This unit explores the way human beings grow in sensitive and responsive relationships but are broken down by trauma - acute, chronic and complex. We begin by exploring the way early relational experiences develop personal organization and stress regulation in the infant and set up patterns of how a person rests, loves, plays and works, sometimes for a lifetime. Students will study research in human development to examine early development and healthy adaptation as the dyadic interaction known as the proto-conversation repeats thousands of times to establish of attachment states of mind and relational schemas. Patterns that foster a sense of self and those traumatic experiences that lead to dissociation and consequent disruption and constriction of the self will be described, including child sexual abuse. Students will reflect on personal and clinical experience to consider the way people adapt to stress and trauma and the ways the therapeutic relationship might mirror early relationships. We will describe the traumatic range of experience in acute and complex trauma and consider the hierarchical nature of consciousness, regulation and protection and the consequent need for a phase-based approach to trauma treatment. Students will apply the concepts to case studies within their area of practice.
2hr seminars/wk and 2x lec/wk. nd mode available only on thursdays.
quizzes (10%); reflective essay based on reflective diary entries (1 x 2000 word essay) (25%); online discussion board contributions (20%); case formulation (3000 wd) (10% formulative; 35% summative)
1) Russell Meares. Metaphor of Play, 2005 2) Russell Meares, Nick Bendit, Joan Haliburn, Anthony Korner, Dawn Mears, David Butt. Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model: A Clinician's Manual. Sydney: Norton, 2012 3) Siegel, D. The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact To Shape Who We Are. 2nd edition. New York: Guilford: 2012