Traumatized adolescents and young adults struggle with self-regulation. They are dysregulated across systems–neurologically, cognitively, physically, emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and spiritually. Anxious and vigilant, and unable to trust themselves or caregivers, they may experience even loving relationships as confusing and frightening. But to learn self-soothing, they must first be able to rely upon others and discover the comfort of co-regulation. They benefit from relationships with adults that provide them with the psychological (and physical) sense of stability and containment they cannot supply themselves.
Their lifelong experience of the world as unpredictable is exacerbated by the fear and uncertainty that the COVID-19 has brought to us all. To work effectively with these youth, it’s crucial for adults to first foster their own capacity for self-awareness and self-regulation. It’s not easy, especially now, when we have also been enduring traumatic stress and losses of our own. It can also be harder to attune to our young clients using teletherapy, and their extreme reactions—ranging from angry arousal to frozen shutting down—can trigger our own sense of helplessness and overwhelm.
In this webinar, you will learn about Developmental-Relational Therapy (DRT), an attachment-based model of trauma treatment that can be effective for video sessions. You will learn and practice mindful, empathic strategies that help teens feel more secure, connected, present, and regulated—even over Zoom. You’ll discover how to get unhooked from old enactments by exploring:
- The additional challenges for development and trauma therapy in a pandemic
- Specific adolescent attachment styles that interact with or trigger our own
- The Four M’s—mirroring, mentalizing, mindfulness, and modulation—to increase connection and mood regulation
- The React, Reflect, and Respond approach to corrective relational experiences
Relevance of Training: Concurrent and cascading adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) harm millions of kids each year with well-documented consequences for health and mental health throughout the lifespan. Traumatic exposure and underlying attachment insecurity often precede the most vexing emotional, social, and behavioral problems of adolescence and emerging adulthood, including, for just a few examples: attention-deficit and conduct disorders, substance use, chronic anxiety, self-harm, dissociation, suicidality, and psychosis. To be most effective, therapists need to treat the source of dysregulation while also finding a way to stay cool, calm, and connected themselves. This webinar offers a developmental and relational model along with dozens of strategies for understanding and intervening to help the most complex and challenging youth with a special focus on practice modifications for teletherapy during the global pandemic.