Working with Complex Developmental Trauma: Insights and clinical applications from attachment theory, emotional regulation theory and interpersonal neurobiology.
This one hour presentation is from a conference I delivered in Sydney, Australia, Feb 2019, and was then asked to deliver it as an online symposium on Trauma. In it I address what constitutes Complex Developmental Trauma (CDT), highlighting the importance of emotionally safe attachments in order for us to develop healthy emotional regulation and the processing of complex emotions. I draw on the work of Gordon Neufeld, the Canadian developmental psychologist who has formulated a model of how healthy relationships/attachment form at 6 different levels. For our clients who have experienced Complex Developmental Trauma, I make the case that a ‘good enough’ working attachment needs to form between clients and therapists in order to heal emotional dysregulation through the 6 levels of attachment. The therapist-client relationship is the catalyst for this healing work. I illustrate the theory by presenting a case study of a client I worked with.