2020 Workshop Series

“When the Body Speaks”: a case study exploring work with a child who presents with trauma memories, manifesting as paralysis

Presented by Lynne Ryan

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


A case study of a 10-year-old boy will be presented supplemented by photographs and video.

The child, who will be referred to by the pseudonym – ‘James’, experienced complex developmental trauma within his birth family prior to adoption. He had been in therapy with for over 3 years and undergone extensive therapeutic work and processed many of his traumatic experiences.

The workshop will focus on a specific issue: physical paralysis within therapy. Video footage will demonstrate how a sensory /body memory appeared to be triggered, linked to a past near death experience, where James suffered the terror of feeling that he was going to die and the accompanying immobilisation. The therapeutic response to this in the therapy, will also be demonstrated and explored, as will the learning from this case.

Level: All levels

Intended Audience: Child and adult therapists working with trauma and dissociation

Max audience size: Any

Learning outcomes

To gain an understanding of how past traumatic memories may manifest in the body in the present; To gain an insight to how traumatic body memories may be worked with in therapy.


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.