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Complex Trauma, Dissociation & Flashbacks # 11-12 Oct 2022 # LIVE Interactive Webinar #


Live Interactive Clinical Skills with Observational Consultation   

Strategies for working with Complex Trauma:  12 Hour CPD             

An intermediate-Advanced level workshop focused on the most challenging aspects of Complex trauma. All workshops cover how to safely deliver therapy Remotely (as well as face-2-face) & the extra challenges posed by COVID19.

  • Dissociation
  • Somatic-body intrusions
  • Overwhelming affect & sensory Images
  • Re-experiencing 
  • Perceptual distortions (trauma related pseudo-hallucinations)
  • Shame & Self-Loathing

Grounded in the current research. A Relational CBT approach - underpinned by client-centred values. We look at the myths of trauma-focused treatment, discuss the common pitfalls and missteps of therapy. Offering Compassionate, safe and effective ways forward.

We will cover:

How does Developmental Trauma affect the Nervous System, Brain & the Body?

Why does this matter in therapy?

  • Why age of trauma occurrence impacts development
  • How neglect may be more detrimental than abuse
  • How does this differ from single-event adult trauma
  • What are Medically Unexplained Symptoms - how are they connected to Complex Trauma
  • What are the hormonal & Inflammatory biomarkers correlations with Complex Trauma
  • How does Interpersonal Neurobiology helps us understand Trust and Shame reactions in Complex Trauma

Is Dissociation a single concept or multiple phenomena?

Why does this matter in therapy?

  • Why flashbacks feel like present experience, not past memory
  • How the links in the brain become distorted during dissociation
  • Depersonalisation & Derealisation - what is the difference and what to do in therapy
  • Dissociation and memory fragmentation - how to help our clients make sense of experiences
  • Hallucinations or pseudo hallucinations in  Complex Trauma
  • Numbing and disconnection
  • Strategies for using the body to bring clients out of dissociation and back in the driving seat

Other responses - beyond the fight, flight freeze model

Why does this matter in therapy?

  • The common confusion between the Freeze response and Tonic Immobility
  • How to help when trauma traps the body in a specific response
  • Overwhelming affect and sensory images - what to do to bring long term relief
  • When a clients Social Engagement System goes offline - how to help 
  • How to help unpick the stuckness of Shame

Processing Multiple Traumas with safety & compassion

  • Knowledge and skills to integrate the safe and effective use of narrative exposure based practices 
  • Specific focus on intrusive images / re-experiencing / somatic intrusions
  • Activating clients resources
  • How to build habits that create resilience

Delivering therapy Remotely &  challenges of COVID19

  • Remote therapy - Effective with Safety & Compassion
  • Challenges to people with Complex PTSD during COVID19

'Live Observation’ of the therapy process as it unfolds

Most clinicians struggle to make recent research updates relevant to everyday practice. We use ‘hands-on’ empirically driven, relational CBT.
With the help of a professional actor attending our therapy session as a live 'client'  We will work with high levels of dissociation and self-harm. We will dive into real work complexities and discuss therapy pitfalls & the need for difficult balanced decisions.
As an Intermediate-Advanced Level workshop Practitioners are advised to attend the PTSD Master Class Workshop (or a similar level of training elsewhere), prior to attending.


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 32 reviews
Mandy Kloppers
Highly recommended course

I'd recommend this course to anyone. I learned a lot and Heather delivered the course superbly, keeping me interested and engaged. I especially enjoyed learning about how to apply the skills in the course. Heather showed us a role-play scenario and this is often a missing component of many training courses. This is a top-notch course and I'll definitely be attending future training.

Helen Pickering
Complex PTSD, Trauma & Dissociation

Heather exceeded my expectations again with this online workshop! I was stimulated and enthralled for the entire 2 days and came away with a significant amount of resources and tips to get going with my clients. It built upon the PTSD Masterclass seamlessly, and I recommend both workshops wholeheartedly.

Mary Goggin
Inclusive and experiential learning opportunity.

This workshop, as a combination of professionally delivered theory and inclusive experiential learning, provided excellent opportunities for both clinical and personal development. The intricacies of complex trauma were investigated and explained in easy-to-follow language and steps, always referencing back to takeaways for personal practice. Participants were involved from beginning to end. I have already recommended all three trauma workshops.

Jenna Harrington
Strong evidence based training with knowledgeable and compassionate trainer

The PTSD Masterclass was a really comprehensive training with plenty of opportunity for skills development. The use of a live actor really allowed me to practice the learning and knowledge I'd gleaned from the two days. I would recommend this course without hesitation.

Masrita Ishaq
Highly applicable knowledge

It was helpful to have a smaller group and a discussion. Materials were presented with great clarity, and it was thought provoking and insightful to see a therapy session played out with a client with some dissociative experiences. It was helpful to understand the conceptualisation of some of the client's dissociative experiences in the context of trauma. The training also encourage us to think about what we will be taking away from the workshop. It would have been great to have more space for discussion with the whole group (as it's a smaller group) and more around theory of dissociations, spectrum of dissociations and how this can look like in the therapy room.

Katherine J Kaye
Nuanced, gripping, insightful

Coming to this course as someone who works in women's empowerment and GBV reduction overseas, I found the clinical teaching, combined with Heather's dialectical brain science framing these clinical skills of outstanding value. Many elements will more deeply inform our safeguarding of traumatised women and girls and make us more targeted and more effective. The insights into the complexity of trauma and PTSD were well illustrated throughout but especially helpfully modelled by the actor. Based on what I observed from the clinicians attending, all practitioners would, I imagine, be well advised to notify their own mentors and clinical supervisors that they intend to attend this course: it isn't a "ticky box" CPD exercise.

Great Two Day Workshop

Recently attended the Complex PTSD and Dissociation Workshop. Found the training informative and interesting. Over the COVID19 pandemic, I have found it much harder to focus in the online training formats, but found variety of delivery and interactive nature of this workshop really helped to combat that, and I really felt 'a part of' the training. I enjoyed the flexible nature of the learning, and how we were encouraged to apply the knowledge to our own practice. Great training and really interested in attending further events with Dr Sequeira.

Excellent workshop for advanced learners

An inspiring combination of solid theory and concrete and useful practice with much to offer also for advanced learners.

Lisa C.
Informative and engaging

I attended this training following the PTSD Masterclass. It’s a fantastic follow on from this. The techniques and theory were interesting and informative which is all down to Heather. Being able to see therapeutic interactions within a role play frame was really helpful.

Helen Jones
Confidence for online work, and rare chance to see therapy demonstrated

Excellent training - good for experienced trauma therapists, as well as those starting out, because it builds confidence in what can be achieved online, which is newer for many of us, and helps to consolidate those bits of knowledges we've picked along the way but aren't always so good at articulating. I particularly recommend Heather's workshops for providing a rare chance to see therapy in action (with an actor playing the role of the client so it feels safe and it is focused). Well worth it.