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Complex Trauma, Dissociation & Flashbacks # 16-17 July 2024 # LIVE, Online, Interactive Workshop #


Live Interactive Clinical Skills with Observational Consultation   

Strategies for working with Complex Trauma: 12-Hour CPD             

An Online intermediate-Advanced level workshop focused on the most challenging aspects of Complex trauma. All workshops cover Face-2-Face and Online Therapy.

  • 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 and 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 & 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 client's 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

'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 43 reviews
Charles Rowley
Must Do Course For Trauma Work

This course is superbly run and teaches a great blend of theory and practical tools for working with trauma. I find Heather’s teaching and demeanour make the course special, and I love the touch of getting in someone to role play the trauma scenarios you may encounter in practice. Five stars.

Emily Willett
Effective and interactive workshop!

This workshop is highly recommended for any practitioner working with complex trauma. Great balance of useful theory and concepts and practical ways to implement them with clients. Heather's teaching style is informative, encouraging and empowering.

Great workshop!

Engaging, relevant, and occasionally mind-blowing. Dr Heather has a positive, encouraging presence and is great at explaining concepts in a digestible way. Overall very valuable workshop.

Alison Lynskey
Complex PTSD, Trauma & Dissociation

Super workshop, truly embedded and facilitated learning to enhance my clinical practice.

Highly recommended training

This is the third trauma training of Heather's that I have attended and I have loved each of them. They have really refreshed my knowledge of trauma therapy and boosted my confidence after a five year career break. Many of the other attendees were returnees too and that gives you a lovely sense of camaraderie. I love how Heather simplifies theory, boiling things down to the bones of what you need to know and how to present this information to your clients so they actually understand it and are motivated to engage with therapy. I love how she encourages you to feedback what you've remembered from the last section, how she'll gently encourage you to share your thoughts so that you actually interact with the information and LEARN it rather than just listen and forget. What really makes Heather's courses unique is the inclusion of actors playing a client - you get to see Heather work with them and have a go yourself if you feel brave enough. The actors are so convincing and its amazing to see therapy in action and to have a 'no risk' go yourself. If you're on the fence about whether to book on, my advice is just do it!

Stephanie Child
Exceptional Training - Highly Recommended

The Complex Trauma & Dissociation course was a superb follow on from the PTSD Masterclass training which I attended a few weeks previous. Both trainings were delivered by the exceptional and engaging Dr Heather Sequeira. Heather's teaching style is informative, inclusive and dynamic. The use of actors to present a 'client case' provided an opportunity for experiential learning and gave the cohort the opportunity to use skills learnt within a safe learning environment. I would highly recommend these courses to gain a newfound confidence and competence when working therapeutically with clients experiencing PTSD and Complex Trauma and Dissociation.

Y Ozkaya
Enlightening, Engaging and Empowering

Having attended PTSD Masterclass first felt like a good preparation for Complex Trauma & Dissociation training. Ideal for professionals who work with people who present as severely impacted by complex adverse life experiences. Focus on one's relationship with memories was immensely enlightening. It was good to be reminded of the fact that the body was like a storage for trauma that could not be verbalised nor be kept in the conscious mind. Interpersonal aspect of the topic was clarified via interactive discussions, and role-modelled by Dr Heather Sequeira to have a felt experience as to how to be with the people we hope to contain within our professional framework. Medical knowledge would be helpful, but how the training is led facilitates an understanding of certain medical descriptions. The live case presentation is impactful, and would be easier to witness the narrative if one has had sufficient personal therapy. At the end of this two day training, I feel quite empowered as to how to navigate complex trauma and related presentations safely and ethically. Self-care and a good-enough supportive network essential.

Beverley Beckett

I found the course helpful, and delivered clear. Nothing was to much trouble in re-expliaing things.

Yohan Bhairo
A great learning experience

Heather taught complexity with simplicity to create a way of learning that was accessible and with a sense of safety to be as actively involved or as little involved every individual felt comfortable with. The use of simple, yet helpful metaphors for complex understandings of the brain in regards to trauma has helped to extend my understanding of this area more than any other training course I have attended. All the theory taught was brought to life through discussion, practice and a live example with an absolutely amazing actor, who truly embodied an experience of someone with complex trauma. I could not recommend this training highly enough if you want to enhance your understanding and practice in working with individuals experiencing complex trauma

Alison Jillott
Very interesting training

This workshop added to my trauma training, and I especially liked the formulation process and neuro information as it can be used with clients in session. In addition, the role that actor Sally took as the client Rachel was very well done and authentic - a very good learning experience. I would thoroughly recommend this training to anyone wishing to advance their trauma training.