A Multimodal Approach to Aggression & Violence in Children Within the Context of Complex Trauma & Dissociation
Aggression and violence in children is a multifaceted and intricate issue with a compound of underlying causes. Violent children must self-organize to meet the internal and external demands of having to co-exist with daily reminders of their trauma. They carry truncated defenses, internalization of wounding attachment figures, trauma bonds and shame which lay at the core of their challenges. Dysregulation, emotional constriction and dissociation become part of their inner everyday reality. Aggression directed toward others as well as self-attacks, self-betrayal and shame are often present in severely traumatized children, constituting one of the biggest challenges for child therapists. The presence of perpetrator-imitating parts that hold a strong attachment to wounding figures is at the core of the major conflicts inside the dissociative system and with-it incidents of self-harm or violent acts towards others.
This presentation will support clinicians in understanding the origins of aggression in children within the context of complex trauma and dissociation as well as providing a framework to conceptualize and work with self- and other-directed aggression and hostility in children within a multimodal approach. Portals and entry routes into shaming, hostile and aggressive parts that are developmentally appropriate for children will be provided. How to utilize a multimodal approach and incorporate the use of metaphors, play therapy, EMDR therapy, Sandtray, systemic-attachment based work and expressive arts as well as movement will be covered. How to join the child while providing the companionship, containment, co-regulation and co-organization of their experiences which provide the foundation for integration and healing to take place will be addressed. Top down and bottom-up approaches and strategies will be covered as well as ways to titrate the entrance into the embodied mind of the child.
Potential to Distress
This presentation was originally presented as a live webinar in April 2022.
At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to:
- Cite theories and etiological factors in the origins of violence as well as the contributing factors that are at the center of hostility and violence in children
- Identify portals and entry routes into shaming, hostile and aggressive parts as well as parts that hold loyalty toward the perpetrator
- Utilize a multimodal approach within the EMDR framework and incorporate the use of metaphors, play therapy, Sandtray, movement, Polyvagal based interventions and expressive arts
Presenter: Ana Gomez
Presenter Bio: Ana M Gómez, MC, LPC is the founder and director of the AGATE Institute in Phoenix, AZ. She is a psychotherapist, author, and an international speaker on the use of EMDR therapy with children and adolescents with complex and developmental trauma as well as generational wounds and dissociation. She has led workshops and keynote presentations around the world to thousands of clinicians.
Ana is the author of EMDR Therapy and Adjunct Approaches with Children: Complex Trauma, Attachment and Dissociation and several book chapters and articles on the use of EMDR therapy with children and adolescents. In addition, she is the author of multiple children’s books and therapeutic tools.
Ana has developed numerous intensive training programs and protocols that include the EMDR-Sandtray Protocol and The Systemic, EMDR- Attachment Informed Program to Heal Intergenerational Trauma & Repair the Parent-Child Attachment Bond.
Ana was trained by Dr. Francine Shapiro as a trainer in EMDR therapy, they together co-authored an article on the use of EMDR therapy with children. In addition, Ana made substantial contributions to Shapiro’s 2018 book, children’s section. Ana was the recipient of the 2011 “Distinguished Service Award” from the Arizona Play Therapy Association and the 2012 Sierra Tucson “Hope Award.”
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- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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