The 25th Annual International Trauma Conference Featured the Meadows Staff

The Meadows trauma and addiction treatment center was a co-sponsor and presenter at the recent 25th Annual International Trauma Conference May 28-31, 2014, in Boston, Mass. Leading neuroscientists and treatment developers, including The Meadows’ Senior Fellows, Shelley Uram, MD, and Claudia Black, MSW, Ph.D., presented to nearly 700 attendees during the four-day conference.

From the opening keynote, “Understanding Trauma Through The Lens of the Polyvagal Theory” by Stephen Porges, Ph.D., to integration of trauma treatment model in clinical practice, the conference examined how trauma affects psychological and biological processes, and how the damage caused by overwhelming life experiences can be reversed. “The study of trauma has probably been the single most fertile area in helping to develop a deep understanding of the relationship among the emotional, cognitive, social and biological forces that shape human development,” said Conference Director, Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD.

The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute would like to express its appreciation to The Meadows for their continued support of this conference and their continued work in trauma and addiction treatment,” said Dr. van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost authorities on post-traumatic stress disorder and other related disorders, Senior Fellow at The Meadows, and Founder and Medical Director of the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute.

Dr. Uram and Dr. Black presented a dynamic workshop entitled “Trauma and Addicted Family Systems: A Multidimensional Perspective,” during which Dr. Black explained how adverse childhood experiences and blatant violence contribute to both addiction and co-occurring disorders. She also discussed shame screens, which are created in response to internalized shame-based messages. Dr. Uram translated this information into simple-to-understand neurobiological concepts, explaining how they ultimately impact the family system and most other aspects of life.

Dr. Black is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. She is the author of several seminal books in the addictions field, most notably It Will Never Happen to Me and Straight Talk. Dr. Uram, a Harvard-trained, triple board-certified psychiatrist, is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She speaks nationally and internationally, and is best known for transforming the complexity of the brain and traumatology into interesting and easily understandable explanations.

Dr. Uram and I thoroughly enjoyed offering a full day’s workshop to clinicians from all over the country at this year’s trauma conference,” said Dr. Black. “As I discussed trauma as it exists in the context of families impacted by addiction, Dr. Uram offered the biological overlay to the experiences I spoke about. The audience was extremely enthusiastic about our presentation,” she adds. “I then stayed for the remaining three days of the trauma conference, and as fascinating as it was to listen to predominantly research-based presentations, I must honestly say what I came away with is how The Meadows has done a wonderful job of approaching trauma from what is called the ‘bottom’s up, top down’ perspective. We incorporate trauma therapies that offer regulation to the dysregulated brain stem and limbic system, making it possible for the client to use the widely respected cognitive behavioral methodologies. It was exciting to hear the research that was presented validate our treatment approach.”

The Meadows Addiction Treatment Program provides innovative and comprehensive drug rehab services for alcoholism and substance abuse with multiple levels of care.

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