12th Zurich Trauma Days on
Trauma, Addiction and Toxic Culture

Peter A. Levine, Lisa Najavits und Gabor Maté


Date: 24 Jun 2022
25 Jun 2022
26 Jun 2022
Time: each 10:00–17:30

Teacher: Dr. Peter A. Levine (USA)
Dr. Gabor Maté (CAN)
Dr. Lisa Najavits (USA)
Language: English translated into German
Costs: CHF 870
Course location: Zürich

Peter A. Levine

Those people working in the field of addiction are coming to realize the critical role played by emotional pain and trauma. For deep healing to occur we need to find ways to address the individual’s underlying pain and trauma which are driving addictions. This must be done in a gentle way so as not to induce reliving, re-enactment, and ultimately leading to impulsivity and relapse.

Peter A. Levine has been for many years a clinical fellow at the Meadows, the unique treatment center for addictions of all sorts in Arizona. His ideas of trauma being the roots of addiction have been implemented in the treatment of several forms of addiction like those around alcohol, hard drug, love, sex, work, digital or porn. SOMATIC EXPERIENCING (SE) is used at the Meadows as one of the leading treatments, together with Neurofeedback, EMDR, Psychodrama, EFT, Equine Therapy or Internal Family Systems.

The founder of SE will present the theoretical background of Trauma and Addiction and then show the application of his approach with live demos followed by a distinguished reflection of the pragmatic adaptions of his theory.

First morning with Lisa Najavits

SEEKING SAFETY: What it is and new developments

Seeking Safety is an evidence-based counseling model designed for trauma and/or addiction. The focus is to help clients learn new coping skills to attain greater safety in their lives. Seeking Safety is a present-focused model that has been widely implemented with numerous populations, including men, women, homeless, criminal justice, transition age youth, and seriously mentally ill. This presentation will describe the model briefly, and offer a summary of new findings and clinical expansions. Newer developments include peer-led Seeking Safety; use of the model with adolescents; for gambling disorder; and various studies including peer-led Seeking Safety, implementation with military veterans; and in combination with sertaline medication. Additional initiatives include mobile apps related to Seeking Safety and various translations. We will discuss how such developments arose in relation to the broader field of trauma/addiction and trauma-informed care.

Second afternoon with Lisa Najavits:

a new model for trauma, addiction or both

This presentation will describe Finding Your Best Self, a new recovery model for trauma and/or addiction. It can be used as self-help, by family members, peers, as well as by counselors in group or individual format. It offers 36 short chapters, each addressing a specific facet of trauma and/or addiction. Examples include: How do people change?; The world is your school; Listen to your behavior; Wish versus reality; Possible selves; The language of trauma and addiction; Social pain; Why trauma and addiction go together; Forgiving yourself; Body and biology; The culture of silence; How to survive a relapse; The decision to grow; Dark feelings (rage, hatred, revenge, bitterness); Imagination; Create a healing image. Chapters can be done in any order and in as few or many sessions as time allows. It is a flexible model for any client, in any setting. Much like the well-known model Seeking Safety, this one too strives to increase hope through emphasis on ideals; offers exercises, emotionally-evocative language, and quotations to engage patients; and provides concrete strategies to build recovery skills.

Dr. Peter A. Levine

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. (USA) is the originator and developer of Somatic Experiencing® and the President of the Foundation for Human Enrichment. He holds doctorate degrees in both Medical Biophysics and Psychology. During his forty plus year study of stress and trauma, Dr. Levine has contributed to a variety of scientific, medical, and popular publications. His best selling book, Waking the …

Dr. Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté is a medical doctor recently retired from active practice. He was a family physician for two decades and for seven years he served as Medical Coordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital. For twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard core addiction, mental illness, HIV and related conditions. For two years he was the …

Dr. Lisa Najavits

Lisa M. Najavits, PhD is director of Treatment Innovations and adjunct professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School. She was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for 25 years and was a research psychologist at Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Boston for 12 years. Her major clinical and research interests are substance abuse, trauma, co-morbidity, behavioral addictions, veterans' …


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