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Trauma: triggers, treatment and transformation: A multi-disciplinary exploration of trauma.

17 September 2019 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Registration is required. See Pricing tab for more information.
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Registration deadline: 12 September

If you practice any form of psychology (or wish to), you, to some degree, (will) practice recovery from trauma.

And, in doing so, you may encounter many questions, such as:

  • What can the cutting-edge of trauma research and practice teach us?
  • How can we use that knowledge to be even more effective at helping those for whom trauma requires treatment?
  • What triggers trauma in some and not others?
  • Why do some people recover in hours or days from the same event that scars others for life?
  • We have all experienced trauma: what can our own recoveries from traumatic experiences teach others?
  • How does our trauma terminology impact recovery?

The clue is in the difference between PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSI, post-traumatic stress injury.

This is a conference with a difference, where you will learn from experts by experience, experts by management, experts by practice and experts by research.

If you want to better understand how to help people, ‘Trauma: triggers, treatment and transformation’ is for you, and is open to both BPS members and non-members with an interest in trauma.

London Metropolitan University
Great Hall
166-220 Holloway Road
N7 8DB
Event Location: 


Dr Jai Shree Adhyaru is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with around 20 years of experience in working with children, teenagers and families in a variety of settings and Service Manager for Grenfell Health & Wellbeing Trauma Service for Children and Young People.

Her talk, "Implementation of a School Based Screening Protocol for PTSD in a post disaster context", will focus on a large scale school based screening approach that was implemented following the Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2017.

The talk aims to share learning about how the protocol was developed in a post disaster context, the steps involved including engagement with key systems.

We will also discuss the findings from the initial phase of screening, focusing on what this might tell us about trauma levels among children and implications for the next phase of work in the local community.

Professor Graham Buchanan is the CEO of The Leadership Associates, a company specialising in strategic leadership solutions. Prior to this he spent 30 years in the Police Service and, between 2003 and 2015, he was a lecturer at the Leadership Academy for Policing, working on both the Senior Leadership Development Programme and the High Potential Development Scheme.

His talk on "Institutional Trauma" defines this as:

"An event of such magnitude that it negatively impacts every member of an organisation (or a significant part of it); an event that is difficult to leave behind because it is pervasive and of long duration."

Every organisation experiences trauma at an organisational level at some time or another, but the emergency services have to deal with traumatic incidents on a daily basis that have the potential to have an organisation wide impact.

While many managers are becoming skilled at identifying and managing personal trauma, both in themselves and in others, the notional of institutional trauma has been barely touched upon in the areas it is most needed.

During the course of the presentation Professor Buchanan will look at a number of case studies highlighting key areas for consideration.

Dr Carmel Digman is a senior clinical psychologist working with the adult Mental Health of Learning Disability team in Kent.

She is an experienced lecturer specialising in profound and multiple learning disability mental health, autism and complex communication disorders, trauma experiences of adults with learning disabilities and using drama, narrative and role play in therapy and teaching. She is currently exploring ways of approaching therapy for trauma with people who are unable to access talking therapy because of their complex needs.

Her presentation will tell the story of two young men who disclosed that they had been physically and sexually abused by carers. The story explores the systemic responses of family, social service, police and professionals as they react to the disclosures. The young men had significant communication and learning disabilities which impacted on the way the disclosures were received and acted upon.

Issues are raised about the voice of victims of abuse, social constructs about veracity of accounts and barriers to disclosure and belief.

Narratives are shown to be critical in the process of constructing meaning, making sense of events, recovery and conveying experiences to those who will listen. There are important points for practice about valuing and protecting the narratives of disclosure for achieving justice, prevention and for therapeutic recovery.

Sylvia Duncan is a Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist who has dedicated her professional life to working with traumatised children and adults. She has researched and published widely in the field of child abuse and neglect and provided therapeutic services for children and families in recovery.

She has always believed that the best potential therapeutic resource for helping children to recover from early trauma is those involved in their day to day care and education, provided that these adults are in receipt of appropriate training and support to be able to look behind the behaviour of the child to try to understand what the emotional drives might be for it thus enabling the development of appropriate strategies for responding to the child’s  emotional needs and not just  managing and trying to control their behaviour.

Children are not born with a full emotional repertoire and their emotional reactions become more complex as they grow up. Key milestones in cognitive and social development provide a foundation for staged emotional growth and a widened repertoire of emotional experience. This talk will argue that when exposed to trauma children progressively develop  four main emotional responses: anxiety; guilt; anger; grief.

This talk will outline the way in which these emotional states arise, are defended against to ensure psychological survival, and may be manifest in the child’s presentation and history and how, by adopting a developmental perspective, carers, teachers, therapists and others will be better placed to meet the needs of traumatized children and promote their recovery. It will also explain how this model can provide a roadmap to recovery for adults still battling with the long-term impact of early abuse.

Dr Bryony Farrant is a registered Counselling Psychologist, EMDR practitioner and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has a special interest in psychological trauma – complex trauma in particular and has given media interviews on this subject and on the traumatic nature of child sexual abuse.

For two and a half years, she worked as the Chief Psychologist to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in which she established a trauma-informed approach across the organisation and was responsible for the support and safeguarding of survivors who engaged with the Inquiry. She currently runs a busy private practice in Winchester providing psychological therapy, clinical supervision, and consultancy and training to organisations.

She’s also a guest lecturer at Winchester University on the Masters in Forensic Psychology Programme and has previously worked in NHS secondary care, a secure forensic service, HM Prison and Probation services and third sector organisations.

In this talk, Dr Farrant reflect on the challenges survivors face when disclosing their trauma and engaging with organisations of all types.

Many survivors of child sexual abuse say that their experience of disclosing their abuse was more traumatic than the abuse itself. The systems and processes in place within organisations can inadvertently re-traumatise those who engage with them and it can be distressing for staff to see survivors harmed and not helped.

Practitioners of all disciplines are often anxious about receiving disclosures of trauma sensitively, worried that they may get it wrong with severe consequences - as the recent case of ‘Nick’ and the Metropolitan police demonstrates.

With reference to her work as the Chief Psychologist to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Dr Farrant will illustrate how organisations can adopt a trauma-informed approach that reduces the risk of re-traumatisation and supports staff well-being.

Joana Faustino is a chartered psychologist with a highly diverse career, having worked in forensic, clinical and occupational settings, public and private services, in the UK and abroad.

Joana currently works for the Rail Safety and Standards Board leading a new service to support rail staff with mental health difficulties thrive at work.

In this talk, co-presented by a rail worker with experience of trauma at work, we will look at exposure to trauma in the industry and how to support a safe and sustainable return to work.

Professor Neil Greenberg BM, BSc, MMedSc, FHEA, MFMLM, DOccMed, MEWI, MInstLM, MFFLM, MD, FRCPsych, is a consultant academic psychiatrist at King’s College London. Neil served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces for more than 23 years and has deployed to a number of hostile environments including Afghanistan and Iraq. He took up the Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Special Interest Group in Occupational Psychiatry in October 2018.

In 2008 he was awarded the Gilbert Blane Medal by the Royal Navy for his work in supporting the health of Naval personnel through his research work. He also led the team that won a military-civilian partnership award in 2013 for carrying out research into the psychological health of troops who were deployed and was shortlisted for the RCP Psychiatrist of the Year in 2015. He was awarded an RCP Presidential Medal for his work with trauma and veterans in 2017.

Neil has published more than 250 scientific papers and book chapters and has presented to national and international audiences on matters concerning the psychological health of the UK Armed Forces, organisational management of traumatic stress and occupational mental health. He has been the Secretary of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society and Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

He is the current Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Lead for Military and Veterans Health, a trustee with Walking with the Wounded, an independent director of the Forces in Mind Trust and a principal advisor for Hostage UK.

This talk will cover topics such as the impact of managers and colleagues on mental health, stigma and failing to seek help for mental health problems, psychological health screening, peer support programmes, active monitoring and the short-term management of traumatic stress reactions and evidence based approaches to treatment.

Many organisations, such as the emergency services, military and some healthcare or social services providers, routinely expose their employees to traumatic material. Whilst only a minority of those exposed to such events go on to develop formal mental health difficulties, trauma-exposed organisations have a duty of care to mitigate the impact of traumatic events on their staff as much as they can reasonably can.

This presentation will provide an overview of the evidence on this topic looking at what can be done to prevent workers from being adversely affected by trauma, detecting early on when they have been and treating those who do unfortunately develop a formal mental health disorder.

Attendees will leave appraised of the current evidence which will hopefully stimulate discussion and debate on this important topic.

Blessings N. Jubane is a passionate and ambitious single mother of two and a trainee psychologist who is currently completing an MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology.

Her main aim is to serve others and empower them to achieve their goals through her coaching business: ‘Maximum Potential Strategies’. Having suffered from abuse herself she has made it her mission to help others to heal and live a more fulfilling life.

In this talk she will discuss the journey and necessary steps it took for her to confront the abuse she experienced and to begin the healing process, as well as the ways in which this has given her, and those like her, a voice.

Dr Mike Rennie is a Chartered Psychologist working within the Ministry of Defence as a Senior Lecturer with Special Responsibilities, teaching Communications and Applied Behavioural Science for the Faculty of Leadership, Security and Warfare at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He has taught a range of Operational courses around the world especially in Africa and the Middle East, serving as an Academic Mentor in Kabul at the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy in Qargha, as well as acting as the co-senior civil servant in Afghanistan,during which time he established a Behavioural Science Department for the Academy, designing new course materials and overseeing their translation into Dari and Pashtu.

In 2012 alongside a colleague from Sandhurst he went to Kenya to provide media training for 20 Military Officers from the East African Brigade. The first time the Brigade had been given guidance.  While back at Sandhurst he was the academic lead for the development of The Sandhurst Leadership development course: Slim’s Company, the updated replacement for Rowallan Company.

Mike has also advised a number of Blue light organisations on training and operational effectiveness, including considering the stressors involved in deployment of Firefighters on international rescue missions and has been known to advise TV productions, even appearing as a member of the Conducting Staff on Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits.

He is currently serving as the Secretary of the BPS’ Defence and Security Psychology Section and is a member of the Crisis and Trauma Psychology Section.

Dr Rennie's talk will discuss the development of mental health thinking in the army.

The British military has had a rocky relationship with what has become to be known as PTSD/PTSI. From the days of Charles Myers and his work with sufferers of “Shell Shock” to the current use of Mindfulness, Resilience Building and the TRIM process, the army has looked for ways to deal with the mental health issues of serving soldiers and veterans.

Drawing from his practical experience he will consider what can be learned from current practice in Trauma/Mental Health Awareness and treatment in military and Blue Light organisations.

Muthanna Samara, CPsychol, is a Professor in Developmental Psychopathology and the Head of the Developmental Psychology Research Group at Kingston University London. Muthanna completed his PhD in Developmental Psychopathology at Warwick University. After taking a post-doctoral position at Warwick University, he was appointed as a lecturer at Kingston University London. In 2017 he became a Professor in Psychology.

His major research interests are school and sibling bullying, the long-term outcomes following prematurity and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst children of war and refugees. He is the Head of the International Centre of Children and Adolescents Psychopathology, serves on the editorial board of several journals and his research has appeared in several media platforms.

A huge number of children are living in war situations, subjected to political violence and the threat of terrorism. In this talk Professor Samara will share his research and thinking from four major studies.

Children were found to fit into one of four groups named the acute group ,the resilient group, the remedy group and the delayed group. What characterizes each group? What are the implications for well-being? How effective are interventions? What does the research suggest are the most effective approaches to treating trauma?

Laura Scarrone Bonhomme started practicing in 2009, she trained and developed her career internationally, working in Spain, South America, and the United Kingdom.

Laura currently works both privately and at the NHS Adult Gender Identity Clinic in Charing Cross, where she has supported over 400 trans, non-binary and gender questioning individuals to make sense of their circumstances.

She is an Associate Editor of the BPS Counselling Psychology Review, and most recently published Gender Dysphoria and the Mirror: A Mediator between the First Person and Third Person Perspective.

Often, people who are transgender, non-binary, or indeed part of any other minority like LGBTQI+ experience part of themselves as other than the wider society. This sense of otherness has the potential to become a source of painful emotions, particularly shame, which has been proven to hinder the relationship with oneself and by extension, with others.

This talk will address the systemic societal structures that act as precursors of internalised transphobia, we will examine what makes some trans and non-binary people accepting of this element of their identity and others not, and explore ways to support those who feel intrinsically different, in order to challenge and resolve their shame.

Dr Kevin Wright is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Fellow of the BPS. He was previously 15 years in the NHS working part-time for SLaM NHS Foundation Trust (South London & Maudsley) offering High Intensity integrative psychotherapy in the IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Treatment) service in south London and is still now also an EAP affiliate for various provider companies (Employment Assistance Programmes) offering free brief therapy to employees and their family members via their employer including treating many accident victims suffering from PTSD.

He is an Expert witness carrying out psychological and cognitive assessments for the family (custody & care proceedings), immigration & criminal courts (e.. for those with Autism or PWLD); and he also provides treatment and/or reports for litigation proceedings where a client has suffered from PTSD as a result of an accident, medical negligence, military traumas, etc.

He is currently focussing on how to offer a brief effective protocol for the treatment of PTSD; the role/importance of fathers in the prevention of crime in young men and is running numerous stress management and resilience workshops for senior legal professionals working for the civil service (CPS). He is also committee member of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (UK Chapter) and the Male Psychology Section in the BPS.

This session will provide case examples by a psychology practitioner to demonstrate the effectiveness and advantages of using the technique known as ‘expressive writing’ as a quick and effective way to work with, particularly, post-traumatic stress and other traumas in various brief therapy settings, as an adjunct to the more traditional techniques, such as CBT.

The use of expressive writing has been found to have significant effects, long term, on physical and psychological wellbeing, physiological and general functioning outcomes particularly in reducing post-traumatic intrusions and avoidance symptoms. The session will also offer evidence and some theoretic concepts that might explain how the method works and what might explain its effectiveness.

In this session a member of the emergency services will share their experience of trauma and the barriers to seeking help, and the difficulties that the use labels common used present.

Few people in society are more certain to be subjected to trauma than those who serve in the security services.

In order to obtain access to this information, BPS members will be aware that confidentiality is appropriate, and that for such sound reasons, the name and biography of the person cannot be shared.

BPS Members £30 (£25 + VAT)
Non-BPS Members £60 (£50 + VAT)

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