Academy of Human Development

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UEN No/CPE Reg No/ GST Reg No: 199900986N
(Reg. Period: 19 May 2020 to 20 May 2024)

Families and Trauma Work: Integrating Key Ideas from Individual and Systemic Practice

Previously known as "Advanced Approaches to Working with Individuals & Families impacted by Trauma"


Working with families and individuals where there has been trauma, especially intergenerationally, presents complex challenges that require more than what any one framework or approach can provide. This workshop offers a number of theoretical frameworks that can be integrated in a way that is potentially useful in this area. These include systems theory, neurophysiology, attachment theory (adult and child applications) and internal family systems therapy.

The important features of each of these will be presented and then integrated into an approach for trauma informed assessment and intervention. Consideration will be given to how to manage issues such as family violence that can frequently accompany trauma presentations in individuals and families, and also to how to build resilience even when risk issues have not been fully resolved. The workshop will include didactic and practical components to build integration of theory and skill.



  • Articulate important and useful features of a systems approach, trauma related neurophysiology, attachment theory and internal family systems

  • Articulate how to obtain a mandate for trauma informed work with individuals and families

  • Create and maintain engagement with clients while addressing difficult issues

  • Take a history and genogram as part of an overall assessment integrating the above frameworks

  • Utilise principles of a “single session” approach to service delivery

  • Develop appropriate individual and family interventions based on the trauma informed assessment

  • Articulate ideas for managing issues such as family violence in the context of working with trauma

  • Articulate ideas for building resilience in clients in face of persisting risk issues

  • Consider implementation issues associated with an integrative systemic trauma treatment approach



  • Exploration of the worker’s role and context when working with trauma
  • Useful concepts and practices from Systems theory and family therapy
  • Useful ideas from neurophysiology
  • Adult Attachment theory (Bowlby 1969, Ainsworth 1973, Main 1979)
  • Internal Family Systems (Schwartz 1995)Worker self-care
  • Trauma-informed Single Session Therapy


Practitioners working with children and adolescents in the field of health and mental health (such as psychiatry, psychology, psychiatric nursing, special needs, medical doctors), helping professions (such as social work, counseling) and related fields (such childcare/student care setting, physical therapy, art therapy, or other related fields).


Participants are expected to meet minimum 75% class attendance to be awarded with the Certificate of Attendance by The Bouverie Centre.


From The Bouverie Centre

Robyn Elliott is a family therapist and social worker employed at the Bouverie Centre for almost 20 years. As senior lecturer with La Trobe University she manages the Academic Program - administering and supervising the delivery and development of all Bouverie’s university accredited courses. She also lectures and supervises in the Master of Clinical Family Therapy course. Robyn also provides non-accredited training and consultation to government and non-government organisations in the health and welfare sector. She is a clinical member of AAFT, PACFA, AASW (AMHSW), and an accredited consultant with EMDRAA, and a member of the EMDRAA board of management.

Robyn's area of special interest is trauma. She has been learning, teaching and practicing in the area of trauma for the past 23 years. She is particularly interested in EMDR and how this can be integrated with systemic approaches. Her training and consultation to other organisations, for example, Child Protection, Community Health, Adult Mental Health and non-government organisations has focused mainly in this area, although a highlight of her career was a five-day training in family therapy in Mongolia!

Colleen Cousins is a registered psychologist, family therapist (Clinical member of AAFT) and educator. She has been employed at the Bouverie Centre since 2007 and has worked as part of the Academic team co-ordinating the Graduate Certificate/ Year 1 Master's program, lecturing and providing supervision to students undergoing clinical training. She is also a member of a specialist trauma team providing therapy to families impacted by trauma and in this role a contributor to the development of Bouverie’s systemic trauma framework. Colleen has over 20 years clinical and supervision experience in community, hospital and private practice settings including ongoing work in child and adult sexual assault services. She has a keen interest in the application of individually orientated trauma treatment approaches within a systemic framework.


Click here to see course dates, fees, and funding available >

NCSS member and MSF-funded Social Service Agencies are able to apply for PCG funding pre-approved at 45% per pax for Singaporeans/PR.



Ms Alicia Loy

6593 5287

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