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Working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A practical one day course for those who work with survivors of trauma, from RTA to childhood abuse. The day combines an overview of the current understanding of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with case discussion, demonstration and treatment.

Identifying PTSD : What It Is and What It Isn’t

As well as being referred specifically for PTSD, many clients have recent or past trauma in their histories. A knowledge of symptoms characterizing PTSD will help the practitioner choose the right direction and intervention techniques for therapy.

  • What is PTSD? The Big 3 - hyperarousal, reliving and avoidance
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How do I know if my client has PTSD?
  • How do I tell my client about PTSD?
  • How effective is treatment for PTSD?

Making Sense of PTSD

An understanding of how trauma leads to PTSD symptoms helps the practitioner conceptualise the case and explain the often frightening and disabling symptoms to the client. ‘One-off’ traumas such as a car accident require a different approach to multiple early abuse. Delegates will learn how to successfully work with these

  • Models of PTSD inc. Clark and Ehler’s
  • PTSD and the brain
  • Type I and Type II PTSD
  • Abuse survivors and PTSD

Treating PTSD

Discussing the trauma in an unstructured, conversational way, generally does not work. Worse, it can re-traumatise the client and lead to an increase in distressing symptoms such as flashbacks and dissociation.

  • What works for PTSD
  • How not to make things worse
  • How do I deal with flashbacks?
  • Special requirements for work with abuse survivors
  • Reliving and EMDR approaches
  • Changing thoughts and behaviour
  • Relapse prevention


  • Identifying PTSD : What it is and what it isn’t 
  • The Big 3 - Hyperarousal, Reliving and Avoidance 
  • What are the symptoms? 
  • How do I tell my client about PTSD?
  • Abuse survivors and PTSD 
  • Type I and Type II PTSD 
  • PTSD and the brain 
  • Clark and Ehler’s model 
  • What works for PTSD 
  • How not to make things worse
  • Working with abuse 
  • Dealing with flashbacks inc. pair work
  • Reducing avoidance of traumatic event 
  • Plan reliving 
  • Hotspots and emotions

Course Leader:

Dr Fiona C. Kennedy
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Fiona has a vast clinical experience in mental health (from anxiety through eating disorders and PTSD, to psychosis and personality disorders) and learning disability fields. Fiona’s main orientation for many years has been Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). She was a Board Member/Trustee for the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP). She has extensive experience of teaching and presenting, giving regular input to doctoral training programmes and teaching other professionals.

Amongst many other research projects she has studied dissociation after trauma that led to a new theoretical model and scale, as well as innovative new treatments. The creation of an effective treatment service for self-harming, suicidal, ‘revolving door’ inpatients was quoted as an example of national excellence by the governments’ National Audit Office in its House of Commons report ‘Safer Patient Services’ 2005. She has presented her research at many national and international conferences and received an award for clinical excellence from BUPA. With her deep knowledge of the subject and outstanding leadership qualities Dr Fiona Kennedy is a truly inspirational tutor.

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