Upcoming Workshop

Friday 26th & Saturday 27th March 2021

Trauma and The Body

Presented by Dr Andrew Harkin


Dates: 8:30am-5:00pm Friday 26th & 9:00am-5:00pm Saturday 27th March 2021
Registration: Registration opens on Wednesday 17th February and closes Sunday 21 March 2021
Venue: Trinity on Hampden Conference Centre, 230 Hampden Rd, Crawley WA 6009
Catering: Tea and a light lunch will be provided
Please advise special dietary requirements at time of registration
Workshop Fees:
$750 for non members
$500* for COTWA General or Clinical members
$300* for members listed on the COTWA Directory
* Members need to be logged in to the members area in order to get the the member rate applied.

Options to save on the Workshop Fees

  1. If you are not yet a member of COTWA
    • This is the perfect opportunity to sign up as you'll save $100 off the non-member workshop fee ($150 COTWA membership fee & $500 workshop fee for members = $650).
  2. If you are a Clinical Member of COTWA
    • Register on the COTWA directory, and save $200 off the Members workshop fee

To find out about the membership benefits and eligibility, go to the Join COTWA page.

About the Workshop

Day One - An Introduction to Working with the Body in Complex Trauma Treatments

Current research indicates that trauma is largely remembered non-verbally, leaving the body and nervous system primed for future threat. Many traditional approaches to treatment lack techniques to work directly with this physical legacy of trauma; indeed, the body has largely been left out of the ‘talking cure’.

Through a combination of lecture material, experiential exercises and discussion, this workshop will introduce a body-oriented approach to working with unresolved trauma. Andrew’s approach to training encompasses not only the most recent theoretical understanding regarding neuroscience and the impact of our experiences on our body, but also provides a clear and pragmatic link between theory and practice.

At the conclusion of day one, participants will be able to:

  • Review current neuroscience and practical applications in relation to safe trauma work.
  • Understand the role of the body in trauma treatment, including the role of procedural learning and its relevance to trauma treatment.
  • Apply simple somatic techniques to facilitate clients' self-regulation (including directed mindfulness).
  • Acquire increased knowledge and skills in assisting clients to develop body-based resources and enable them to experience and stabilise embodiment.
  • Understand the significance of the relational field in body-based psychotherapy.
  • Acquire increased knowledge and skills in incorporating bodily experience into all phases of trauma therapy.

Day Two - Deepening Resources for Stabilisation

The second day will build on content covered in the first day, with particular focus on assisting clinicians to use more advanced body-based psychotherapeutic techniques to enrich and enhance their treatment approach to clients presenting with unresolved trauma.

Areas of focus will include the impact of somatics on the therapeutic relationship, and assisting clients to effectively access body-based resources to improve their capacity to regulate strong emotion and physiological arousal and more effectively process their traumatic experiences. The workshop will include both didactic and experiential material, with an emphasis on the provision of practical skills for body-based psychotherapy practice.

At the conclusion of day two, participants will have:

  • Practiced simple somatic techniques to facilitate clients’ self-regulation (including directed mindfulness).
  • Grasped the significance of the relational field in body-based psychotherapy.
  • Acquired increased knowledge and skills in incorporating bodily experience into all phases of trauma therapy.
  • Acquired increased knowledge and skills in assisting clients to develop body-based resources and enable them to experience and stabilise embodiment.
  • Acquired practical skills for the development of advanced resourcing that supports clients’ trauma processing.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is suitable for those working professionally with clients who have experienced complex trauma and who have current professional registration with an Australian regulatory body

  • General Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Social workers
  • Counsellors
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Mental Health Nurses

Applicants who do not meet the above criteria can apply on an individual basis to the COTWA Board by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]. Consideration will be given to the applicant’s:

  • Nature and length of employment
  • Educational background and qualifications
  • Training in trauma
  • Support from the applicant’s supervisor and/or employer

About the Presenter - Dr Andrew Harkin

Dr Andrew Harkin Profile Picture

Andrew Harkin graduated as a medical doctor from the University College in Dublin in 1990. Having a keen interest in the holistic treatment of his patients, Andrew completed a two-year postgraduate training course in 1998 with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute in Colorado, USA. He subsequently became lead trainer at the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and taught psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists in the fields of trauma and attachment across the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, and Australia for more than five years.

Andrew has also trained in other trauma-related models such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, and the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM). Additionally, he is a teacher in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), having trained with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at the University of Bangor in North Wales.

In 2013, Andrew and his family emigrated to Western Australia to take a position as a Senior Therapist in a psychiatric day hospital. In 2016, he recorded the TED Talk, Mind the Gap: Moving From Brain to Body to explore the importance of reclaiming a sense of health and a sense of belonging in the body. Andrew now divides his time between providing training across Australia for mental health clinicians in body-based approaches to psychotherapy, and a private practice in Bunbury.

Past Workshops

About the Workshop

What can we learn from hypnosis to enhance our clinical effectiveness in working with trauma and dissociation? Can a dissociative therapeutic approach, such as hypnosis, be helpful for someone where dissociation is symptomatic? Can this approach be integrated into one’s current therapeutic practices, such as with mindfulness and meditation? And, perhaps most importantly, how can it help a client grow from trauma?

While this two-day course will cover topics such as the principles, ethics, and practise of hypnotherapy in up-to-date, evidence-based, outcome-oriented approaches, it is best seen as an introduction to clinical hypnosis. It will introduce you to the language and processes of clinical hypnosis for post-trauma growth, in a user-friendly, experiential learning format with particular emphasis on your own clinical applications and clinician skills.

Moving beyond the traditional scripted approach to hypnosis, you will learn about the application of hypnosis into therapy in ways that are creative, individual, and adaptive to client goals.

Topics covered will include:

  • What is hypnosis
  • A brief history of therapeutic trances
  • Myths and misconceptions
  • Hypnosis, trauma and dissociation
  • The nature of suggestions
  • Types and power of suggestions
  • Basic theories of hypnosis
  • How to induce and deepen the hypnotic experience
  • Hypnosis for facilitating post-trauma growth
  • How to apply your new skills in your own therapeutic work

The style of teaching will be focussed on practical skills-development with many exercises designed to facilitate the application of hypnotherapy in your daily therapeutic work with clients.

About the Presenter - George Burns


Adjunct Professor George Burns is an Australian clinical psychologist whose innovative work as practitioner, teacher, and writer is recognized nationally and internationally.

George is Adjunct Professor of the Cairnmillar Institute, School of Psychotherapy and Counselling; Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University and Director of The Milton H Erickson Institute of Western Australia. He has been active in several international hypnosis societies and is an Approved Consultant with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

George has also published eight books that have been translated to 18 languages and include an international best-seller. He has authored some 50 articles and book chapters, been described as a ‘master clinician’ by eminent colleagues; and “among some of the world's best therapists” by the Milton H Erickson Foundation.

Given his contribution to the psychology of well-being, he was an invited participant in a United Nations High Level Meeting on creating a new world development paradigm based more on happiness than on economic values. He has recently been honoured with Life Membership to the Australian Psychological Society, and the first ever Life Membership awarded by the Institute of Clinical Psychologists.

In recent years he has been working as a volunteer clinical psychologist in developing countries such as the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where his most recent project has been helping to establish a new youth drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre based on a therapeutic model of happiness and wellbeing.

George’s teaching blends a wealth of clinical and personal life experiences in a relaxed and pleasant style aimed at providing hands-on skills for the enhancement of therapeutic effectiveness.

About the Workshop

Dissociative processes are most evident in the rapid shifts in self-states identified by the close tracking of ‘no-go zones’ - those places in our psyche which are too dangerous or painful to enter. These places frequently result from persistent early trauma, commonly as a consequence of growing up in an environment where the child’s caretaker(s) are either frightened or frightening, or both.

Working therapeutically with individuals with such disorganised attachments presents considerable difficulties since, by definition, the dissociative processes are designed to ‘hide’ both the fear and the longing for connection from both oneself and the Other. This can result in behaviours which fluctuate between angry attacks on the therapeutic relationship and a tenacious attachment to it. An intolerable dilemma arises from a longing to feel ‘real’ yet also desperately wanting to avoid the associated pain that comes with it. This requires the therapist to survive, detoxify, and metabolize the emotional turmoil that results from the internal shame and fear of humiliation, intolerable loss, intense dislike, disgust, and contempt that often underpin such ‘attackments’.

In this workshop, Dr Chefetz marries dissociation and its clinical manifestations with a wealth of extended case histories. Drawing on theories of self-states and their involvement in dissociative experiences, he demonstrates how to identify and work with persistent dissociative processes, and their related neurobiological and psychodynamic underpinnings.

Learning outcomes

  • Recognising dissociative processes in your casework;
  • Understanding memory processes in trauma patients; and
  • Working with shame, repetition compulsions, enactments, addictive behaviours, depersonalisation, self-harm, and suicidality in the lives of adult survivors of childhood trauma.


  • Describe the normal tension between association and dissociation and how the balance between them contributes to mental coherence.
  • Discuss why discerning depersonalisation is critically important in assessing dissociation.
  • Describe how dissociative process influences memory and the questions that are important in discerning dissociative disturbances of memory
  • Compare the basics of infant attachment behaviours and their adult manifestations in trauma treatment.
  • Discuss the differences between emotions in the shame spectrum of experience and their personal and interpersonal correlates
  • Explain the potential value and pitfalls of countertransference disclosure in psychotherapy with trauma survivors.
  • Describe appropriate questions to discern depersonalisation, derealisation, amnesia, identity confusion, and identity alteration toward making a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder.
  • Discuss and be able to apply the four basic patterns of infant attachment, secure, anxious-ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganised/disoriented to their adult cases and apply these to the clinical setting.
  • Predict which patients in your practice are likely carrying hidden shame
  • Describe the process from which shame and rage become welded together.
  • Discuss how hippocampal and amygdala functions interact in trauma treatment.
  • Discuss a strategy for pointed intervention to impact and reduce suicidality as an immediate threat.
  • Explain how "attackment" describes a shift from proximity seeking in the attachment paradigm to guaranteeing distance when domination- submission, power and control, dynamics overwhelm the interpersonal world of a child
  • Describe the difference between the words affect, feeling, and emotion as well as the clinical utility of distinguishing between them.
  • Describe the general underlying cause of addictive behaviour as it relates to dissociative processes.
  • Discuss a technique for specific psychotherapeutic exploration of addictions and their relief.
  • Explain the likely sources of negative therapeutic reaction in the treatment of a person with a complex dissociative disorder.

About the Presenter - Dr Richard A. Chefetz M.D


Dr Chefetz is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, D.C. He was President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation in 2002, and Co-Founder and Chair of their Dissociative Disorders Psychotherapy Training Program for eight years. Dr Chefetz is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology; and a faculty member at the Washington School of Psychiatry, the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis, and the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis.

He has published numerous journal articles on psychoanalytic perspectives on trauma and dissociation; and published the internationally acclaimed Intensive Psychotherapy for Persistent Dissociative Processes: The Fear of Feeling Real in 2015 with W.W. Norton, in their Interpersonal Neurobiology series.

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