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The Attachment Dilemma: "I hate you – Don't leave me" | "Meh"!

Event Details
Date: 1 May 2020
Venue: Canberra, ACT
CPD hrs: 7.5

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Organiser: Delphi Centre

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Harnessing the fairytale of Snow White as a metaphor, this workshop illuminates a history of complex trauma and the consequent symptoms, behaviours and defences developed to cope with the traumatic loss of her mother at birth, attachment disruption, emotional neglect by her father and abuse and betrayal by her step-mother. The therapeutic alliance is the crucible in which the alchemy of healing from trauma occurs. Paradoxically, forming a therapeutic alliance with a highly traumatised client is complicated by past experiences of betrayal, challenging behaviours, dissociative responses and seemingly insurmountable internal and external conflicts. This sets the stage for activation of Karpman’s triangle and therapeutic impasse. This workshop provides practical strategies for the treatment of complex trauma, applicable to all trauma-related symptoms, behaviours and diagnosis. Particular attention will be placed on core trauma dynamics: ‘the problem is not the problem’; ‘locus of control shift’ and ‘attachment to the perpetrator’. Participants will learn strategies to assist with safety, stabilisation, working within the window of tolerance and processing painful material, knowledge and emotions.

Learning objectives

  1. identify the role and function of trauma-related symptoms and behaviour
  2. identify six possible trauma-related diagnosis for Snow White
  3. apply four strategies to assist with stabilisation and affect regulation skills
  4. work within the window of tolerance with difficult emotions such as shame, rage and grief
  5. identify three core trauma dynamics and how these are re-enacted within the client’s internal and external world and in therapy

Presenter details

Naomi holds a C.Q.S.W. (UK) and Grad. Cert. Human Rights. Naomi trained as a social worker in the UK. Early in her career she worked with children in emergency care, homeless youth, and convicted offenders in government and NGO’s, providing advocacy, psychosocial education, recreational opportunities, skills training, supervision and counselling. She is director of Delphi Training and Consulting. Naomi has developed expertise in psychotherapy for complex trauma and provides clinical consultation for post traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders and related comorbidity, with survivors of sexual abuse, rape, gender based violence, torture and other trauma. She has a wealth of experience working with people across cultures, socioeconomic groups, faiths and sexual orientation. A skilled speaker and trainer, Naomi presents her work in complex trauma, vicarious trauma and stress management nationally and internationally. She provides case consultations and training to organisations such as sexual assault centre’s, government agencies, law firms and the United Nations.

Publications: Ross, C. A. & Halpern, N. (2009) Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity, Manitou Communications Inc.Somer,

E., Soffer-Dudek, N., Ross, C. A., & Halpern, N. (2017) Maladaptive daydreaming: Proposed diagnostic criteria and their assessment with a structured clinical interview. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 4(2), 176-189

Somer, E., Somer, L., Halpern, N. (2019) Representations of maladaptive daydreaming and the self: A qualitative analysis of drawings, The Arts in Psychotherapy, ELSEIVER

Halpern, N. (2019) Part Two 'Survival Responses', in (author) Varney, K., Mum's The Word, Karen Varney and Ocean Reeve Publishing, Australia, pp 106-110

Awards: 2017 - Fellow: International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

Advisory Board Member: Hecht Trauma Institute, California Southern University

Research: Collaborating Researcher at the International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming Research. Maladaptive Daydreaming Research Laboratory

Invited Journal Reviewer: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Location and date

Canberra Novotel Hotel

1 May 2020


Early Bird: $365.00
Standard: $395.00
Last Chance: $415.00

Groups 3-4
Early Bird: $345.00
Standard: $375.00
Last Chance: $405.00

Groups 5+
Early Bird: $325.00
Standard: $355.00
Last Chance: $385.00




p : 03 9416 3833

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers