 6 clinical continuing education credits.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

Course launch date: 6/1/2022

Next course review/expire date: 5/31/22

NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Disclosure Information:

Praxis Continuing Education and Training is responsible for the content, quality and scientific integrity of all CE/CME activities certified for credit. When an educational activity is offered for medical (CME), Nursing (ANCC) and/or Psychology (APA) continuing education credit, participants must be informed as to the source, amount, nature, and disposition of any funding used to support the activity, whether in the form of educational grants, cash contributions, or in-kind contributions.  Individuals in a position to influence course content must also disclose whether they have one or more relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

We define ineligible companies as those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. There is no minimum financial threshold; individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies. We ask that discloses are made regardless of whether the individual views the financial relationships as relevant to the education. For more information on the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, please visit

All those in a position to control the content of an education activity are asked to disclose any relevant financial relationships they have with any ineligible companies. 

There is no commercial support for this activity.

None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. 

This training is aimed at all mental health professionals including:

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in Accredited Programs in the Above Fields
  • case managers
  • licensed professional counsellors
  • all other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices

What level of knowledge the attendee should have in this topic?
– Intermediate/Advanced