Treating Treatment-Resistant Depression: The Impact of Developmental Trauma & Psychological Processes on the Brain
Presenter: Stephen A Silliman, M.S.Ed., LPCC-S
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What does a therapist do when conventional treatment-as-usual does not work in helping an individual out of their depression? Sometimes, even so-called evidence-based therapies do not work. This workshop is designed to help therapists to develop the therapeutic knowledge and skills to treat individuals who have chronic, treatment-resistant depression.
Participants will learn about the multiple structures of the brain (i.e. prefrontal cortex, amgydala, etc.) effected by developmental (childhood) trauma. The role of the sympathetic nervous system and brain from trauma triggers will be examined. Specific types of developmental traumas can develop into early maladaptive schemas that are resistant to change. Specific schemas, frequently correlated with depression, will be identified, defined, and examined. Imagery re-scripting, an evidence-based therapy designed to reduce cognitive avoidance and modify schemas, will also be taught. Case examples, using these techniques will be presented. Research studies have identified maladaptive psychological processes such as rumination, attention bias, and cognitive avoidance as mechanisms that complicate and exacerbate depression. The impact of these processes on the brain, making depression resistant to treatment, will be explored. Techniques such as somatic & cognitive defusion, mindfulness, and acceptance techniques, designed to reduce the psychological processes of rumination, worry, and attentional bias, will be taught. Case examples, using these techniques will be presented.