2020 Workshop Series

My child cannot stop crying! Exploration of dissociation due to medical trauma

Presented by Renée P Marksand Lynsey Everson

Clinical Lead and Therapist


One of the pitfalls working with children, is the absence of exploration on possible medical trauma, especially when children display attachment and behavioural difficulties, with no known trauma history.

Medical trauma in children are conveniently denied by the medical profession while parents and the majority of mental health professionals regard it as unthinkable that young children and babies could ever remember their medical trauma. Over the past decade it became evident that children have an extraordinary capacity to recall very early traumatic experiences relating to their body. It became increasingly important for child mental health professionals to consider also exploring the area of medical trauma during their assessments. Medical trauma of young children has the capacity to cause similar levels of complex trauma and dissociation than long term abuse and neglect.

The topic of medical trauma in young children will be explored as well as the presence of complex trauma and dissociation combined with attachment problems which developed due to medical trauma. Case studies will be presented on the long term impact of early medical trauma and illustrated with drawings and photos of the children’s therapeutic experiences.

Level: Intermediate

Intended Audience: Child therapists, parents and carers

Max audience size: Any

Learning outcomes

1) Exploration of the impact of medical trauma on the young child
2) Assessment of medical trauma in children
3) Treatment of dissociation due to medical trauma


Renée Potgieter Marks
Renée Potgieter Marks works as a Consultant Therapist and Clinical Lead of Integrate Families in the North of England. She specializes in children and adolescents with attachment difficulties, complex trauma and dissociation and mainly works with children who experienced early abuse, neglect and trauma. Renée also published articles and chapters in various books on her work. She is an international trainer on the topic of complex trauma and dissociation in children and adolescents and is also involved in on-line training on assessment and treating dissociative disorders in children and adolescents with BICTD (www.bictd.org).