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Trauma & the Triune Brain (TTB) Seminars

TTB Seminar Series

  1. TTB I The Psychophysiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  2. TTB II Early Development & the Neurobiological Basis of Psychopathology
  3. TTB III The Psychophysiology of Addiction and Recovery
  4. TTB IV The Psychobiology of Relationships: Attachment, Intimacy & Trauma
  5. TTB V The Psychophysiology and Treatment of Pain Syndromes
  6. TTB VI Tired of Being Tired
  7. TTB VII Self Regulation in the Workplace
  8. TTB VIII Psychophysiological First Aid
  9. TTB IX Survivors of War and Political Violence

TTB I The Psychophysiology of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This one-day course is designed to give practitioners a deeper understanding of the neuropsychological sequelae of PTSD. An introduction to effective psychophysiological deactivation techniques is presented. A basic overview of neuroanatomy and the triune brain will be presented. In addition, the psychobiology of development including early trauma, disorders of dysregulation, and affect development will be discussed.

The newest research on how the brain is affected by experience of trauma is presented and includes a discussion of brain injury and PTSD. Kindling and quenching in the autonomic nervous system and the cumulative nature of trauma will be explored.

Psychophysiological treatment approaches with case studies are presented that includes a discussion of the plasticity of the brain in transforming trauma, categories of trauma, and symptoms of PTSD.


Dates to be announced.

TTB II Early Development & the Neurobiological Basis of Psychopathology

In this one-day course, the gap between biological and psychodynamic perspectives on psychopathology will be bridged. An extensive body of psychological and neurobiological research is synthesized to illuminate the complex pathways by which the capacity to self regulate may be undermined in development.

The effect learning and experience on the physiological and chemical structure of the brain will be presented to explain how heightened states of distress or arousal in infancy and early childhood, influence personality development.

The ways in which brain organization is reflected in the organization of personality will be described, delineating how the brain’s nonconscious learning and memory systems mediate different aspects of personality.

The impact of loss, trauma, abuse, temperament, stress reactivity, brain insult, and attachment difficulties in early development will be address as it relates to physiological states of arousal and biology of emotion. The importance of affect regulation, and the failure to develop functional strategies for regulating affect in a wide range of mental disorders will be explored including anxiety and mood disorders, psychotic disorders, attention deficit disorder, conduct disorders, and personality disorders.


Dates to be announced.

TTB III The Psychophysiology of Addiction and Recovery

The failure to develop the capacity to self-soothe is a primary cause of all addiction. Neural pathways that delineate self-soothing are laid down in the first few years of life in a non-conscious, pre-egoic state.

Cognitive behavioural approaches in the treatment of addiction are not able to create the neural pathways in subcortical brain regions required to self-soothe, and as a result will have only limited success.

Self-soothing is an aspect of self regulation; it’s absence leads to dysregulation. Dysregulation is the inability to modulate emotional and behavioural responses, which can result in addictive behaviours such as alcohol and drug abuse, sex and gambling addiction, eating disorders, and self-harming behaviours, as an attempt to self-soothe.

In this seminar, developmental antecedents contributing to dysregulation in the brain and body that lead to addiction will be explored. A new paradigm will be presented which utilizes neurobiological underpinnings as the organizing principle in the treatment and prevention of addictions. The psychophysiology of addiction and current treatment models will be addressed, exploring what works in treatment and why. Self Regulation Therapy®, a mind-body (psychophysiological) treatment for addiction which focuses on establishing self-regulation and self-soothing, will be presented. Case examples, clinical illustrations and practical applications will be provided throughout the seminar. Counts for 6 CE units.


TTB IV The Psychobiology of Relationships: Attachment, Intimacy & Trauma

Our earliest relationship provides a template in our nervous system that profoundly influences our capacity to be in close relationships in adulthood. This neurophysiological pattern, established from birth onward, operates outside of conscious awareness, and involves biological drives of attachment that influenced at critical periods.

Through an understanding of biodevelopmental traumas, conscious awareness can be brought to patterns of behaviour that prevent or inhibit the capacity to feel safe in a reciprocal, mutual, intimate relationship. Without a conscious awareness of these psychobiological patterns, we tend to choose partners who enable use to re-enact within the relationship unresolved developmental traumas.

In addition, significant overwhelming events at anytime during one’s life can result in neurophysiological changes that alter one’s capacity to love, bond, or nurture others. These events often labeled as traumatic, include but are not limited to: motor vehicle incidents, surgeries, illnesses, medical and dental procedures, assault, rape, falls, near drowning, electrocution, attack by animals, war and natural disasters.

This two-day seminar will explore effective body-centered strategies for individuals and couples who wish to interrupt the unconscious psychobiological processes that lead to dysfunction in their relationships and establish the capacity for playful, loving interactions.


Dates to be announced.

TTB V The Psychophysiology and Treatment of Pain Syndromes

Healthcare practitioners are treating increasing numbers of patients with chronic pain conditions. In fact, pain complaints account for 80% of all physician visits and costs billions of dollars annually. Pain relief remains elusive despite advances in our knowledge of sensory physiology, anatomy and biochemistry. In fact, the development of potent analgesic medications and other medical and surgical interventions has not alleviated the ever-increasing numbers of people diagnosed with chronic pain conditions. Traditionally, allopathic medicine has focused on the cause of pain with an assumption that there is a physical basis and once this is identified, the source can either be eliminated or blocked by medical or surgical intervention. Consequently, pain assessment has been focused on identifying a physical basis for the pain. If no physical basis can be identified, it is thought that the pain has a psychological basis, and is treated as a psychological disorder.

The most recent research suggests that pain syndromes have both physical and psychological aspects and are affected by a multitude of factors including: social support, familial context, past trauma history, premorbid personality, socioeconomic conditions, secondary gain, addiction, and iatrogenic causes.

This two-day seminar will explore the current trends in pain research and treatment modalities with an emphasis on the psychophysiological basis of pain syndromes. Current treatment modalities do not sufficiently address and correct the dysregulation in the autonomic nervous system, a significant factor in perpetuating pain syndromes. A new integrative treatment modality, Self Regulation Therapy®, that effectively addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of pain syndromes, will be introduced. Pain syndromes to be discussed include: gastrointestinal pain, chronic back and neck pain, whiplash pain, trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, headaches, migraines, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, post-surgical pain, phantom limb pain, chest pain.


Dates to be announced.

TTB VI Tired of Being Tired

Neuroendocrine and Immune System Dysregulation

In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other diseases related to the neuroendocrine system. Recent psychophysiological literature has suggested strong links between trauma and disorders of the neuroendocrine and immune systems. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis is a major stress pathway in the nervous system and contributes to the regulation of the neuroendocrine system.

Research suggests that significant or cumulative stress may alter the balance of the body’s hormonal and immune systems. Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, whether as a result of trauma experienced in adult life, or as a result of prenatal or perinatal trauma including abnormal maternal-infant bonding is strongly implicated in the generation of neuroendocrine and immune disorders including: hyper and hypothyroidism, Type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graves disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, stress-induced asthma, Epstein-Barr virus and other chronic fatigue conditions.

This one-day seminar will utilize current psychophysiological research to explore the potential links between trauma and negative life experiences and dysregulation of the neuroendocrine and immune systems. In addition, this seminar will introduce effective clinical approaches to help bring the autonomic nervous system back into balance and increase resiliency in the immune and neuroendocrine systems.

Recommended For

This seminar is recommended for professionals who work with neuroendocrine and immune system dysregulation including: psychologists, counselors, chiropractors, psychiatrists, physicicans, physiotherapists, body workers, nurses, dentists.


Dates to be announced.

TTB VII Self Regulation in the Workplace

To be announced.

TTB VIII Psychophysiological First Aid

To be announced.

TTB IX Survivors of War and Political Violence

This two day workshop is designed to give practitioners a deeper understanding of the psychophysiology of trauma in survivors of war and political violence. A basic overview of neuroanatomy will be presented. The newest research on how the brain is affected by the experience of this extreme relational trauma will be presented and includes a discussion of kindling and quenching in the autonomic nervous system, and the cumulative nature and fixity of trauma in the brain.

For traumatized individuals, any change is perceived as a threat by the limbic brain. Survivors, in their compromised, dysregulated state, are required to deal with numerous overwhelming life changes such as geography, culture, language, employment, and discrimination. Being able to fully participate in their new life requires the capacity to self regulate, complete arousal cycles connected to trauma, and to adjust to change. Aspects of Self Regulation Therapy, a psychophysiological treatment approach will be taught to deal with the most troublesome symptoms of survivors of war, including survivor guilt. In addition, the importance of psychobiologically attuning to the strength, resilence, and hope of the client will be addressed, as this is key in helping clients deeply connect with the experience of survival, and increase their capacity for joy and nurturing relationships. This workshop is didactic and experiential so that participants will have the opportunity to deepen their practical and emotional capacity to work with this population.

This workshop will be of value to counsellors, social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, teachers, and any other professionals helping people work through the after effects of trauma, in particular persons who have experienced war-related violence and trauma.


Dates to be announced.