Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Working Safely with Families and Trauma

September 16 @ 9:00 am - September 17 @ 4:30 pm AEST

$450 – $600

EOFY Sale – Save Now limited time only

A Neurobiological Approach to Trauma Stabilisation and Family Therapy

Families affected by traumatic events can often break down as each family member struggles in their own way to come to terms with what has happened. Understanding distress reactions and their effect on family dynamics can help the family to cope better. If family members don’t understand each other’s experience, then misunderstandings, communication breakdowns and other problems can result. This is often because unresolved traumatic symptoms fuel behavioural and emotional problems and family conflict, and/ or the family interactions can maintain or exacerbate the pain of traumatic memories.

Most practitioners have by now heard the message that trauma treatment must begin with an emphasis on safety and stabilisation, otherwise “working through” will be re-traumatising. Yet it is often very difficult to know exactly how to begin to help the trauma client stabilise. As practitioners, we can easily get so caught up in the roller coaster ride of crises, suicide attempts, hospitalisations, addiction relapses, and self-destructive acting-out that we ourselves start to feel out of control! This workshop integrates a neurobiologically informed understanding of trauma, dissociation, and attachment within framework of family therapy. As with any teaching paradigm, the practitioner needs educational models and tools. For trauma stabilisation work, the most important tools are: psychoeducation, therapist modeling of attention to safety, skill-building, and empowering the client by teaching them how to take charge of the therapeutic process. The workshop will demonstrate how to:

  • teach clients about trauma symptoms: how to recognise them, how to anticipate them, what they mean, how to manage them
  • decrease the client’s shame, confusion, and sense of being overwhelmed
  • mobilise the strengths of families to amplify healing and change

Additionally, the practitioner also performs an important modeling function, ideally this beginning at the very first contact with clients. Practitioners need to model their constant concern and interest in the client’s safety and self-care. As it indirectly teaches the client new skills and it directly offers the client an experience of safety. This workshop will demonstrate the skills needed by trauma clients in order to stay stable include the following:

  • understanding that many of their trauma symptoms are memory equivalents
  • grounding and centering techniques
  • coping strategies for dealing with individual and interpersonal distress
  • contracting for safety with themselves and others
  • how to anticipate stressful or triggering events
  • learning how to calm the body and mind
  • distinguishing past and present reality and how to stay “in the present”  along with recognising and making better use of dissociative abilities
  • working with the impact of trauma on identity, and redefining the client’s role from that of victim to that of survivor

Weaving a range of unique interventions adapted from a number of cutting-edge therapeutic approaches, including sensorimotor psychotherapy, family systems, mindfulness-based therapies, and EFT. This workshop provides a practical approach to trauma treatment in family systems, communicated in straightforward language accessible to both clients and practitioners. Participants will leave with a solid grasp of therapeutic approaches to trauma stabilisation, working with dissociative symptoms, integrating brain-based treatment methods, and much more. Most of all, they will come away with tools for helping clients create an internal sense of safety and compassion.

Maximum 25 participants to 1 trainer.

Presenter: Dr. Kate Owen is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist with nearly 20 years experience working in mental health.  She is the co-founder of the The Queensland Institute of Family Therapy (QIFT). Kate first started working in Child and Youth Mental Health on the Gold Coast which led to her interest in working with families.  This interest has since turned into her passion, and she loves having the opportunity to work with anyone who values “relationships”.  Whether it’s individuals, couples or families, her therapy approach focuses on the stress or strength in a relationship.  She is often helping people work through past relationship issues that continue to affect them in the present. Her other area of passion is supporting professionals to deliver high quality and evidence based practice.  This is often through supervision and mentoring, with individuals and mental health teams, and through delivering professional development workshops around Australia.  Just as clients need support, so do the professionals that are dedicating their careers to helping others. For professionals interested in Family Therapy training options, her flagship course Key Skills in Family Therapy is highly recommended. In 2020 she authored the best selling Keep Calm cards.Dr. Kate Owen is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist with nearly 20 years experience working in mental health.  She is the co-founder of the The Queensland Institute of Family Therapy (QIFT).

GROUP BOOKINGS for 5 or more: contact our office for a discounted price.

Relax and Learn in the beautiful seaside town of Kingscliff

Kingscliff is a sleepy surfing and fishing village on the far NSW North Coast that’s emerged as one of the Australia’s best coastal escapes. Located just 15 mins south of the Gold Coast airport and 30mins north of Byron Bay, it’s the ideal beach retreat for visitors who like sophistication with their sand and sunshine. Surrounded by a harvest rich hinterland home to paddock to plate cafescraft brewerygin distillery and a growing foodie scene, there is so much to do when you’re not learning!


September 16 @ 9:00 am
September 17 @ 4:30 pm
$450 – $600
Event Categories:


Compass Seminars
0455 544 577


Kingscliff Bowls Club
131 Marine Parade
Kingscliff, NSW 2487 Australia

Please note that posting onto the Events & Training calendar is reserved for FRSA Members only.