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2-18 Britannia Row, London N1 8PA, UK



We all lose it from time to time; can't think properly, feel extremely anxious, move into over-the-top anger, feel hopeless or despairing. It's part of the human condition. The point is that in emotionally healthy people these difficult states are relatively rare and can be recovered from quickly. In contrast, when people are suffering from traumatic stress they often feel overwhelmed by intensely painful emotions that block the capacity to think properly, concentrate, plan or relate well to others. Minor stressors can feel like major emergencies with the accompanying unbearable levels of physiological dysreguation, badly affecting sleep, eating, bodily processes and often leading to debilitating physical symptoms and illness.

At this conference, experts will present evidence-based interventions all designed to help traumatised children, teenagers and adults to develop, establish or re-establish emotional and physiological regulation for the long-term. The regulatory interventions are all very different, but are profoundly moving, fascinating and inspirational. Each expert will embellish their presentations with film footage, and real-life case studies.

Dyadic Development Psychotherapy with Founder, Dr Dan Hughes


Dr Dan Hughes will present on his highly successful, international acclaimed model. Dyadic developmental therapy involves creating a playful, accepting, curious, and empathic environment so the child or teenager feels psychologically safe enough to want to talk about their traumatic experiences. The child then addresses their trauma, but with the psychological safety of the practitioner understanding their inner world, helping them find meaning, and developing a coherent narrative for what has happened. As a result, the child or teenager begins to re-experience the traumatic events in a new way, which is far more bearable and now devoid negative self-referencing. ("It's all my fault) DDP is widely used to facilitate attachment security between the child and parents in fostering and adoption work.

This is a rare chance to see US-based Dr Hughes present, on his DDP method and how it can profoundly influence your working practices.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Donna Butler

Donna Butler

Donna Butler has many years' experience of providing Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy to teenage and adult clients, with significant results. Through her early career providing psychotherapy she realised 'words were not enough' for clients with deep or complex trauma cases. Integrative Art Psychotherapy 'dove tails and compliments' EMDR therapy, as the use of the imagination, belief systems and somatic responses are fundamental to the healing process of clients. Clients frequently present with intrusive memories where a distressing or traumatic event has become 'stuck' or 'frozen' on a neurological level. When clients recall the event it is almost as if they are re-living the original feeling. Their experience of what they smelled, heard, saw and bodily sensations can be overwhelming, as if happening again. EMDR interrupts this re-experiencing process and the memories lose their intensity. They then become memories in the past, not re experiencing in the 'here and now'. This 'release' clients experience is frequently described as: 'I feel like I have left that one behind now, it doesn't hold me back anymore'.

The practitioner works with empathy, memory processing and specialist eye movement and/or auditory techniques. EMDR sessions safely target painful memories until the person feels free of their emotional charge. Research shows that it is highly effective with teenagers suffering from trauma and anxiety disorders. Come and find out more in this fascinating lecture, presented by top EMDR practitioner Donna Butler.

Neurofeedback with Dr Anwen Astley

Anwen Astley

Dr Anwen Astley is a medical doctor who trained in neurofeedback and is passionate about how effective it is in treating all manner of emotionally dyresgulated mental states and psychological diagnoses. Modern brain-imaging techniques have enabled scientists to identify specific brainwave patterns that correlate learning problems, behavioural difficulties and mental health problems. Using neurofeedback, children, teenagers or adults can re-train their own brainwaves and so avoid, reduce, or withdraw from medication. Electrodes, placed, on the scalp, (totally safely and devoid of pain) pick up the brain's electrical activity which drives a computer game. When the activity meets certain specified criteria, the participant experiences success with the computer game. In other words, the child plays the computer game using his/her brainwaves. Through repetition, the child learns to change the way his/her brain works and emotional regulation is increased, and dysregualation diminished. After neurofeedback training, these functional changes can be seen in the EEG.

Dr Astley will share her insights in working with this exciting new treatment.

Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI) wth Éadaoin Bhreathnach and Cathal Breen


Éadaoin Bhreathnach, originator of Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI), will demonstrate how intense states of emotional and physiological dysregulation, such as perpetual anger or anxiety can be effectively addressed through SAI. SAI is an innovative neuro-behavioural approach for the treatment of troubled children particularly effective with those who have suffered abuse or neglect. Many troubled children have an underlying sensory processing disorder which means that they cannot organise incoming sensory information. They find it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, so they often experience sensory overload and feel overwhelmed. This can lead to all manner of mental health problems. Some traumatised children have become so sensitised to the possibility of danger that they become 'sensory defensive': they find certain sounds, lights, physical touch, smells, foods and even certain temperatures very difficult.

Cathal Breen


Registered Clinical Physiology Specialist in the areas of diagnostic cardiology, specifically structural abnormalities of the heart using diagnostic imaging methods and heart rhythm abnormalities utilising electrophysiological techniques. Educated in Northern Ireland, Cathal has worked professionally in the following centres of clinical excellence, St Vincent's University Hospital Dublin, St Bartholomew's Hospital Trust London, St George's Hospital London and the Belfast Trust Northern Ireland. Cathal joined Ulster University as a lecturer in 2006 receiving a Post Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Practice in 2009 and has become a Fellow of the Centre for Higher Education and Research and Practice in 2014 and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority in 2015. Cathal also was awarded the significant accolade of most inspirational lecturer from the Ulster University Students Union learning and teaching awards ceremony in 2015. At present he is the Course Director of BSc (Hons) Health Physiology programme and Cardiology lead lecturer of BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences, 7027, 7028, 7029) at Ulster University.

This stunning intervention using ingenious physical movements and activities shows just how working with the body stabilizes the mind and brain.


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