Working with Complex Trauma

2-day workshop | 16th & 23rd March 2024| Alison Woodward & Gerry Jones | Online

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This 2-day Online workshop will enable practitioners to develop confidence and understanding to work within a phased trauma-informed framework that enables effective and safe clinical work with clients who have experience complex trauma.

PLEASE NOTE Attendees need to bring a certain amount of competence and experience with them to be able to manage the content of the course. 

The course will develop established psychological concepts about attachment, relational patterns and our sense of self with the significant neurological impact of trauma on the brain’s development.

It will focus our thinking about how our bodies respond to trauma and the significant post traumatic growth that can occur when working within the phased approach.

The first day will focus on the theoretical aspects behind working with complex trauma. The second day will focus on the phased model and the development practical skills to support this complex work. Supervision will be offered throughout the course and delegates should come prepared to discuss their own clinical experiences of working with trauma to aid their learning.


“The quality, experience and content were all excellent. The best course I have been on, thank you!!!”

“Overall really welcoming, but fluid and helpful, didn’t feel uncomfortable speaking with a group, everyone was valued.”

“Both excellent presenters with confident presentation.”

“I like the way the day’s training is mirrored in the hand-out, this helps me to understand the info deeper and to be able to refer back in the future. I find in-person training the best for me with dyslexia.”

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Workshop Dates and Cost

Date:  Saturday 16th and 23rd March 2024

Time:  9:30am - 4:30pm, 

Location:  Online via Zoom


  • General Admission - £160.00
  • IMC Student / Graduate Rate - £120.00
  • IMC Students in Advanced Training - £80.00

Why should I attend this workshop?

This workshop will develop confidence and deepen your understanding about working with the impact of complex trauma on the present day experience of your clients. It is designed to enable you to practically explore your own clinical experiences and relate these to a trauma framework which can transform the way you work with clients. It will enable you:

  • To understand what complex trauma is and what symptoms can manifest for people
  • To understand further the link between child development theories and complex trauma
  • To understand the physiological and neurological factors that occur in the body when trauma is experienced
  • To develop practical tools and strategies to ground your clients and support clinical practice when working with trauma
  • To experience a trauma framework that gives you a safe approach to working with trauma
  • To consider the clients trauma process and consider the transference/counter-transference that can be present
  • To reflect on how we can stay out of the clients trauma process and offer an alternative way of being, reinforcing healthy repair and relationship
  • To access specialised trauma supervision and explore your own work in relation to trauma informed practice
  • To consider the impact on you as a practitioner and how to stay okay in the work
  • Aims and Learning Objectives:
  • By the end of the course you will have increased your knowledge, understanding and ability to:
  • Understand complex trauma from a variety of theoretical inputs and develop your own therapeutic style to working with trauma clients
  • Take away a clinical framework for working with trauma clients safely
  • To facilitate discussion about the trauma process that occurs for clients in terms of the unconscious process and how you can work with this positively in the room
  • To learn practical tools and techniques to support trauma work
  • To have a safe supervisory/developmental space to reflect on the work you do in the context of trauma
  • To consider the impact of this work on you as a practitioner and how to transform that impact into post-traumatic growth

Workshop Structure

Day 1:

  • Welcome & Introductions – contracting and safe space (30mins)
  • Introduction to Trauma – What is it, what is the impact? (60mins)
  • Impact of Trauma on the brain – survival responses, early brain development (90mins)
  • Links to theoretical models – attachment theory, child development and ACES (90mins)
  • Link to complex trauma – body conditions, working with physical and mental health issues (60mins)

Day 2:

  • Re-cap & day 2 introductions (30mins)
  • The Phased model – What does it look like, how do we work within it, practical tools and why they are important? (90mins)
  • Strategies to support clients and practitioners – Flooding/dissociation – how do we manage this and keep the client (and us) safe? (60mins)
  • Unconscious processes – What do you experience, how do we identify transference/countertransference to inform our work and stay out of the clients trauma process (90mins)
  • Looking after yourself – self care strategies, supervision and post traumatic growth (90mins)
  • Breaks total 1.5 hours (one morning coffee break of 20mins, one lunch break of 50mins and one afternoon coffee break of 20mins)

Target Audience

This course is aimed at Qualified Professionals working with clients who have experienced trauma to include: Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, etc. It is not suitable for trainee counsellors and psychotherapists who are not yet in practice, or are newly practising. We have an Introduction to Working with Trauma workshop in October if this is a new topic for you.

Meet the Tutors

Alison Woodward

Alison is a Supervisor, UKCP accredited Psychotherapist and Certified Transactional Analyst. She works both in private practice in Bournemouth and for the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS) in Dorset.

Alison has developed her experience in working with clients who have symptoms of complex PTSD. She now works within a three-phase therapeutic trauma framework with her clients to ensure clinical safety and space to understand and resolve the intrusive symptoms that clients experience.

She is passionate about finding effective ways to work with complex trauma clients, she has seen how recovery can and does happen when clients are given the time and space to work.

Gerry Jones

Gerry is a Supervisor, Psychotherapist and Tavistock trained Organisational Consultant. She works both in private practice in the Wimborne area and for the Sexual Trauma and Recovery Service (STARS) as Clinical Lead.

Her experience of working with sexual trauma and complex PTSD includes Supervision of therapists working with abuse and designing services that best support survivors. She uses Herman’s three stage model to ensure clinical safety whilst helping clients build resilience and move to connection and post-traumatic growth.

Her passion is guiding other practitioners to fine-tune their repertoire of theory and skills to allow the client to recover.

Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole   

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