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Complex Trauma, Dissociation & Flashbacks # 22-23 Apr 2021 # LIVE Webinar #


Live Webinar     

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 Therapy (NET) into practice
  • 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 14 reviews
Highly Recommend

One of the most engaging and informative training that I have attended, it certainly gave me knowledge and skills with confidence to apply these to my practice. I am looking forward to further workshops with Heather.


Engaging training with highly applicable resources that can be used easily in everyday clinical practice. Neuroscience made accessible through memorable metaphors. Intervention brought to life by ‘in session’ training with an authentic actor - so rare to have an opportunity to see an expert at work and trial methods in a safe learning environment!

Great training

Great mix of theory and practice. Lots of clinical skills tips that I won't forget. I would definitely recommend it.

Highly recommended

Great balance of theory and practice, presented with exceptional clarity. The use of a (very skilled) actor for in vivo skills practice made this course stand out from other training for me. I’ll definitely be looking at further workshops with Heather.

Engaging and Informative

Amazing training as expected from Heather. I love the mix of trauma theory, with a chance to see this applied in practice with an excellent actor who replicated the client case study, I am looking forward to hearing about the next trainings from Heather.

Engaging, Thorough and Informative

I’ve been to Heather’s previous two trainings. This one did not disappoint. The theory was thorough and the live client work using an actor is a great way to see the training come alive. I’ve gained new knowledge and skills. I really like the narrative exposure therapy and will be able to use it with a number of my clients in my psychotherapy practice.

A very useful and informative course with something for everyone

The 2 days course was comprehensive and useful. I particularly liked the client work on the 2nd day which brought all the work from the 1st day alive.

Highly recommended training

I would highly recommend this training. I understand the step by step process of work with complex PTSD clients much more clearly now. Good training environment online and lots of useful skills. Broken down into every day language and examples that clients could easily grasp and therapists can easily explain

Engaging most clinically relevant workshop

Excellent interactive workshop. The most engaging online training experience that I have attended. really recommend the mix of up to date clinical skills and the chance to see this live with the simulated client demonstration. Great learning opportunity to discuss this material clinically with other clinicians and therapists.

Highly Recommended - Really Useful Training

I really enjoyed Heather's training and found it a great source of information, ideas and useful therapeutic strategies. Just as important, Heather was good at encouraging us to contribute so we learned from each other and gained confidence in the skills we already have as well as developing new ones. I would thoroughly recommend this training for people at all stages of clinical development, Heather has something to teach us all, and she does it very well.