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Actionable Neuroscience for Stress, Anxiety & Trauma # 16 Apr 2024 # LIVE, Online, Interactive Workshop #


Actionable Neuroscience for Stress, Anxiety & Trauma: Accessible steps forward for our clients -and ourselves

Dr Heather Sequeira; Consultant Psychologist & Clinical Traumatologist - LIVE interactive training.

Understanding the neurobiology of intense anxiety, stress and trauma can help us re-frame the often highly distressing responses of our brain, nervous system and body. 
Far from being pathologising, it can be profoundly helpful to understand the mechanisms behind the threat response. In addition, it is empowering to know that we can translate this knowledge into practical applications to push back against the stress response.

Specifically, we will be taking a tour of  this fast-evolving field, including:

  1. Understanding three types of stress (2 helpful, 1 unhelpful)
  2. Understanding the cascade of reactions that deposit adrenaline, acetylcholine and other chemicals into the body
  3. Understanding the way our early attachments calibrate our stress system
  4. Learning practical applications that we can use ourselves / with clients to manage our state of alertness.
  5. Understand how distinct breath patterns affect feelings of stress and alertness. Plus how we can utilise them.
  6. Understand how the visual system affects stress and alertness and how we can use the visual system to decrease threat arousal.
  7. How to work alongside our biological clock to promote effective stress coping
  8. How sleep interacts with the stress response
  9. Understanding the effect of physical exercise on stress reactivity.
In this workshop we will distil recent research findings from the neuroscience into usable knowledge in a way which invites a de-stigmatising view of high stress and anxiety. We will look at the neuronal networks of the stress response. Plus the cascade of reactions that set off the biological stress reactions into our bodies. Most importantly, we will learn some 'real time' interventions that can make a powerful difference to our internal biological state.

During the second half of this workshop we will look at how our earliest experiences of attachment, predictability and threat can predispose our  adult nervous system into different levels of threat arousal. Particular attention is given to the embodied brain and the social-emotional nature of stress and anxiety.

After attending this workshop attendees should walk away with insights from the world of neurobiology to augment our psychological therapies to lessen worry, enhance wellbeing and inspire meaningful action.

Unlike our other workshops, there will be no simulated client practice session.

    Workshop Itinerary: 6 Hours CPD: Taught content with interactive discussion (no simulated therapy component)

    Who Should Attend: This course is ideal for psychologists, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals who want to develop & their practice skills to help clients. It is designed for those who have little previous knowledge of neuroscience. Questions and interactive discussion is encouraged.

    Times: 9.30-4.00pm 
    Venue: Online LIVE Interactive via Zoom


    Presenter Dr Heather Sequeira PhD

    Dr Heather Sequeira PhD has a solid background in Trauma related research and worked as Senior Research Fellow, University of London prior to training as a clinician. Heather is now an executive committee member of the British Psychological Society Crisis, Disaster & Trauma BPS Section. She has input to British Psychological Society CPD, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training programmes and CBT Diploma Courses. She has 20 years NHS experience, plus private practice and organisational context work. She has a particular specialty in Complex PTSD & Trauma-related OCD.

    The unique style of PTSD Trauma Workshop was born not only out of the above expertise but from supervising other psychologists, trainees and therapists. These clinicians were often highly trained and experienced, but what they said they lacked was the opportunity to observe other clinicians at work. They said that what they really wanted was to ‘look over the shoulder’ to observe another clinicians to help build both skills and confidence. Often supervises were struggling with similar therapeutic issues, despite being at different stages of the professional journey and they wanted to push the boundaries of their own learning within a safe, non-judgmental space.

    The workshops are a unique response to the above needs: The workshops focus on "real-life" clinical issues, clients who are "stuck" or who have complex needs. They are highly practical, with clinical observation using the live actor "therapy simulation" and video footage for skills work. We offer a stop & pause format so that delegates can stop, discuss, and pull open the clinical decision-making steps at each stage of the therapy process. The process brings life-like and safer skills practice into the workshop. This process offers unique hands-on training for professionals with sound theory to practice transfer.

    Heather's expert knowledge of clinical practice, extensive research experience and excellent training skills make her the most stimulating trainer to work with.

    Additional Information

    Live therapy demonstration & skills practice

    This is a highly practical training with ample opportunity to see live demonstration of Trauma-Focused therapy. We use a professional actor as our client. This helps us to to map out the therapy interaction in the most realistic way possible, whilst effectively integrating theory with practice. We try not to shy away from real work complexities, therapy pitfalls & tough decisions. This is a fantastic opportunity to look inside the therapy process, with an extensive debrief into both the decision making & intervention processes.

    Interaction and small group discussion is encouraged but no pressure is placed on people who prefer to sit back and take it all in.

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD Hours) Certificate of Attendance:

    You will receive a Certificate of Attendance for hours of CPD at your workshop.

    • 6 Hours for a 1 day workshop
    • 12 Hours for a 2 day workshop
    • 18 Hours for a 3 day workshop

    Please check that you have told us the correct name to be printed on your certificate, especially if you are from an organisation and booking a workshop for someone else.

    Levels of Competence

    Delegates are required to be qualified mental health practitioners (i.e. have registration with a Regulatory Body such as HPCP or accreditation with a relevant professional body) OR to be in training / in the process of gaining such accreditation. A CPD workshop does not qualify you to practice psychological therapy. For this you need a appropriate professional qualification and validation by an appropriate regulatory body. Delegates are required to have appropriate psychological supervision for their practice.

    There may be occasional exceptions in attendance to the above requirement (for example, a trauma researcher or similar who is not practicing with clients but requires insight and infomation for research purposes). Any exception to the above requirement has to be agreed with us in advance. Please do get in touch to discuss.

    Level of Competence Required:

    Before booking a place on a workshop, please ensure that it is pitched at the appropriate level of competence for you. The competence level [Preliminary, Intermediate, Advanceded] of each workshop is listed on each booking page. The 3 different workshop levels are as follows:

    Preliminary Level Workshops

    Preliminary workshops are for people from a variety of psychological therapy backgrounds who are looking for grounding in the basic concepts or a recap. These courses ideal for professionals who want to develop & their practice skills to help clients with a history of trauma. It is also an excellent recap for advanced level practitioners. Whether clinicians are counsellors getting their first exposure to CBT for trauma or seasoned practitioners wanting a refresher, this will satisfy professional training needs. For Preliminary workshops, NO prior CBT experience is necessary.

    Intermediate Level Workshops

    Intermediate level workshops are directed to trained mental health practitioners who are familiar with and able to use the fundamental principles of CBT and Relational Approaches. For example, practitioners are able to use formulation, identify automatic thoughts and able to help clients test these thoughts. To use the enhanced reliving components with your clients, practitioners should have skills in CBT and be supervised by practitioner who uses reliving as part of their own clinical practice and is competent to do so.

    Advanced Level Workshops

    Advanced courses are directed towards those professionals who already have additional training in PTSD and Trauma and use CBT and other Relational Approaches routinely as part of their clinical practice. They have probably undertaken a significant number of training courses and/or workshops, and use a broad range of strategies to work with a range of presentations at varying levels of complexity.

    These workshops are defined as Continuing Professional Development. As such they are designed for people with a recognised UK psychological therapy qualification or for those in training for such qualification. Although highly informative, none of workshops confer a formal qualification or assurance of competence in any aspect of psychological therapy since we are unable to assess attendee competency within the training event.


    Workshops contain clinical material. This is always anonymised as far as possible but delegates are none the less reminded to respect confidentiality and to anonymise any clinical material that they bring to the workshops.

    Just as in therapy sessions, workshop sessions will be treated as confidential, with the following exceptions. As a Chartered and Registered Psychologist I am required to seek supervision by my professional body (The British Psychological Society) and regulatory body (HPCP) as a means of ensuring good practice. We do have a statutory obligation to break confidentiality under rare circumstances, namely, if I believe that a person is of danger to themselves or to others (under the Mental Health Act, 2001) or if I believe that a child is at actual risk of physical or sexual abuse (The Children Act, Section 47, 1989)

    Self-Care & Special Needs

    Our own professional responsibility for good self-care is emphasised throughout the trainings. All the Workshops contain detailed discussion of clinical case material and simulated client work. This includes (but is not limited to) sexual assault, sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, accidents, RTAs, war and other types of trauma. If you are in doubt as to whether this CPD workshop is appropriate for you, please discuss with us in confidence.

    We welcome people from diverse backgrounds. If you have any particular needs, please contact us prior to booking.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 13 reviews
    Katherine Carraretto
    Informative and immediately applicable to pracitce

    An extraordinary amount of neuroscientific detail, made readily accessible. Provides such an important rationale to why we might suggest what can sometimes seem like relatively simple interventions (e.g., specific forms of breathing or enhancing social connections). It will be so useful to share with patients (physical health setting) and multi-professional/medical colleagues. Also helpful for personal applications too. Thank you Heather!

    Emily Finney
    The most accessible training on neuroscience

    This training was wonderful! Heather is obviously so knowledgable about the field and really explains things an accessible way which can be used with clients too. A beautiful balance of information, examples and time for reflection. It really is the most accessible information I have come across to explore the neurological impact of trauma and something which I can take forward into my professional practice. Thank you.

    Y Ozkaya
    A 'new language' to empower you

    My reflections following the "Actionable Neuroscience for Stress, Anxiety and Trauma" training led by Dr Heather Sequeira:

    We all experience trauma in our unique ways.

    We can be aware of how our daily functioning has changed.

    But we do not necessarily understand "the relationship between the brain and body" that is responsible for such changes preventing the option of a healthy was of being.

    Attending "Actionable Neuroscience" felt like learning a new language to make sense of what happens in our brain and body when they cannot communicate and thus prevent life enhancing patterns of co-operation.

    We all know about stress, but may not necessarily distinguish between acute and chronic stress. Maybe also not aware of low-level stress that does keep on without reducing or disappearing.

    Dr Sequeira explains in her uniquely clear way, using visual imagery / metaphor, how these different type of stress dynamics alter our functioning.

    For non-medically trained professionals - the link between stress /trauma and related impact in terms of medical illnesses starts making sense.

    Client presentations came to my mind linking these knowledge to expressed symptoms, both verbally and non-verbally.

    This training has enhanced my confidence in spotting possible brain-body disconnections to explore those with my clients.

    The impact of this training feels like radiating a sense of empowerment and I wish to share all that with my clients according to their pace.

    Kim Brown
    Very informative and helpful workshop

    This was a very helpful and informative workshop. I gave a great understanding of how we can work with clients suffering from chronic stress, anxiety, and trauma. It gives real ways to help your client understand what is going on within themself and reduce the shame and negative feelings they may carry about themselves. It gave me a greater confidence in working with trauma when it appears in my counselling room and Dr. Heather was a very warm, kind and supportive trainer throughout, supporting us all through the learning and encouraging discussions and questions which just served to enrich the learning! Would thoroughly recommend this workshop to any counsellor and in fact, I already have shared the organisation details with colleagues looking to get more experience working with trauma!!

    Jill Williams
    Reliably great!

    This is the 3rd workshop I've done with Heather. As always it was really interesting, clinically relevant and very well delivered. This review refers to Actionable Neuroscience. I'm quite well versed in neuroscience but felt I was due an update. I knew Heather could be relied on to give a great summary of recent advances and ways in which we could use that with clients. It's great to come away with updated knowledge and new informed ways to explain clients' situations and help normalise, de-shame and empower them in their recovery. Even though this was online it worked really well, a small group with lots of interactivity and expertise shared. Thanks again!

    Alison Jillott
    Great Workshop

    I enjoyed the consolidation of my learning on neuroscience as it is applied to stress, anxiety and trauma. I found the discussions on stress particularly interesting in highlighting its effects on various areas, for example the autonomic nervous system responses, the impact on stress from Cortisol, the effect of chronic stress, stress and the Hippocampus, and social connections and stress. Also, the very tangible way of explaining the workings of the brain in this context which could be used with clients was very useful. I would recommend this workshop to those who are interested in applicable neuroscience for the benefit of themselves and their clients.

    Carole FS
    ACCESSIBLE Neuroscience

    I waited 18 months for this training after seeing Heather talk about the idea at a conference and was NOT disappointed. The group was small enough to attend to everyones training needs, and help us feel we were in a safe learning environment. I was hoping to update my knowledge in this area but got so much more, and am already using the highly accessible metaphors in my work and life.

    Very Useful

    Very informative! It gave a great neurological understanding of stress and trauma. Very useful to have more of an understanding of the neurology of behaviours, to help 'normalise' behaviours and reactions for clients in session.

    VERY very good!

    Amazing content brilliantly delivered by one of the world's leading experts in the field. You won't be disappointed!

    Gina C.
    Very Interesting, Informative and extremely useful and transferable to clinical work

    I would highly recommend this training for anyone working with clients in high anxiety and stress, it fits seamlessly with the trauma training and offers a reminder and a chance to link without overly repeating it.

    As always Heather delivers this in a real life, down to earth non complicated way that allows you to see how you can take the learning into your own client work.