Trauma and the Developing Adolescent Brain
Abstract: Childhood trauma has the potential to overwhelm the coping ability of children and can create developmental changes in brain structure and function. These changes to the developing mind allow for short term survival and sacrifice long term effective functioning. Adolescence is a time when these changes have the potential for both becoming more deeply embedded or largely rectified as the person moves toward adulthood. This workshop will detail some aspects of how the brain copes with overwhelming trauma and impairment or disorganized attachment and how, when identified and treated effectively, the changes in the brain can facilitate healing. Specific case examples will be provided from various causes of C-PTSD and dissociative responses and some basic methods of addressing these changes in order to facilitate more effective functioning will be provided.
Content Level: Intermediate
Identify 3 specific causes of childhood/adolescent traumatic stressors that may lead to dissociative reactions/coping mechanisms
Identify 2 changes in brain structure and function during adolescence that can help to overcome traumatic stress and dissociative reactions
Name 3 environmental and 2 developmental problems that can complicate adolescent treatment of traumatic stress and dissociative reactions
Presenter: Robert Slater, BS, MSW, LCSW-R
Presenter Biography: Robert Slater, BS, MSW, LCSW-R (licensed clinical social worker) has been working with traumatized individuals for the past 20 years. He began his career working in residential programs for abused, neglected and adjudicated adolescents. He followed this with work in a special education program for emotionally disturbed and developmentally disabled children and adolescents. He has, for the last 10 years, owned and operated a group psychotherapy practice that has focused on offering services to both children and adults with a special emphasis on treating traumatic stress and dissociative disorders. Robert is Co-founder of the Centerstate New York Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, is a former board member of ISSTD, Chair’s the child and adolescent special interest group, is a member of the finance and communications and marketing committee.
ISSTD Certificate Program
This session is approved for 1.5 Certificate Program credits.