Working with Traumatized Teens: How to Get Unhooked *

Presented by Martha Straus, Ph.D.

On Demand | Available Now

$449.00 $399.00

12 Hours  |  Pre-approval period for CEUs has expired


This On Demand course and will be available immediately after purchase. Participants can watch, pause, and re-watch the sessions at their convenience.

Traumatized adolescents struggle with self-regulation. They are dysregulated across systems–neurologically, cognitively, physically, emotionally, behaviorally, socially, and spiritually. Anxious and vigilant, and unable to trust themselves or caregivers, they may experience even loving relationships as confusing and frightening. But to learn self-soothing, they must first be able to rely upon others, and discover the joy of co-regulation. They benefit from relationships with adults that provide them with the psychological (and physical) sense of stability and containment they cannot supply themselves. To work effectively with these teens it’s crucial for adults to first foster their own capacity for self-awareness and self-regulation. It’s not easy, especially when our young clients’ extreme reactions—ranging from angry arousal to frozen shutting down—can trigger our own sense of helplessness, failure, dissociation, and rejection. In this webinar, you will hear about Developmental-Relational Therapy (DRT), an attachment-based model of trauma treatment. You will learn and practice mindful, empathic strategies that help teens feel more secure, connected, present, and regulated. You’ll discover how to get unhooked from old enactments by exploring:

  • Specific adolescent attachment styles that interact with or trigger our own
  • The React, Reflect, and Respond approach to corrective relational experiences
  • Four M’s—mirroring, mentalizing, mindfulness, and modulation—to increase connection and mood regulation
  • How to use attunement—including strategies of validation, self-disclosure, and the compassionate sharing of adult feelings and opinions-—to bring traumatized teens back into relationships with themselves and with you.

Online Course Format

  • Presented by Martha Straus, Ph.D.
  • 2 hours per session, 6 sessions
  • Each session will consist of 2 hours of teaching content
  • Non-Interactive – registrants will have access to lectures, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, and experiential exercises.

Overview of Workshop

  • Attachment Theory in a Nutshell
  • Dependency is Good—Even in Adolescence
  • Providing the Safe Haven and Secure Base
  • Tough Starts and The Significance of Later Experiences
  • “Earning” Attachment Security and New Internal Working Models

Developmental Trauma and Diagnosis of Complex Trauma

  • Developmental Trauma is Not PTSD
  • ACEs and The Therapeutic Relationship: Relational Trauma/Relational Healing
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology: Regulation in a Two-Person System
  • Special Challenges of the Adolescent Brain

The Therapist’s Attachment Style

  • Therapy as a Specific Attachment Relationship
  • Attachment Theory is Regulation Theory
  • Does the Therapist Need to be Secure?
  • Laughing, and Crying in Therapy

Mindfulness in the Adolescent-Caregiver Relationship

  • Validation of Self and Others
  • Helping Kids “Feel Felt”
  • Mindfulness as a Relational Practice

The “Four M’s”: Mindfulness, Mirroring, Mentalization, and Modulation

  • Practicing Empathic Attunement
  • Practicing “Mindsight”
  • Co-Modulation: Opening the Window of Tolerance Together

General Principles of Attachment Trauma Work

  • Developmental-Relational Therapy (DRT)
  • Paradigm shift: The Right Hemisphere and Emotional Regulation
  • 10 Ideas Underlying Work with Traumatized Teens
  • Getting Hooked to get Unhooked: The React-Reflect-Respond Model

Dissociation and Identity Fragmentation in Adolescence

  • Dissociative Self-Harm
  • Interventions for Up-Regulation

Bringing the Energy Down

  • Hyperactivating Strategies and Therapist Containment
  • Interventions for Down-Regulation
  • Wrap-Up
  1. To explore pathways for healing the effects of attachment trauma
  2. To understand the developmental importance of co-regulation across intrapersonal and interpersonal systems
  3. To describe adult behaviour that increases calm, intentional, empathic interaction
  4. To discuss specific intervention strategies for both highly activated and deactivated dysregulated states.

Education and Clinical Professionals: All education and mental health or healthcare professionals who work with children or youth including, but not limited to K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors, Learning Assistance/Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers • All other professionals who support behavioural challenges and complex learning needs including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers and Community Police Officers.

Martha B. Straus, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire, and adjunct instructor in psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. She maintains a private practice in Brattleboro, Vermont, and consults in the U.S. and Canada to schools, hospitals, community mental health centers, and social service agencies on child, adolescent, and family development, attachment, trauma, and therapy. Straus graduated with honors from Brown University and received her doctorate in clinical and community psychology from the University of Maryland. She completed her internship at the Yale Child Study Center where she was a Ziegler Fellow in Child Development and Social Policy. Straus’ postdoctoral years were spent in the department of psychiatry at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

She’s the author of numerous articles and four books including most recently, Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope, and the highly acclaimed No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$399.00N/A
Full-Time Student$309.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

The pre-approval period for accreditation of this course has expired. Participants seeking accreditation must contact their associations directly. Please check with your association prior to registration if you require continuing education credits/units (CEU’s). We do not guarantee approval and fees may apply. As this course is no longer pre-approved for CEU’s it is being offered at a discounted rate.