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 20908 - Functional Medical Illnesses: Using Trauma-Informed Therapy to Achieve Unique Solutions $25.00   
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Presenter: Carol B. Low, PsyD; Julie H. Francis, MS, GCFP & David C. Flemming, MD

In the world of physical medicine, there are a host of illnesses that tend to defy standard and appropriate treatment. This workshop explores the class of such disorders that are related to the intricate associations between mind and body, often referred to in trauma literature as functional disorders of dysregulation. This class of illnesses includes complex regional pain syndrome and other chronic pain disorders lacking a clear medical cause, migraine, irritable bowel, cyclic vomiting, and other dysregulations of the GI system, autoimmune disorders, cardiac arrhythmias, and pseudo-seizures, and exhibit improvement with trauma-informed psychological and physiological intervention. We will present data confirming specific relationships between trauma, dissociation, and physical disease applicable to certain diseases, and define a model for understanding diseases that potentially fit these concepts.

The experiential portions of the workshop will demonstrate how to develop and carry out a treatment plan in which the symptoms inform treatment of the whole person, rather than the disease, integrating psychological, medical, and somatic modalities. Medical interventions must support the possibility of health while reducing the emphasis on eliminating symptomatology; psychological treatment interprets the symptoms as vital information regarding the needs of the system, utilizing hypnosis and hypnotically informed language, boundary setting exercises, and sensorimotor processing; and somatic educational modalities such as the Feldenkrais Method®, a body-centered intervention, help anchor psychological achievements as clients improve body awareness and more fully integrate their physical and psychoemotional selves. Case studies and demonstration and rehearsal of specific techniques are provided in the exploration of this complicated topic.

During and at the conclusion of this session, the attendee will be able to:
-> Identify disorders of dysregulation and to recognize such patterns in their clients;
-> Formulate a treatment plan for traumatized individuals with somatic symptoms, integrating physical medicine with psychological services and somatic modalities;
-> Explore physical symptoms with trauma clients as information to guide treatment; and
-> Develop skills to carry out a treatment plan informed by the client’s symptoms with the goal of seeing such patients from a new paradigm.


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