34th Annual Boston International Trauma Conference | Part 4

June 15th, 2023
Here we are at the end of the journey and I promise, at least for me, the full saga is not anywhere near over. We were reminded multiple times these past 4 days that a therapist who wants to be of help to their clients/patients will always keep learning to provide the best possible care. The next thing they shared after education is for each therapist in attendance to make sure they are actively doing their own therapy to again, be able to provide the best possible care. 
This morning was 3 brilliant individuals who have been adding to the trauma field in their own ways for decades. 
1. Dante Cicchetti PhD (https://icd.umn.edu/people/cicchett/) – Discussed the consequences of child maltreatment from the perspective of developmental psychopathology and with research evidence of what affects children, teens. He defined child maltreatment as anything from abuses, neglect of all kinds, divorce, fighting in family, homelessness, and much more. He has decades of research that discuss options for how to treat and look at ways to support the healing of children and teenagers. He looked originally at groups of people in the middle socio-economic status (SES) and said child maltreatment was very, very prevalent with them. He shared that it was and still is not only the lower SES that experiences trauma due to poverty and other environmental factors but that the middle SES has at times more covert maltreatment as well because of societal expectations. Anyway, his work makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve seen it in practice *and* experienced some personally. Take a look at his website if you are interested in more. Or they even mentioned in the conference to Google Scholar his name and you’ll find dozens of articles. 
2. Diana Fosha PhD (https://aedpinstitute.org/faculty/diana-fosha-phd) – Treating attachment trauma with AEDP. She has created a therapy practice called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) which is an empirically supported model that gives patients corrective emotional and relational experiences that mobilize changes in the brain. Whew, that was a mouthful. Essentially what I gathered is she has done research both through scientific methods and through hands on practice that incorporates a focus on secure, healthy attachments. She shared that sometimes when we go to therapy we are getting the first healthy attachment in our life and it can be new, overwhelming, scary *and* healing, transformative, and empowering. This really spoke to me as I completely agree and support the idea that as therapists we need more compassion and attunement in sessions with our clients to help them. Again, check out her name, work and when you are searching for a therapist ask if they know AEDP is this felt right for you!
3. Matthew Fleischman PhD (https://www.neurofeedbackadvocacyproject.com) – Treatment of developmental trauma for children with neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a tremendous treatment option that is noninvasive that has amazing research outcomes that as far as they know are long lasting. Neurofeedback has been around since the 1980s and the research as well as practice of it has increased significantly. I don’t know how to explain this treatment, only to share that I have had Clients go and do neurofeedback then return to therapy with me greatly improved. It’s important to note that sometimes the unknown could feel scary. However, making a plan with your therapist to get you into neurofeedback can help you feel empowered in making choices for your life. I know for people close to Layton Utah there are a group of neurofeedback practitioners that do good work. Here is a direct link to the neurofeedback advocacy project website that explains what it is. You can also explore the website and find more information. (https://www.neurofeedbackadvocacyproject.com/about-nfb)
4. Adriana Barton (https://adrianabarton.com) – “Wired for Music” is a book she has written and a cumulative report of information gathered across multiple disciplines to discuss how important music and rhythm are to our lives. She discussed music and rhythm and how they stimulate social and biological processes involved in psychological healing. “Throughout human history, music has been used as medicine. Drawing from neuroscience, anthropology and evolutionary biology, [her] book explores how a music habit can enhance everyday life, from moods and memory to social relationships and the age-old search for meaning.” This was an excerpt from her website and was reiterated in the workshop. She shared, “musical rhythms, brainwave entrainment and neurochemicals [were] discussed in relation to music’s evolutionary role as a ‘social glue,’ demonstrated to increase feelings of trust and interpersonal connection.” This showed me that when a kid or teenager talks to me about how music helps them – I need to validate them and include more music opportunities in my sessions. 
It’s been so great to take you all through what I have learned. I promise, if you are reading these as a person looking for therapy – call our office. There is hope. If you are a fellow therapist or teacher, or someone who loves kids and people – call our office. We are with you. If you happen to be a policy maker and want to know what to do you help our area – please call our office. *We can do more to help people.*
Written by Katie Walter