Regulation & Trauma
Trauma Informed Approach to Sensory Processing Disorder and Arousal Regulation
Therapists and other professionals who work with individuals with sensory and developmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum, attention deficit, learning disabilities) often encounter clients with difficulties related to developmental trauma. Traumatic events may be overt, such as early loss of a primary caregiver; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; or domestic, community and school violence. Trauma may also be innocent, such as early hospitalization and necessary life saving medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to adverse life experiences has been shown to increase the likelihood of social emotional and developmental delays. Furthermore, children with developmental delays have a higher risk of being subjected to experiences involving physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
There is a growing understanding and accompanying clinical practice that addresses the connection between sensory processing dysfunction and trauma. When an individual cannot adequately process sensory information or traumatic experiences, the body’s natural defense mechanisms become heightened further impacting sensory processing disorder.
This two-day, hands-on course will explore, from a trauma-informed perspective, the connections between sensory processing and sensory integrative difficulties. We will also provide a brief introduction to the tension reducing technique known as TRE®, as a means of demonstrating how the body retains stress in core muscular tension patterns. This course will investigate the hardwired action systems that underlie sensory modulation, arousal, affect regulation, and play. A clinical reasoning model for tracking dynamic shifts in state and levels of integration will be presented. Interactive hands-on labs, video and case presentations will bring key concepts and treatment strategies to life in this theoretically based, yet practical course.