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Clinical Tools for Authentic Care: Newport Beach

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Event Schedule: 5 (five) CE hours

9:30am -10:00am: Registration

10:00am -10:15am: Welcome & Intro information

10:15am -12:15pm: Healing Psychological Injury: A grief Model of Trauma Recovery by Cindy Westcott, BA, BS, LCSW

12:15pm -1:00pm: Lunch (included)

1:00pm - 3:00pm: The Body as Testament: Complex Trauma and Self-Mutilation by E. Hitchcock Scott, PhD

3:00pm - 3:45pm: Q&A, CE evaluations and wrap up

Description of Presentations:

Healing Psychological Injury: A grief Model of Trauma Recovery

Cindy Westcott, BA, BS, LCSW

What exactly do we mean when we use the term "trauma recovery"? The Grief Model offers a useful conceptualization for assessing an individual's progress towards the state of peace, empowerment, and restoration of self-identity we hope for in the healing of trauma(s).

Grief may be defined as an innate mental, emotional, and biological process which occurs in the human mind and body in response to psychological injury. The subjective experience of the 'stages' of grief, while varying somewhat depending on several factors, parallel biological and neurological processing and are nonetheless useful in predicting and determining an individual's journey from the initial reaction of emotional shock to acceptance, peace, and bodily and sensory integration. This healing process occurs automatically and inevitably in the presence of emotional support and validation as well as other necessary external and internal scaffolding.

Often the mind and body are unable to successfully 'move through' the middle and end stages of the grieving process due to a chronic neurobiological state of shock or 'frozenness.' This ongoing state of chronic shock may also be conceptualized as being locked in an ongoing and circular state of endless grief, or PTSD.

Based on the work of Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Robert Schear, Lorie Dwinell and Jane Middelton Moz, and others, we will explore 1. How traumatic experiences as well as grief and loss are registered as psychological injury and encoded in the brain in a similar fashion; 2. How the 'stages' of grief effectively describe the subjective experience of feeling, emotional, and cognitive states as an individual grieves a variety of usual and unusual life experiences; 3. What internal and external support and anchoring is most helpful or even necessary for successful grieving to occur; 4. What occurs when such support (validation, emotional support, etc.) is unavailable and how to recognize the 'abnormal' or ongoing cycle of circular grief; 5. How trauma in particular is encoded, digested, 'grieved', and ultimately healed in the mind and body and how we assess that progress, and 6. How clinicians, loved ones, and communities can create optimizing environments which support and facilitate grief work and healing, with specific focus on EMDR as a tool for facilitating the grief stage processing necessary for trauma recovery.

The Body as Testament: Complex Trauma and Self-Mutilation

Ericha Scott, PhD, LPCC917, LAADC, ATR-BC

This lecture is an overview of self-mutilation by those with complex trauma and dissociation. It is based upon the phenomenological research by Dr. Scott, and was the first published study regarding the inner experience of those who self-harm and dissociate. A peer review journal article regarding this study was published by UCLA in 1999. This lecture includes two case studies out of five conducted for the research. The lecture includes a definition, normative forms of self-harm, precursors to the behavior, double binds and paradoxes inherent in the phenomenon, motivations to self-harm as stated by the research participants, somatic experiences of trauma as triggers to relapse, a guide regarding how to interview, and address the complex and often compulsive aspects of this disorder. The handouts include a copy of the article published in the Journal of Arts in Psychotherapy, a first-step guide for those who self-mutilate, an article about counter-transference and self-mutilation published by the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, a list of paradoxes and double binds, as well as an adaption of the BASK model to be used for intake and assessment.


Cindy Westcott, BA, BS, LCSW, serves as the Clinical Director of Milestones and has over 29 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her experience includes more than 22 years in private practice as founder of The Psychological Trauma and Wellness Center of Memphis. She has also developed and facilitated inpatient specialty programs for suicide prevention and for the treatment of complicated grief and PTSD for 3 different hospitals. She has developed and facilitated IOP programs for adults and partial hospitalization programs for the treatment of traumatic grief and traumatic stress. Cindy created weekend intensive programs for impaired professional in treatment for addiction and underlying disorders and ran these programs monthly for 15 years. She is a level 2 EMDR trained clinician and also utilizes other innovative therapies such as Internal Family Systems, Gestalt and Ego State Experiential therapies, EFT, and others to address the acute and long term effects of childhood and other forms of trauma and abuse. Cindy has spoken locally, regionally, and nationally on a variety of topics including Cultural Diversity, Women and Empowerment, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Eating Disorders and Trauma, and other topics related to grief and trauma recovery. She has experience as a Director of Social Services and wrote and developed inpatient chemical dependency and codependency treatment programs during the 1990’s. She has been a member of 12 step recovery programs since 1995 and enjoys reading, traveling, animal rescue, and writing.

Dr. Ericha Scott has 32 years of professional experience working with complex trauma and co-occurring addictions. Her work with trauma has been published in the general press, as well as, peer review journal articles and a textbook. Her theory on how to use art therapy for trauma and addiction has been republished multiple times and has been translated into Czechoslovakian. She will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017, in Integrative Addiction Therapies, an Andrew Weil library series book. Dr. Scott has worked as a clinical director for several addiction and mental health treatment facilities (supervising up to 35 staff members), she has run a graduate program (local site) in clinical psychology (supervising 12 adjunct faculty members and twenty-five graduate students), and while the trauma unit therapist for Sierra Tucson she was granted the Alumni Recognition Award in 2005. She is an artist, a certified art therapist, a certified spiritual director and she has a private practice in Malibu, California.

Continuing Education:

Continuing education credit for this event is co-sponsored by Onsite Workshops, The Institute for Continuing Education. The program offers 5.00 contact hours with full attendance required. There is no additional fee to receive CE credit. Application forms and other required CE materials will be available on site. If you have questions regarding continuing education, the program, faculty, grievance issues, or for a listing of learning objectives, please contact The Institute: 800-557-1950; e-mail:

Psychology: The Institute for Continuing Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Work/Counseling/MFT: The Institute for Continuing Education is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), though the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. The Institute for Continuing Education maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Provider No. 1007. Licensed social workers should contact their individual state jurisdiction to review current continuing education requirements for license renewal.

California Professionals: The California Board Behavioral Sciences accepts programs sponsored by approved continuing education providers of any one of the following national organizations: American Psychological Association; National Board Certified Counselors; Association Social Work Boards.

Skill Level: This event is appropriate for mental health professionals of all skill levels.

ADA: If you require special accommodations, please contact Hannah Blecha: 503-836-2621 or

Cancellation policy: If a cancellation occurs more than 14 days prior to the start of the training, a refund, less a $25 administrative fee, will be issued. Cancellations 14 days or less prior to the beginning date of the training are non-refundable. If you have to cancel, please contact Hannah Blecha: Hannah Blecha: 503-836-2621 or

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