316 – Treating Complex Trauma Clients at the Edge

How Brain Science Can Inform Interventions
Frank Anderson

Therapists often get shaken and lose confidence in their approach when a client’s trauma response edges into seemingly uncontrollable extremes of rage, panic, or suicidal desperation. This workshop provides an essential road map for treating relational trauma cases through a detailed exploration of the neurobiological processes of hyperarousal and parasympathetic withdrawal underlying extreme symptoms. You’ll discover:

  • How to stay clear and calm while working with clients in extreme states
  • The difference between a compassionate and empathic response, and how each can either benefit or escalate you client
  • When it’s necessary to take over, be the “auxiliary brain” for your client, and work top-down, with the mind first, emotions next, and body sensations last
  • When it’s best to slow down, hand over control, and work with the body


Frank Anderson, MD, is a psychiatrist as well as a psychotherapist. He’s the executive director of the Foundation for Self Leadership and a supervisor at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Frank Anderson maintains a private practice. He receives a consulting fee from the Center for Self Leadership. Dr. Anderson receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Frank Anderson is the President of the Foundation for Self Leadership.

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