Engaging, Working Through and Ending - A Phase Approach to Complex Trauma in Adolescence: The Case of Annie


Complex trauma has profound effects on the very essence of what it is to be human, and in adolescence, a stage in which far-reaching neurobiological and psychological re organisation normally takes place, the individual is often overtaken by the effects of early trauma that may have been dormant, but is stirred into action, by intrusion of traumatic memories. The phase-model of psychotherapy will particularly take into account, types of trauma, dissociation, the adolescent brain which recent research has shown some startling findings, ending with adolescents, and the case of Anne. The presentation will conclude with a few words on therapist self-care, in view of the fact that vicarious trauma is often overlooked by us as therapists.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives


At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Explain assessment of trauma with the clinical case of Anne
  • Differentiate single episode trauma from attachment trauma and from complex trauma
  • Describe the phasic-model of psychotherapy in an adolescent, along with adolescence as a developmental phase
  • Recognize the relevance of transference and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship Explain the difficulties that occur in psychotherapy and must be attended to
  • Develop the beginnings of understanding dissociation from the clinical example.
  • Recognize that a therapist can be vicariously traumatised and remember that the therapist must take care of her/himself.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
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Presenter: Joan Haliburn, MBBS, FRANZCP, M. Med.
Presenter Bio: Joan Haliburn is a child, adolescent, adult and family psychiatrist and psychotherapist, a Fellow of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, a clinical senior lecturer, University of Sydney, in private practice and on faculty of the Complex Trauma Unit, Western Sydney health District, which is a service delivery, teaching and training unit of Westmead Hospital She has published widely, and her book “An integrated approach to short term dynamic interpersonal psychotherapy – a clinician guide” is soon to be published by Karnac, London. She is on the board of directors, ISSTD.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


ISSTD Member cost:
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  • 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. 
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