Provides clinicians, counselors, and other helpers with insights on recognizing and dealing with the most difficult crises and turning points that occur in therapy with traumatized children and families. Each webinar features a scene where the youth and caregiver are actors playing fictional characters, but the therapists are real. Viewers will see how therapists handle critical turning points during the therapy session to help families safely heal from the severe emotional and interpersonal problems that occur in the aftermath of complex trauma: Developmental Trauma Disorder. This series is sponsored by the Center for the Treatment of Developmental Trauma Disorders.
Samantha is a 15-year-old African American girl who lives in public housing in an urban area rife with violence and drug use. Samantha is an outstanding student and attends private school on scholarship, where her friends describe her as beautiful, popular, brilliant, and a star athlete. At age 10, Samantha saw her brother murdered when he was walking her home from school. Their mother became hysterical and chronically depressed, and their father changed from a loving dad to drinking and screaming at the family. Samantha was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend’s male friends at a party at which she, usually a non-drinker, became intoxicated and passed out. Samantha has no memory of the assault and was referred to a female therapist, Dr. Sofia Mattei, by a sexual assault counselor who met with her at the hospital. This webinar presents Samantha’s first therapy session with Dr. Mattei.
Adam a 15-year-old, is referred to therapy after several weeks of unexplained sickness. Adam has always excelled in school despite having been sexually abused by his soccer coach in his past. About a year ago, Adam’s grades and sports performance started to slip when an adult female tutor became sexually abusive and threatened him if he reported her. Adam was already seeing a therapist to work on recent difficulties in school and conflicts with his parents. As he attempts to end therapy, he reveals for the first time that he is experiencing current sexual abuse.
A client reveals during her first therapy session that she discovered her adoptive mother hid letters from her biological mother. In her past, she was placed in several foster care homes after incidents of physical and sexual abuse and family violence related to drug use by her mother and male partners. Though she was adopted two years ago, finding these hidden letters has escalated her feelings of distrust and not being accepted as a full member of her adoptive family. 
Focuses on a family that is required to seek therapy after the parents get in a physical altercation while intoxicated. During a family therapy session with their teenage children, a father learns from his wife that she is questioning her gender identity. This discovery challenges the co-therapy team to balance the needs of each family member during the heated confrontation that follows. The team must find a way to keep the family emotionally safe as the father—feeling betrayed and confused—reacts in anger.
Depicts a father who has been physically violent in the past becoming intensely verbally angry, frightening and emotionally alienating his son. The therapist has to find a way to help the father feel supported, so he can engage his son with the love and appreciation which his son needs from him. With this caring and role modeling, the son can heal and move forward in his own life.