Attachment, Trauma and Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: Pieces of the Complex Trauma Puzzle

Complex trauma is… well, complex. Complex trauma is the combined impacts of chronic or multiple traumas and disrupted attachment in early childhood. Often presenting with multiple diagnoses, multiple treatment failures, placement breakdowns, emotional or behavioral dysregulation, and dissociation, these young clients often get lost in the system. Therapists working with this population are struck by how little these children resemble those they were trained to treat. Neither training in childhood trauma nor training in attachment captures the presentations and treatment needs of this group of young people. The triad of trauma, disrupted attachment and dissociation each contributes aspects that can disrupt treatment and undermine supportive relationships if left unaddressed. This webinar explores a treatment approach designed to address all three of these pieces in the complex trauma puzzle.   

This session was originally presented as a live webinar in April 2019.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

Upon Completion of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Identify and use specific attachment focused techniques to enhance the attachment relationship between the child or adolescent and their attachment figure to support and facilitate further treatment
  • Identify and use specific techniques to assist the child or adolescent in working within the enhanced attachment relationship to achieve improved integration, coping skills and self-regulation
  • Identify and use specific integrative techniques with children and adolescents in the exploration of traumatic memory within the support of enhanced attachment relationships
  • Support children, adolescents, and their caregivers in returning to their developmental trajectory and creating a childhood beyond their complex trauma experiences. 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Niki (Veronica) Gomez-Peralez, MSW, RSW
Presenter Biography: Niki Gomez-Perales, MSW, RSW, is an expert in the areas of children's mental health, complex trauma, attachment and dissociation. She has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of child welfare and children's mental health. For the past 20 years she has worked as a therapist in a Children's Mental Health clinic in Hamilton Ontario. Niki has lectured on Complex Trauma and Attachment with the ISST-D, the ESTD, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children, Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She is an active member and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and a winner of the ISSTD 2016 written media award for her book, "Attachment-Focused Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents: Phase-Oriented Strategies for Addressing Complex Trauma Disorders,” 2015. Routledge. Her second book, “The Attachment-Focused Toolbox: Phase-Oriented Techniques for Treating Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents,” is scheduled for release later this year.


Available Credit

  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
Your Price:
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"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level. 

  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
  • ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired. 

These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at to receive the appropriate discount code.