2020 Workshop Series

Facilitating a phased approach to working with traumatised children: the use of creativity; psychoeducation and therapeutic tools

Presented by Lynne Ryan

Senior Therapist at Integrate Families (Centre for Child Trauma and Dissociation)


The three-phased model developed for the treatment of adults (Herman, 1992) is commonly used for the treatment of dissociative children (ISSTD Guidelines, 2003). ESTD guidelines 2017, similarly propose the goals for the treatment of children and adolescents with dissociative symptoms as:

1. To establish safety for the child to the fullest extent possible, to recognize and prevent trauma and reenactments. 2. To provide ways for the child to process traumatic experiences. 3. To establish integration of the dissociative states and enable the child to develop an integrated sense of self and To re-integrate the child back in age appropriate levels of functioning across all domains: cognitive, emotional, social and relational.

Using the phased model with children who have experienced trauma will be demonstrated using the acronym: ‘STAR’ - phases of therapy: 1. Safety & Stabilisation & Symptom Reduction – safety; psycho education; attachment; emotional regulation Skill building; reducing Symptoms; 2. T: Trauma processing: Counselling / talk therapy; EMDR; Creative therapy’s; CBT….. - & Therapeutic Tools And 3.R: Recovery; Relationship development & Re - integration – keeping safe; improving social skills; expanding support systems; positive self-image; strengthening attachments; building positive experiences.

Psychoeducation and creative tools will be explored relevant to each of the therapeutic stages.

Level: Introductory

Intended Audience: Child therapists who are perhaps new to working with trauma or who feel they would benefit from some additional tools relevant to the phases of treatment

Max audience size: Any

Learning outcomes

To understand how to implement a phased approach to working with traumatised children; to understand the 3 phases of trauma treatment and their aims; to gain creative ideas and therapeutic tools relevant to each stage.


Lynne is a Senior Therapist at Integrate Families, the National Centre for Child Trauma & Dissociation.

She has 25 years of experience in settings including: social work, charitable organisations, NHS and voluntary agencies, specialising in working with trauma. She is a member of the British Psychological society, is a registered social worker and counsellor; an EMDR therapist; a member of EMDR UK and Ireland and of ESTD.

She delivers training nationally and internationally and conferences include: EMDR Edinburgh 2014, York 2015; ESTD Norwich and Berne, Switzerland, 2017; and in 2017 at University of Timisoara (Romania), and the British Psychodrama conference.