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Assessment of Complex Trauma in Clinical, Forensic, and Research Settings

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes

***Low sound at the beginning (use headphones or external speakers) and some visual skipping***

Session offered by Division 56.

This symposium will explore issues specific to the assessment of complex trauma with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the areas of psychotherapy, forensic psychology, and research. Empirical research spanning the past three decades has consistently upheld that traumatic experiences during childhood are far too prevalent in American society. Therefore, the likelihood of encountering the adult survivor of childhood victimization within clinical, forensic and research settings is high. Childhood trauma that has occurred repeatedly and cumulatively, particularly within the context of family relationships, has been referred to as complex trauma. Complex trauma has been shown to result in significant difficulties in a broad range of capabilities such as affect regulation, dissociation, identity development, relational capacities, and somatic distress (Courtois & Ford, 2009). Attendees will gain an understanding of the most common assessment challenges and techniques encountered in clinical, forensic and research settings, and will acquire skills for conducting comprehensive assessments of complex trauma and dissociation. Each presenter will identify practical strategies for identifying and responding to the issues that arise in the therapeutic, forensic, and research realms and will discuss strategies that can be adopted to enhance both assessment and overall quality of care. In addition, professional considerations that arise when working with this population will be outlined, such as requisite training for work in this area of trauma, common ethical dilemmas, definitional issues, and vicarious traumatization. The format includes the vantage points of practicing clinicians, forensic psychologists, and researchers and will incorporate time for questions and discussion.

Learning Objective 1
Outline key general principles and specific techniques for the assessment of the most common sequelae of complex trauma in clinical, forensic, and research settings.

Learning Objective 2
Identify key professional considerations that arise in the assessment of complex trauma in clinical, forensic, and research settings.

Presenters: Lisa M. Rocchio, PhD; Dawn M. Hughes, PhD; Richard Thompson, PhD


Supplementary Materials

  • Session 3218 - Rocchio
  • Session 3218- Hughes
  • Session 3218 - Thompson