2020 Workshop Series

Reconstructing the behavioural building blocks of traumatized children - practical strategies to reduce misinterpreting the child’s attempts to survive

Presented by Claire Harrison-Breed

Consultant Psychotherapist UKCP, BACP, HCPC reg


Too often children and young people that have experienced trauma are labelled as naughty, oppositional or defiant. The very behaviours or adaptations that the child has needed to enable them to survive, are then seen as sources of ‘dysfunction’.

This workshop will challenge the assumptions that are made relating to the behaviours that traumatised children may present with, and focus on the use of creative methods to understand what meanings lay beneath the behaviours. The workshop will consider strategies to help parents/carers, schools and other key people in the child’s life to see the behavioural, physical and emotional adaptations that the child has made, through the eyes of the child.

Level: Introductory & intermediate

Intended Audience: Professionals within the field of working with traumatised children and/or those supporting the families of traumatised children.

Max audience size: 20

Learning outcomes

1) Further develop an understanding of the behaviours that children who have experienced trauma and dissociation may display.
2) Understand how the child presents in the context of survival strategies, through the eyes of the child.
3) Explore creative strategies for psychoeducation of key people in the child or young persons life.


As a Child and Adult Psychotherapist, Claire specialises in working with trauma and dissociation with children, young people and adults and is director of Board Horizons Psychotherapeutic Services, a midlands-based therapy centre specialising in working with Developmental trauma and Dissociation.

Alongside her therapeutic practice Claire is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling at UoN. Claire has almost 30 years’ experience working therapeutically in a range of settings, such as a registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, Counsellor, CBT therapist, Play Therapist and Social Worker. ​

Claire is secretary of the Europe Society for Trauma and Dissociation, along with being a board member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapies for Children, Young People and Families.