The Neuroscience of Early Relational Trauma

One-day workshop| 14th June 2024 | Exeter |Dr Briony Nicholls

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Throughout the history of psychotherapy and counselling researchers have looked for explanations and descriptions in neuroscience that correlate with our experiences of clients and of ourselves.

We are now in a position to use that research to inform our thinking about our professional practice. 

Our brains are designed to adapt to challenges of our environment, to help us survive. Its structures develop and are shaped through attachment and in relationship with others. In this workshop, we will investigate what happens to the brain when early nurturing and attunement are less than optimal, and in the context of early relational trauma.

We will look at:

  • The developing brain, and how it can be shaped by experience – both good and bad
  • Neural networks, and their link to learning and to relational patterns
  • The so-called ‘Social brain’, which helps mediate our relationships with others, and how that may be affected by relational experiences
  • The content of the workshop will be presentations and discussions, with plenty of time to discuss the ideas being presented, and to relate them to participants’ clinical experiences

How much does it cost?

  • General Admission - £80.00
  • IMC Student / Graduates - £60.00
  • IMC Students in Advanced Training - £40.00


  • To help understand how early relational processes have such a profound effect on us in later life
  • To start to bridge the gap between neuroscience research and clinical practice with clients.

Workshop date

  • Friday 14th June 2024, 9:30am - 5pm in Exeter campus

Key Benefits

You will interact with and gain understanding of basic developmental processes in the brain, and how they can shape our perspectives and interactions throughout life.

Meet the tutor

Dr Briony Nicholls is a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice in Oxford, and a member of the TA team for the Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy courses at Iron Mill College, Exeter, UK. Before her psychotherapy training, she was a researcher in neuroscience and psychopharmacology, then a medical writer, specialising in neurology and psychiatry.

Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole   

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