At a conference on trauma in Slovenia

The conference “Many faces of trauma – establishing balance” with the participation of psychotherapists who work with children and adults was held in Slovenia at Rogla from 1st to 3rd June 2018. Director of Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, held a two-hour invited lecture about “Trauma and attachment – stolen childhood” and a workshop on “Support to children with traumatic experiences: from recovery to growth.”

konferencija o traumi Rogla, Gordana Buljan FlanderThrough lecture shows the attachment theory from the perspective of trauma in childhood, as well as the implications of attachment theory in psychotherapeutic support and clinical work with children who have experienced traumatic experiences. The emphasis of the lecture was that it is actually a dynamic relationship between the intrapersonal processes of the child and the interpersonal processes of the child and close others starting points in defining treatment strategies in the context of attachment.

Also, the director of the Center, participated in the round table “The therapist in balance” with Anica Mikus Kos, Spec. Psychiatry, Maria C. Salvador, clinical psychologist and integrative psychotherapist and Romana Kress, transpersonal psychotherapist. At the round table was discussed the care of a therapists about themselves while working with traumatized clients. Our director emphasized that in addition to the direction of secondary traumatization, working with clients who have had traumatic experiences can lead to the development of secondary resistance through sincere admiration to children who, despite their difficult and unpleasant experiences still manage to survive, to live and to trust others.

During the congress, psychotherapists exchanged their experiences and agreed that taking care of themselves as a therapist actually reflects an aspect of their own expertise, but also criticism and that is mostly developed through continuous training and supervision.

konferencija o traumi Rogla, Gordana Buljan FlanderWhile preparing for a roundtable, the Director asked Center’s experts to describe their experiences related to working with traumatized children, so below are a couple of sentences:

“Our mission is to provide support to victims and empower them, to learn to deal with unpleasant emotions and accept the experience… and often from the victims we learn what is the strength, perseverance, acceptance, survival and forgiveness.”

Related to that, it comes to my mind a nice thought about who are the losers and who the winners in life. It says that the losers always count on what to do if something is given, and the winners are those who know what they would do if they lose everything. In this connection, traumatized children may have lost confidence for some time, but after going through the trauma they have learned to trust themselves, and it is very empowering when you as a therapist a part of it.

“Such situations, such responses from the child who never had a chance – not genes, not the environment, not the system on its side … such answers from which you see this child in spite of the world has the capacity, the need and desire to believe, to be with someone, such responses, from which you can see that there is still “receptor” for the love – that develop my resistance. “



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