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Fri 21 Oct

Specialist Diploma Developmental Trauma

Various times

On Line Via Zoom

Start Date:

7th February 2023 


20 days 

Course Info: 

This innovative, comprehensive, reflective and evidence informed  Specialist Diploma in Developmental Trauma is appropriate for a wide range of professionals who wish to develop a specialism in Developmental Trauma. The Specialist Diploma will have a focus on neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiological and attachment theory ensuring a clear theoretical framework underpinned by research and the principals of Trauma and Attachment  Informed Care. 

This  programme will have a strong focus on reflective practice and mentalisation, through a  framework of  knowledge attainment, experiential learning, reflection, introspection, internalisation and externalisation and its application to  safe and informed professional practice. 

Participants who complete this Specialist Diploma will gain a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of developmental trauma  along with skills and tools to effectively mentalise and engage in developmental trauma informed support in a safe and ethical manner. 

Awarded 130 CPD Points by The Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy 

Programme Modules 


Tuesday 7th February 2023. 

Course Orientation 

Introduction to Course Philosophy, Principals, and Assessments 

7pm – 9:30pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Liz Quish 


Saturday 11th February 2023, 
Sunday 12th February 2023. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences & Developmental Trauma 

Participants will explore and analyse the The ACE Study, Trauma, Toxic Stress and the impact on children and adolescents’ health and wellbeing. Participants will also reflect on the impact of developmental trauma across developmental domains – Physical, Psychological, Neurological, Cognitive, Emotional and Social. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Dr Alvina Grosu 


Saturday 25th February 2023, 
Sunday 26th February 2023, 
Saturday 11th March 2023, 
Sunday 12th March 2023. 

Developmental Psychology & Theoretical Integration 

Introducing and critiquing the major theories of developmental psychology that underpin our understanding and appreciation of development during childhood and adolescence. Key theories which have been influential in developmental child and adolescent psychology will be described and evaluated. This module will also explore the complex biological, psychological and cultural factors that influence a child’s and adolescents’ developmental process. Participants will learn the theoretical foundation for key constructs, theories and developmental processes in perceptual, social, emotional, cognitive and language development. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Dr Alvina Grosu 


Saturday 1st April 2023, 
Sunday 2nd April 2023. 


Bowlby’s Attachment Theory will be presented and the implications of separation, loss and abuse on a child’s and adolescents attachment formation. Ainsworth’s classifications and the process of the development of secure and insecure attachments will be outlined with an in-depth exploration of the effects of secure and insecure attachment on a child’s and adolescents social, emotional and behavioural development. Parental/Carers attachment styles, intergenerational trauma and the implications of parental attachment styles on parenting a child with developmental trauma will be conceptualised and explored. The focus of this module will centre on enabling participants to explore the ways in which an attachment lens can inform practitioners understanding of carer/child interactions with a view to formulating more effective interventions in order to assist parents/ carers/ staff in creating a containing , safe and nurturing environment. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Dr Alvina Grosu 

Saturday 15th April 2023, 
Sunday 16th April 2023, 
Saturday 29th April 2023. 

Parenting Theories and Approaches 

This module will explore different parenting styles and models of parenting, and the strengths and weaknesses of these models in parenting / caring for children and adolescents with developmental trauma histories. Participants will explore and examine key theories and principles relating to family support, namely; Bowen family systems, and Virginia Satir family therapy. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Dr Alvina Grosu 


Saturday 6th May 2023, 
Sunday 7th May 2023, 
Monday 8th May 2023. 

Trauma and The Body 

Participants will explore the principles and main tenants of Stephen Porge’s Polyvagal Theory along with the contributions of Bessel van der Kolk and Babette Rothschild. Participants develop a deep understanding of the need for an embodied approach to trauma developing participants confident in their ability to educate and support parents/ carers/ staff to tune into and reshape their nervous systems. Participants will explore and analyse how the autonomic nervous system operates as an internal surveillance system and its impact on habitual responses to trauma and will develop a range of tools and strategies to help parents/ carers/staff to engage the regulating capacities of their autonomic nervous system in order to create an environment of holding and safety for children and adolescents becoming more adept in the skills of co-regulation and creating reciprocal relationships. Participants will develop the ability to assess patterns in parent/ carers / staff autonomic states and explore their role as co-regulator through employing the right degree of neural challenge and a range of safe exercises to help shape the autonomic nervous system toward safety and connection. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Patricia Allen-Garrett 


Saturday 27th May 2023, 
Saturday 10th June 2023, 
Sunday 11th June 2023. 

Neurosequential & PACE Model – Regulation Strategies and Tools 

Focusing on developing a framework for assisting parents / carers / staff in providing children/adolescents with the nurturing replacement experiences they require to regulate, through incorporating the core principles of Bruce Perry’s Neuro-sequential model, Dan Hughes PACE Parenting Model and Dan Siegel’s Rupture and Repair process. Participants will explore how positive reinforcement supports children’s and adolescent growth and development, and how negative reinforcement can be harmful to children and adolescents who have been exposed to developmental trauma. Participants will develop tools and strategies to enable them to provide psychoeducation to parents/carers/ staff in order to educate, support and guide parents/carers/staff to support a child/adolescent through the different stages of an escalation/outburst, including proactive strategies for preventing further escalation during the triggering phase, guidance around managing the outburst and key strategies for supporting the child’s /adolescents recovery and reconnection to the parent/carer post-escalation. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Sonya Joyce 


Saturday 1st July 2023, 
Sunday 2nd July 2023. 

Compassion Fatigue   

Parenting and providing care for children who have experienced developmental trauma can be very demanding for parents/carers/staff with research noting many are at risk of experiencing compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma, which can result in blocked care and placement breakdown. This module will explore the dynamics of compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma and how such presentation can manifest and present in parents/carers/ staff. Participants will develop a sound knowledge and appreciation of the main indicators of compassion fatigue, burn out and secondary trauma and contributory risk factors. Participants will explore a range of strategies to support parents/carers with such presentations. 

10am – 4pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Dr. Alvina Grosu 

Thursday 6th July 2023. 

Programme Closing 

Group Process, Exploration of Knowledge and Implications for Professional Practice. 

7pm – 9:30pm. Zoom 
Facilitator: Liz Quish 

How to apply: 

Deadline for Applications:

21st October 2022 


Full Fee: €2,150 

  • €500 due on registration 
  • €1,000 due by Friday 21st October 2022 
  • €650 due by Friday 13th January 2023