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Creative & Playful Pathways to Treat Acute, Complex & Attachment Trauma: A Certified Child & Adolescent Trauma Professional Training Course

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Dana Wyss, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, RPT™
12 Hours 41 Minutes
Audio and Video
Oct 04, 2023
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Digital Recording
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Many therapists like you have tried strategy after strategy when working with the underlying causes of childhood trauma…

…you support your young clients through flashbacks that come without warning, shame loops, hopelessness, bodily pain and resistance – yet you can’t seem to alleviate the root cause of their trauma.

Working with kids with acute or complex trauma has no linear roadmap, so choosing the right path to treatment based on your client’s needs is crucial for real change.

Watch Dana Wyss PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, who has over 25 years in trauma work in this Certification Course in Trauma and Attachment Treatment for Children and Adolescents. Dana will provide you creative and evidence-informed interventions and a new way to work with kids suffering from acute to complex developmental trauma.

In this certification you’ll learn:

  • To identify trauma’s internal impact and brain functions related to survival instincts
  • Techniques and group discussion to identify and respond to fight, flight, freeze as well as fear, frustration, manipulation, and intimidation
  • To help kids identify safe people and relationships, even when their trust gauge is broken
  • Strategies to help yourself and your young client before, during, and after moments of crisis through sensory-based and expressive activities to maintain healthy orienting systems
  • Pros and Cons of picking the right evidence-based practice for you and your young client
  • Tangible and expressive activities to go deeper into your trauma work with children and adolescents

Best of all, upon completion of this training, you’ll be eligible to become a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP) through Evergreen Certifications.

Professional standards apply. Visit for details.

Purchase today, get the proven tools and techniques needed to end the suffering of your clients and move them from surviving to thriving!


  • No hidden fees – PESI pays for your application fee (a $99 value)*!
  • Simply complete this training and the post-event evaluation included in this training, and your application to be a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional through Evergreen Certifications is complete.*

*Attendees will receive documentation of CATP designation from Evergreen Certifications upon completing consultation.

*Professional standards apply. Visit for professional requirements.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 12.75 hours CPD.



Dana Wyss, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, RPT™'s Profile

Dana Wyss, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, RPT™ Related seminars and products

Star View Adolescent Center

Dana Wyss, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC, RPT™, is a board-certified art therapist, a registered play therapist, a marriage and family therapist, holds a doctorate in expressive therapies, and is the coauthor of The Invisible String Workbook. Her doctorate in expressive therapies has led her to create programs integrating art, music, poetry, dance, and animal assisted therapy in the healing process for clients and self-care of staff. For the last 25 years, Dr. Wyss has worked in psychiatric hospitals, group homes, and nonpublic school settings to manage crisis, conduct training, coach staff, and support children and families. Dr. Wyss is a corporate clinical training specialist and clinical/art therapy supervisor at Stars Behavioral Health Group, a company specializing in the treatment of complex developmental trauma. She also owns a small private practice where she specializes in the use of art and play for all ages. Dr. Wyss is a national trainer and consultant with the Center for Trauma Training and national trainer to raise awareness of commercial sexual exploitation of children. She uses her creativity for her own healing as well as to support others.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dana Wyss has employment relationships with Stars Behavioral Health Group, Center for Trauma Training, and Loyola Marymount University. She receives royalties as a published author. She is an exam writer at ATCB and reviewer for both ATCB and Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education and Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Dana Wyss receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dana Wyss is a member of American Art Therapy Association and Association for Play Therapy.


  1. Create a plan to center yourself before, during, and after trauma related sessions 100% of the time.  
  2. Identify 3 creative ways to assess treatment needs and offer psychoeducation to your clients, parents, and colleagues.  
  3. Understand the 4 attachment styles and name at least 4 ways they are impacted by trauma experiences in childhood and adolescents.  
  4. Identify one way to support safe caregiving systems for trauma-impacted youth. 
  5. Identify at least 2 activities that can be used to support regulation. 
  6. Define acute, chronic, complex, and vicarious trauma and identify at least 3 consequences of early complex trauma exposure. 
  7. Complete a safe space activity and identify 3 ways you could modify it to use with your clients.  
  8. Use trauma informed problem solving to create a gains and loss list to problem solve at least one evidence based/informed practice is right for your practice.  
  9. Utilize bibliotherapy and expressive arts to teach children, adolescents, and families the concepts of attunement, healthy connection, and regulation.  
  10. Chose at least 3 ways to integrate art and games into individual and family therapy to increase the strength of attachment and healthy regulation in children, adolescents, and families. 
  11. Learn how to navigate the dance of building resources, putting on the brakes, and doing deeper trauma work.  
  12. Describe at least one way to support a youth in moving from surviving to thriving and integrating their trauma experience into their sense of self.


Prepare for Trauma Work – Foundational Considerations

  • The importance of engagement for self and clients
    • What you do before, during, and after
  • Psychoeducation-creative ways to educate youth and families
  • Collaborative assessment of client’s needs

Attachment Considerations (Theory)

  • Timeline progression – From Bowlby to today
  • Attachment styles
  • Trauma’s impact on attachment and ability to heal

Regulation and Co-Regulation - Modeling/Teaching/Experiencing

  • Power differential – being in the space together
  • Window of tolerance
  • Arrow of comfort
  • Stations of modulation- Creating a modulation tool kit

History of Trauma Timeline

  • Evolution of the language and understanding (of trauma)

Interactive Teach Back

  • Current definitions of trauma
  • Traumatic events

Symptoms & Outcomes

  • Physiological
  • Relational
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional

Best Practices for Assessment – Consideration for Referral and Diagnosis

  • Evidenced-based assessment tools - can or cannot use
  • Intake considerations – ask right questions
  • ACE and developmental trauma
  • Diagnosing with DSM™

Creating and Assessing Safety – Interactive with Scope of Practice

  • What is safety
  • Create your own safe space activity
  • Building routines in session - families, school, and milieu systems
  • Identify safe people and relationships

Comparing Evidence-Based/ Informed Treatments for High Level Trauma

  • EMDR
  • Neurosequential
  • Brainspotting
  • DBT
  • ARC
  • TF-CBT
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Somatic therapy
  • Play therapy

Expressive Arts and Treatment (Need for non-verbal components within scope of practice)

  • Relaxation
  • Writing and journaling
  • Poetry
  • Visual art
  • Rhythmic movement
  • Use of metaphor

Moving from Surviving to Thriving

  • Activity
  • Case conceptualization - integration of trauma narrative – story, timeline, poem
  • Closure group activity


  • Sample questionnaires
  • Activities

Risks and Limitations

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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