The Neurobiology of Attachment
with Bessel van der Kolk, MD;
with Bessel van der Kolk, MD; Pat Ogden, PhD; Ruth Lanius, MD; PhD Dan Siegel, MD; and Ruth Buczynski, PhD
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with Bessel van der Kolk, MD;
Kimberly Dawn Phillips says
I will use this information to explain the critical importance of strong attachments, even during pre-natal time. Also, I loved the statement
“where there are cracks, we are able to illuminate in to the darkness..” This is the hope we have.
Also, strongly teaching how important it is for a caregiver to regulate babies states of being, and how important it is for development and building connections in the infants brain for the future.
Anna Bailey says
I started out in Biochemistry and switched into psychology in my last year of undergraduate work. I went on to get a M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology and have been working with children for over 30 years. I also work with older clients but started with children and adolescents. I discovered in play work with children diagnosed with ADHD that working within the playful aggression in the play in games such as hockey and basketball allowed them to begin to peek out at me and finally really connect with me. This form of play was followed by more symbolic work. I began to look at their early history with more interest and discovered that these children often had either medical or relational trauma in their first couple years of life. So, I am sooo excited to be hearing your group explain how trauma affects the brain and have a better explanation of why the play work I was doing was causing changes in their brain.
Elaine Dolan says
First, I have seen this before and the second or third time has been again helpful. Thank you sincerely, for your gradual acknowledgment that severe trauma starts very early on. Now, knowing this, how can we be sure Mothers are respected and soothed through pregnancy and birth?
I’d like to express some new observations of my own disorganized attachment… left-overs that do seem to repeat themselves.
Dan Seigal chuckled a little bit about how we pull what we don’t want toward us…actually I want to say, I unconsciously attract the kind of men I don’t want in my life….this is very frustrating….the law of attraction says in short….you attract what you focus on whether it’s a positive object or a negative object…and that’s exactly what you get! So at this stage of the game, I don’t even want to play a disorganized game. No dice.
Experience of trying to evidence what is PRESENTLY (in the body today in relationship to the original birth and baby traumas) I get from a primary care doc the same limited comprehension of my needs….She cites Disorder, disorder, disorder (producing shame and blame of being victim) instead of Trauma trauma trauma (physical and physiological evidence-like a damaged skull and twisted spine, and uneven face, and scarred throat) and the challenges it created (dislike and distrust for MD’s for starters). Attachment’s a two way street, so when empathy is missing from one side of the equation, the other side falls off cleanly and fast.
Helen Breach says
I would also like to ask what another reviewer has asked if you would consider an intermediate subscription so one could get the transcriptions as I am not in a position to buy a gold prescription at the moment something maybe you may like to consider because you broadcasts are proving to so enlightening and invaluable.
Really enjoyed tonight’s session. Working with so many clients with PTSD and C-PTSD it’s interestingly attachments issues that comes up time and time again and those with strong support systemsvarw able to ‘recover’ quicker. Looking forward to next week.
Liz Taub says
Your webinar had many excellent points. As a social worker and musician trained in creative arts approaches and President of the Board of Directors of Performance Wellness, Inc. based in NYC, I feel trauma aftereffects can be addressed via music, art, drama, poetry, songwriting, etc. Would be happy to be in touch Re presenting on these wonderful strategies to assist in the healing process. Also Reiki is very healing for those with PTSD! Thank you!
Helen Breach says
I will try to send more time on positive emotions and listen with my left brain . I will also try finding out axing them to tell me what it feels like to have care if I stand behind them with my hands on their shoulderedits made me more aware that kindest could retraumais clients and to try about be aware that they may be looking to me to confirm what they believe in the 4 attachment stages especially in the disregulation attachment.
Maria Adkins says
Absolutely phenomenal information..
Thank you veey much.
Registered Dietitian. Lifelong trauma patient.and love of psychology. Mental health peer supporter.
Kim R Tousignant says
I am very grateful to hear training on how positivity & kindness can sometimes produce fear & reduce trust. In my first doctoral practicum i had a trauma survivor get very angry at my “therapist voice: that i had learned doing hypnosis. As i gave that up her trust was able to develop.
As a fosterparent I had a sweet girl from ages 5-7 who had experienced sexual abuse. It took a while to understand her pattern…..when she was feeling calm and safe is when she would act out sexually which would throw me for a loop ( even though I was ABD at the time..) because it would be completely unexpected.
Corinne Cassini says
Learning how much already happens during foetal development was really interesting. As an Alexander Technique teacher, I use a somatic approach. All this information and teaching reinforces for me the importance of watching for the non-verbal cues. Knowing about the early development of the right brain is especially helpful here in working with these cues clients will be giving without being aware of it. If I can pause them and draw their attention to sensations in the body then we can be talking about what is actually going on. I really like the idea of focusing on what has been working for the client to up-regulate the nervous system.
I am curious if you would consider an intermediate subscription (less $ than the gold) where one would get just the transcriptions. No video/audio download…. Something to think about. I would buy that subscription. And I just don’t feel I can afford the gold at the moment because I purchased other courses from you guys not too long ago that i haven’t gotten a chance to listen to yet. 😉
NAGA CHOEGYAL says
I would also like to get the transcripts alone at a concessionary rate.
I am “survivor” and OAP on minimum income state pension with disability benefits. I follow a spiritual vocation as a “wounded healer”…which bars me from deriving income from giving therapy.
Quite apart from financial considerations, I learn from the printed page and with profound and complex hearing difficulties, the videos are useless to me.
As always — wonderful session, Thank you to Ruth and all presenters.
Burning question — Are Dan and Ron Siegal related?
Penelope Conlan says
I am not a practitioner. Someone recommended this because she knows I glean information from workshops to add to my knowledge as my healing journey is lifelong. My takeaway from today’s session came from Dr. Schore who explained the chemicals pass through the baby’s body in utero. I have saved his video talks on the mother/child connection from years past. There were no trauma therapists 50 years ago when I began my healing journey but I did receive some counseling through the years. In a counseling session related to my stepchildren, my body began to shake and I was embarrassed. Later, I read Dr. Levine and realized it was healing my trauma. As new topics appeared, I purchased books to work on trauma, attachment, codependence, narcissism, etc. and piece by piece healing fell in place. I will not be leveling up as I live on social security but thank you for providing this invaluable tool.
Very pleased with the information presented today and found the clinical interventions for achieving uploading and downloading emotions, creating safety with non-verbals, encouraging choice for control/safety, and staying with the body sensations to uncover more of the right brain related defense mechanisms/trauma history which are all very relevant for my work. I am definitely considering gold membership to refer back to the material at a later time.
Lots of food for thought in all of these contributions, thank you!
I found the cortisol information very interesting, as I have worked with pregnancy and mothers and babies for many years
in different ways, both in preparing for childbirth/parenthood and n dealing with the fall-out after traumatic births. Supporting mothers and fathers to connect to each other during pregnancy and postnatally and to feel connected to their babies is a privilege and a delight.
I do precisely what someone described in upregulating the positive with clients who are prone to focus on all that isn’t working, week by week, as they pass quickly over the “good stuff” that they manage. It’s an intervention that surprises clients out of their programmed response, so it can feel uncomfortable for them, but if done with empathy and with slow exploration of what “went right” for them this week, can bring about a new experience of self…
Many more light bub moments as I watched – all very interesting and nourishing.
Sara Butler Shoop says
The information on what safety looks like resonated with me. I have had clients report that they are uncomfortable with different certain people or groups of people because they are “too nice”. While I often tell clients that safety looks different to different people, I had not thought of it in the context of how being nice or smiling may not indicate safety to someone. This information gives me an opportunity to see how I can be more aware, in-tune and conscientious of safety looks like to those I am interacting with.
Take a look at the work of Sebern Fisher, author of Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear Driven Brain. Sebern introduced Bessel van der Kolk to neurofeedback and he wrote the introduction to her book.
I used neurofeedback with people with PTSD with remarkable results. A Vietnam veteran who could not go into a store 10 years ago has now moved into town and taken on a leadership role at the VA. I think that combining counseling/therapy with neurofeedback and/or biofeedback training creates sustainable changes.
I also feel that animals can play a major role in the healing process. As the Veterans Program Manager for a nonprofit organization that trained and placed service dogs with Veterans with PTSD, I observed the improvements that the veterans gained once they completed the training program had their dogs. We also insisted that they be in therapy and consulted with their VA/Vet Center counselors.
Ingrid -clinical social worker says
Thank you so much for these talks! Learning more about how to help traumatized children, adolescents, and adults is important to me. I learned so much from this talk, but one way I’m going to use the info. is in helping my 4-y-o client and her adoptive mo. w/ their attachment and emo. regulation and anxiety. I will have to think about how to approach this mo. She gets demanding about therapy and lacks insight into her own contributions to the problems.
Suzanne McGladdery says
All of this session was so helpful for me as a therapeutic Life Story Worker. I work with children who have experienced early childhood trauma resulting in living away from their birth parents. I am mindful to give the child choices within the session and this gave me an understanding of the science behind this which l can explain to the children and parents l work with. Similarly I aim to notice and wonder about some of the right brain affects I see, and this discussion has furthered my understanding of the importance and impact of communicating right brain to right brain; seeing or hearing about examples of this would be helpful.
I have been very interested in the science around the effects of high levels of cortisol on the developing child in uteri as many of the children l work with were removed at birth (often low birth weight and/or premature) and are believed not to have experienced trauma; so the findings will help me to help the child make sense of why they may struggle to regulate their emotions and experience greater levels of fear and anger. It will help me explore with a child and parent the child’s angry monster who keeps popping out and hurting his Daddy.
I agree that noticing, naming, exploring and validating these feelings for the child and parent is an essential part of the healing process.
Kim R Tousignant says
It is my hope your child client labeled his “angry monster”. If a therapist supplies this “monster” language it seems labelimg.self as a monster will it will create more problems with self acceptance than good.
Liz Regan says
Wonderful session. Thank you very much. I am a mother to two teenagers who came to me at 4 and 6 with disorganised attachment. It’s a work in progress! Was particularly struck with the idea of the right brain communicating with the right brain. I think I tend to communicate with my children’s right brain with my left brain. Something to work on. My daughter cannot understand other people’s facial expressions, tone of voice etc, now I know why. Also interested in up regulating positive emotions. So much here that could impact on my relationships with my children. Thanks again.
Joanna Pantazi says
Thank you for an amazing webinar! I was so excited to hear all of these trauma experts talk about their techniques to help traumatized clients feel safer, this was time really well invested! I can’t wait for the next webinar!
I specifically liked the aspect of giving Choices and Control, and slowly allowing the individual to regain their control, believe in themselves and their ability to decide for themselves what, when and how to share.
It made me feel content with my decision to allow a female client with CSA history from her father, take the lead completely with determining when and how she will talk about her trauma. She doesn’t even want to share the names of her parents (that I require for administrative purposes) out of fear that they will somehow be exposed and sought after, but I told her that it is ok, and that I do not require these details until she feels safe enough and can trust me completely.
I also specifically liked the Body approach of Mrs Ogden, and the very specific questions she stated about how to integrate different Parts by being mindful of what is happening in the body.
Lastly, the specific examples about upregulating positive emotions and experiences was very appealing to me and provided me with new insights. Indeed, we tend to go into whatever is wrong and negative much more readily and quickly and perhaps disregard sufficient resourcing.
As an EMDR practitioner, I already knew that resourcing and empowering the positive traits and strengths is crucial, but hearing about how to implement this in “talk therapy” had great value for me.
If I can make a request, it would be to learn/hear more about how to engage the right brain and help heal from trauma. More practical techniques. Could this be possible?
Thank you so much for everything!
Yes, I’m hoping the continued sessions will develop the topic about specific, practical techniques to engage the right brain and help heal from trauma. Thank you for your valuable work.
Caroline Homfray says
I work with people as a Thinking Environment® coach (in the UK). In that work there is a requirement for the coach to be fully present in their listening, and at ease, which really fits with the explanation in the broadcast of the impact of right brain synchronisation between the listener and client. It is a model which also has at its heart the belief that the client can think things through for themselves with the right conditions; I like it because it isn’t directive. That belief in the existence of people’s internal wisdom also fits beautifully with Pat Ogden said about encouraging clients to trust their own wisdom. I will continue to bring some bodily awareness exercises from my tai chi practise into my training courses, and am glad to hear that the evidence supports this as a useful tool. This was such a useful broadcast, thankyou so much.
I found all of the information very interesting and informative. I particularly liked Pat Ogden’s information around creating safety by offering the client choice, eliciting intelligence and her use of mindfulness.
A better attention the present client sensation and non verbal regulation and more opening to the client confort and need on that level
Being aware that being overly empathic can hurt a client is useful for me, as I tend to be very empathic and sometimes clients react in ways that I couldn’t understand until now. My question is the following: Because I work at a short-term crisis stabilization program and clients only work with me for up to 10 days, in what ways can I establish rapport and trust with a client in a short amount of time without being too kind so that it harms or triggers them?
“In what ways can I establish rapport and trust with a client in a short amount of time”
I’ll try to answer from my experience as a client.Being warm enough and open is necessary. Being caring also with your own self to model the care and self regulation. A traumatized person has their hyper viligence and right brain always attuned with your own right brain and afraid of any threat or dysfunction, so it will not be so much about what you say but how you say it, what you do but the consistency of it. If there is a sense of being fake, not true, hiding something, being uncomfortable, etc. and especially denial, then it’s impossible to gain their trust. Heed what they say, respect what they do, and if there is anything you can’t take, just simply say it and be clear, and that ‘s okay (and then ask question and explore the issue with them). Denial or minimizing issues will be seen as threats because they read your body language etc when you are lying (or they imagine that you do, seeing threat when there is none). So being non threatening and therapeutic is different from being too kind: it’s about consistency in attunement to your own self and to them, and being true. Like it’s okay if you don’t agree with any thing they say or do as long as you are not becoming weird / angry / shutting / jusdging. I guess it means you are well-regulated yourself on top of being warm, open and skilled. That can be perceived very soon, and that will be the mirro for them to start self-regulating (all self-regulation is acquired initially from co-regulation)
zahira lespier says
Its very good information and relevant for our helping professions. For me is important as a trainer right now because we are discussing trauma in the homeless population. The information is clear considering the topic. I wish having CC!!! Thanks. I’ll be in the next video
Michelle Murphy says
I just sent you an email with some information.
Just reply to that email if you have any questions.
Brodin Solenlee says
i feel you really went for the core of trauma tonight, thank you so much for these webinar sessions
enlarged amydala (mothers’ high cortisol levels while pregnant) – intriguing, i will research more online
I’m not a therapist. I’m a person healing himself of what doctors call an incurable autoimmune/inflammatory illness. I see strong signs of attachment trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences in my youth. I have experienced powerful triggers (traumatic re-enactments) frequently. I’ve passed the link to these sessions along to my therapist so the he can better help me. I’ll be using the ideas in this session to reinforce the value I see at many levels of the iRest sessions I do on my own. I will be including an imaginary safe animal in the “Tapping In” exercise that I learned through Laurel Parnell’s book and CD. I’ll be paying more attention to proximity seeking actions and refine my search for safe relationships (very challenging for me in a culture that is underdefined by Love, Harmony and Play and overdefined by sex, competition and seriousness).
Joanna Pantazi says
May I just comment to you Garth, that I find your self-healing approach so incredibly admirable~! So much resilience and practical application of all this very new attachment- and trauma- material, your words really touched me. If you enjoy tapping and find it comforting, if it helps you self-regulate and soothe, I am sure you would also find the Butterfly Hug method of the EMDR toolbox helpful as well. If you research it you can find plenty of examples. Integrating it with visualizing a safe animal could be very calming. Just an idea 🙂
Thanks Joanna! I’m touched :-). It’s not easy but I am finding Laurel Parnell’s Tapping (with Butterfly Hug) and Richard Miller’s iRest quite helpful. All this talk about third trimester developmental trauma intrigues me. There was a significant amount of severe emotional distress in my mother’s life when I was still in utero (third trimester). The pattern repeated later on in my life with her too. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if its related trauma is a key component to the immune system/ inflammation/ digestion challenges I face. Thanks for writing.
thank you very much
Audrée-Anne Côté-Nolet says
“How to tolerate positive emotions?” what especially eyeopening for me. It sets a new perspective on patient’s receptivity to self-regulate. The integration of the process with the body is particularly helpful for me, as an osteopath, I feel strongly about body/mind/spirit integration. Thank you for this great presentation.
This week’s session was very insightful. I appreciate the many examples and practical strategies shared. I will surely consider the Mindfulness ideas that help to develop my client’s inner intelligence. This is a usual practice for me, but I didn’t realize the greater importance and effectiveness this has for the client as a way to more fully connect and track responses from their body. Thank you so much!
Trudy Hindmarsh says
Thank you for this evening`s talk. So much of what has been said tonight has backed up the things that I have been instinctively doing in my therapy sessions with children – so that I feel that I can now understand why those things are working and in turn this gives me the confidence to continue – because I feel validated.
Clare Fuller says
I would like to thank the gold subscribers for allowing these sessions to happen. I would love to be one but have just moved to a different city and am trying to get a practice started here so cannot afford to join. However, I am gaining so much form these sessions. I have read some of the contributors books so have some background to embed my learning in. I have a challenging client right now and I am thinking about my relationship with that client and how I can integrate what I have learned. The client/therapist relationship has been very interesting and insightful for me as well as pat Ogden’s suggestions about choice, etc.
Dalena Crowhurst says
Hi there, thank you for these sessions on how to help people dealing with trauma. What really resonated with me is trying to help the person find their strength and coping mechanisms that they used during the trauma. I live in South Africa and work in the emergency department of a level one hospital so I need all of the help that I can get to help others!!
Venus Masselam says
I thought it was great and I appreciated all the different views . I was jarred by some assumptions clinicians made as to why some people reacted the way they did to kindness when there was no consideration the therapists silence or not relating on a more transpaent levle may have interfered with the client feeling safe and returning for the next session.
Duanyi Wu says
I am Duanyi from Toronto, Canada. The idea from Ruth to build attachment with animals is a door opener for me. I love to do what Bill said about finding resource and what works with clients. It works great. And I find for some clients there’s no any reference to a secure attachment or positivity in life. I felt stuck sometimes. This will help me to start from another angel in my practice. Thank you very much.
Hilary Wainer says
My client has a terrible relationship with his mother, who , I now perceive, might have had a large amount of cortisol in her body, probably during pregnancy. I wonder now about HER mother in HER pregnancy. Their personalities are so similar, of course there is friction, but my client does not see the similarities. It is a good learning for me to know that this might be due to in utero cortisol overdose. thank you.
Jen Jac says
Very informative. Really enjoyed the development of ideas today. Especially Pat Ogden’s ideas about helping people to regulate by providing appropriate touch. As so often in the past told not to touch our clients. Also about people who respond badly to empathy because something bad happened to them after someone was empathetic.
Thanks again for your quality education. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to watch for free as I am limited on what I can pay for.
Kellee S Miller says
I am excited to use this information with one specific client who was molested at the age of 9. I have established a good relationship with her, but she is still resistant. We have just started sitting with our feelings, so I may try sitting with her and letting her lean on my hands. I was also intrigued with the “different parts” and “integration of these parts”.
Robin Siegal says
I teach about Attachment Theory for a graduate program. This webinar has been wonderful so far. I want to share these concepts with my students. I’ve also encouraged them to view your webinars, as it is “affordable” in their education. Also, they read articles by Schore, and Siegel, so it is exciting for them to hear from these authors “live”!
Jonmarie Kaulele O Nalani says
Thank you and m
Much gratitude for your willingness to share this program. Although I do not have the finances to contribute you are still making this available and I benefit greatly!! True Aloha
This made me think about working integratively and how it can be both client specific and issue specific responses. Sometimes a solution focused approach allows you to resource someone whilst at other times you need to work relationally and establish a good enough safe space. Thank you for making me reflect and reconnect with these ideas.
Absolutely loving this series – BIG thanks to those who put this together, and made it available. So many things to mention as take aways from this session. The value of choice, mindfulness, and the intelligence of the body were a highlight, as well as building the resources of the client, and spending time building this before focusing on problems or triggers. So valuable.
Donna Nicholson says
Great ideas on focusing the needs of down and up regulation. Also loved tapping into their own internal wisdom. Thanks for great information.
Thank you so much for this series of videos. I have learned so much already and plan to sign up for the gold membership. I can already see an enormous benefit to my work through this series. THANK YOU!
Linda Mary Edwards says
So good- I am learning such a lot!
Xavier Justice says
My name is Xavier Justice. I live in Washington, D.C. I am getting a doctorate in traumatology. I am an ordained minister and all of my clients are members of the clergy- most of whom deal with trauma, intimacy issues, and process addictions. This information will certainly help me to hone my craft to help my clients deal with their attachment issues so that they can be better healers.
Andrew Teton says
I enjoyed this panel discussion. That said, was this a rebroadcast from a year or two ago? So much of it seemed like excerpts I head before through NICABM.
Thanks for any clarificaiton
Yes, this is actually the program we launched last fall! We had such wonderful feedback in response to the program that we decided to run it again this year.
I’m glad you enjoyed it last year, and that you’re joining us again.
I really appreciated the information about the functioning of the right brain and the methods of engaging the right brain with our clients. I also really appreciated the comment about bringing our subjective self into the therapeutic process in order to engage in a more meaningful way.
Ella Flemister says
This session has provided me with information I can take into sessions with my female clients who are pregnant or are considering becoming a mother. The transmission of cortisol to the unborn child is an eyeopener.
I appreciate the time and efforts of the presenters in this series!
Robin Siegal says
Hi Ella, My daughter is pregnant. I’m going to share these concepts with her, and get her to start yoga, and meditating! This research is illuminating- especially hearing the experts speak about epigenetic stressors.
Laurel Scotson says
The suggestions about Choice and Mindfulness were very enlightening as well as the connection with an animal; The insight about feeling supported or not, how to work with these aspects as well as upregulating positive emotions…
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