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Community Events

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Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma, A Workshop by Janina Fisher, PhD


Friday, February 16, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CST)

San Antonio, TX


A Workshop by Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

FRIDAY, February 16th, 2018

To register:  Early bird pricing available.

Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma
Neuroscience research has established why it is that trauma results in a fragmented narrative along with a ‘living legacy’ of enduring effects.  We now know that the survival responses that preserve life and integrity under threat do not diminish once safety is obtained.  Meant to warn us of impending danger, these easily re-activated survival responses continue to re-evoke the events of long ago.

The evolution of new neurobiologically-informed treatments offers new, hopeful answers to the aftermath of trauma and neglect: the loss of hope or energy, chronic fear of danger, the longing for human connection, and self-destructive and addictive behavior. 

Rather than ‘treating’ the events that resulted in this legacy, neuroscience teaches us how to treat their effects.   When trauma symptoms are “decoded” in this way, they become comprehensible and treatable.   They have a neurobiological logic that reassures   survivors of trauma that they are not inadequate or going crazy and reassures the therapist that the effects of their traumatic experience can be resolved and even transformed.

 Course Objectives:

·  Define the cognitive, affective and somatic effects of trauma

·  Differentiate ‘ordinary feelings’ from trauma-related implicit memories

·  Describe trauma-related autonomic dysregulation in client-friendly terms

·  Utilize mindfulness-based treatment techniques with traumatized clients

·  Define the principles of neuroplastic treatment

·  Describe four somatic and cognitive interventions that directly address the neurobiological effects of trauma

 About the Presenter

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic and research center founded by Bessel van der Kolk.  Known for her expertise as an author, speaker, and consultant, she is also Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Director of Psychological Services, Khiron Clinics UK, an EMDR International Association Continuing Education Provider, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. She is co-author with Pat Ogden of “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment” and author of the book, “Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors:  Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation.”


9:00-9:30:   Describe the neurobiological effects of traumatic experience

-         Impact of trauma on brain development

-         Threat and the brain

9:30-10:00:  How trauma is remembered

-         Recognizing implicit memories

-         Procedural learning and memory

10:00-10:30:  Discuss applications of neurobiological research to treatment

-         Assumptions of neurobiologically-informed treatment

-         Helping clients increase activity in the prefrontal cortex

-         Fostering the growth of new neural pathways

10:30-10:45:  Break

10:45-11:00:  Define the role of autonomic dysregulation in addictive and self-destructive behavior

-         Understanding the traumatized nervous system

-         Role of autonomic dysregulation in client behavior

-         Goal of trauma-informed treatment: addressing dysregulation       

11:00-12:30:   Assist clients to identify and differentiate trauma-related symptoms

-         Observing triggers and triggering

-         Dis-identifying from implicit memories

-         Reframing the symptoms to reduce shame

12:30-1:30:  Lunch Break     

1:30-2:00:   Discuss the use of mindfulness-based interventions in treating trauma-related symptoms

-         Mindfulness in the context of therapy

-         The effect of mindfulness on the brain

-         How to use mindful language and interventions    

2:00-3:00:   Describe the use of somatic techniques for regulating autonomic arousal

-         Somatic resources

-         Embodying new positive experiences

3:00-3:15:   Break

3:15-4:00:   Specify the principles of neuroplastic change and how to implement them in therapy

-         Inhibition of old patterns of thinking/behaving

-         Intensive repetition of new patterns or skills

-         Role of mindful concentration    

4:00-4:15:   Questions/Discussion

4:15-4:30:   Concluding remarks and discussion

Continuing Education/Professional Development Credit:

6 hours of continuing education are provided by Mind Science Foundation and meet the CE requirements for psychologists, licensed psychological associates, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, social workers, teachers, educators, and school counselors. Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors Provider No 935. Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners Provider No. CS-3834. Texas Education Agency Provider No. 501136.

To register:


Room for All--A One Act Play by Tova Rubin, PhD, Reading/Performance

7:00 to 8:30 PM

Pearl Studio

200 Grayson Street, Suite 115

San Antonio, Texas 78215


SAMANTHA: He wants the relationship to move forward.

THERAPIST: And what do you want?

SAMANTHA: To crawl into a ball in my closet and stay there forever.

Dr. Tova Rubin has created a one-act play that highlights a fascinating approach to understanding therapy.  The therapist in this uniquely-told story tries to help her client make sense of her anxiety and depression. Dr. Rubin delves deep into the therapy process and provides a window into the world outside the therapy room as well.  Our protagonist, Samantha, with the guidance of her therapist, Dr. Blum, struggles to integrate the various parts of herself that were shattered by traumatic events in her childhood. Will she be able to free herself enough to bring love into her life?

More information about the evening event at

To register:  

Event Organizers

 Institute for the Advancement of Mindful Living 


Mind Science Foundation

All proceeds from these event will cover costs and benefit the PeaceCENTER, a 501 (c) (3), nonprofit organization.

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