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Christiane Sanderson (BSc MSc) - Wednesday 5th September 2018 - 10am – 4pm - Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter, EX1 2DB

Christiane is an experienced counselling psychologist, lecturer and trainer in psychology and counselling, with a particular interest in child protection, interpersonal abuse and trauma. She is Lecturer in Psychology at Roehampton University and London University, Birkbeck College, and consultant and trainer to both statutory and voluntary agencies, as well as a practitioner with 25 years’ experience of working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services are pleased to bring Christiane to Exeter to help therapists and practitioners work effectively with survivors of abuse.

When working with survivors of physical, sexual, domestic or spiritual abuse, practitioners need to ensure that abuse dynamics are not inadvertently replicated in the therapeutic process, whilst always being mindful of the need to minimise re-traumatisation. As therapists, we are aware that the systematic and repeated misuse of power and control that underpins abuse and complex trauma such as the use of threat, terror, silence, secrecy, shame and distortion of reality can dehumanise survivors and render them voiceless and vulnerable.

This training workshop would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, with the aim to identify the ways in which these dynamics manifest within the therapeutic space and how these can be managed. The objective is to facilitate a more collaborative, non-hierarchical and relational approach in which survivors can truly heal, rather than being catapulted back into trauma dynamics. To this effect the importance of ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing to’ will be emphasised alongside practical ways by which re-shaming or re-traumatising of survivors is minimised, so as to offer a genuine human relationship in which survivors have the safe opportunity to recover and heal.

In this training we will consider:

• The dehumanising impact of power and control on survivors of abuse
• The role of silence, secrecy, boundary violations and distortion of reality
• The impact of complex trauma on attachment and relational difficulties, including the trauma bond and how this can manifest in the therapeutic relationship
• How to manage power and control dynamics in the therapeutic relationship
• Attachment and the dual liability – where clients are unable to seek comfort from an attachment figure, who might also be the abuser
• How to work with the fact that survivors of abuse can/may experience relationships as dangerous and terrifying, rather than as sources of comfort
• How we can create a safe, predictable and consistent therapeutic space to reverse the unpredictability and inconsistency associated with trauma
• How we can facilitate a more collaborative, non-hierarchical and relational approach through ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing to’

Christiane is the author of ‘Counselling Skills for Working with Shame’ ‘Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma’ ‘Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse’; ‘Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse’, 3rd edition; ‘Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse’; ‘The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse’ and ‘Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma’. She has also written ‘The Warrior Within’ and ‘The Spirit Within’ and ‘Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse’. She also provided the analysis for ‘Survivors’ Voices: Breaking the Silence on living with the impact of child sexual abuse in the family environment’ for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.


The event will be held in the Concourse Seminar Room, Belmont Chapel, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB.
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Car parking:

The training will run from 10am – 4pm, with registration and coffee/tea from 9.30am onwards. A light lunch will be provided, as well as refreshments throughout the day. Dietary needs can be catered for.

A Certificate of attendance will be provided. Specific learning needs can be accommodated. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or want to talk anything through.

The cost of the day, including all refreshments, is £95 per person.

A concessionary rate of £80 per person is available for those from third & voluntary sector organisations.

To attend this training event, please complete the booking form and return it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tuesday 28th August 2018. Your place on the training will be confirmed once payment has been received.

Attendees of previous Devon RCSAS training days have said:

“Very informative and thought-provoking. Potentially the most useful training I have undertaken.”

“Excellent workshop. Well delivered. Refreshing to have someone so knowledgeable and passionate presenting information about such an important topic.”

“The mix of professionals in the room was very valuable in facilitating conversation and understanding the challenges across professions.”

“Better than expected. Definitely something I’ll be using with my clients.”


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