1st Edition

Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents

By Karen Treisman Copyright 2017
    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents focuses on the multi-layered complex and dynamic area of trauma, loss and disrupted attachment on babies, children, adolescents and the systems around them. The book explores the impact of relational and developmental trauma and toxic stress on children’s bodies, brains, relationships, behaviours, cognitions, and emotions. 

    The book draws on a range of theoretical perspectives through reflective exercises, rich case studies, practical applications and therapeutic strategies. With chapters on wider organisational and systemic dynamics, strength-based practices and the intergenerational transmission of relational trauma, Karen Treisman provides a holistic view of the pervasive nature and impact of working with trauma. 

    Working with Relational and Developmental Trauma in Children and Adolescents will be of interest to professionals working with children and families in the community, in-patient, school, residential, and court-based settings, including clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, teachers, and students.

    1. Relational and developmental trauma: the impact of complex trauma on children’s sense of selves, relationships, and development.  2. The impact of relational and developmental trauma on emotional and behavioural dysregulation.  3. The relationship between trauma, the body, and the brain: a body-based and sensory approach to relational and developmental trauma.  4. Strength, resilience, and hope-based practices.  5. Multi-layered psychological assessments of relational and developmental trauma.  6. Therapeutic re-parenting those who have experienced relational and developmental trauma and loss.  7. Therapeutic models, approaches, and ingredients for children and their families who have experienced relational and developmental trauma.  8. Working within traumatised systems and amongst complex organisational dynamics: Creating a team around the worker and a positive self-care culture.  9. Attachment and trauma within an educational context: making schools more trauma and attachment-sensitive.  10. Reflecting on the experiences and working effectively with unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.  11. Children’s residential homes: a relational and developmental trauma perspective.  12. Gang activity, antisocial, and youth offending behaviour: an attachment and trauma framework.


    Dr Karen Treisman is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the NHS and children’s services for ten years. She has also worked cross-culturally in Africa and Asia, with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, children and young people. She is the director of Safe Hands and Thinking Minds Psychological Services (www.safehandsthinkingminds.co.uk), and is an external consultant and trainer to Barnardos, PAC-UK, Hope for families, and the Fostering Network. Karen has worked in several Looked after Children teams and within the National Implementation Service for evidence-based interventions at the Maudsley Hospital. She currently works as Clinical Lead in a court assessment and intensive parenting intervention team in Islington.

    "Dr Karen Treisman has written a most comprehensive book for preparing clinicians to work with the complexities of treating children and adolescents who have experienced developmental trauma. The challenges of providing such treatment is great on many levels and Dr Treisman addresses them all, from understanding and assessment to providing the most appropriate therapies for these young people and their caregivers. Not stopping there, Dr Treisman also informs us of the need to provide sensitive interventions within systems such as social services, education, and residential care that may themselves become traumatized through the challenges of caring for these very troubled children and youth. An important contribution to the field for both experienced clinicians and those just entering it." - Daniel Hughes, Clinical Psychologist, developer of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, author of Building the Bonds of Attachment, 2nd edition, (2006), and Attachment-Focused Family Therapy Workbook (2011).

    "An exceptional book by an expert clinician! This volume articulately delivers the essentials of trauma intervention with children and adolescents whose case histories are both complex and compelling. It emphasizes the importance of applying neurobiology-informed and brain-wise approaches, providing practitioners with a solid grounding in current best practices and trauma assessment through a highly accessible and readable format. All mental health professionals will find valuable resources, richly illustrated case examples, and pragmatic strategies to immediately apply in their work with youth that will expand their clinical repertoires in work with relational and developmental trauma." - Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT—Founder/Director, Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute

    "This book is a wonderful resource for practitioners who work with children who have experienced relational and developmental trauma. The book includes a comprehensive overview of the impact of trauma on children, as well as assessment and treatment options. Dr Treisman also covers working with traumatized children in settings such as schools and residential care. Practical activities and reflective exercises are woven throughout the text to help the reader gain further insight into the material. This is an invaluable resource and a welcome addition to the trauma literature." - Liana Lowenstein, MSW, author of Cory Helps Kids Cope with Sexual Abuse