Growth After Trauma In Our Personal And Professional Lives

Almost everyone experiences at least one traumatic event over the course of a lifetime. Such traumas vary in frequency, intensity and nature and can be related to people and relationships, abuse, serious accidents, assaults, suicide, war and natural disasters. As mental health professionals, we can face traumatic events by witnessing their impact in the lives of our clients; we can also be struck directly by professional traumas in our work and personal traumas in ourselves, our friends or our families. Most people experience trauma, but most do not go on to develop clinically significant distress. In fact, many people report experiencing positive changes following trauma which Calhoun and Tedeschi (2012) have labeled “posttraumatic growth.” Similarly, psychotherapists can also experience growth through trauma in their personal and professional lives.

The workshop aims to address the following questions: Are there factors which consistently facilitate or inhibit growth following trauma? Can we nudge our clients, our colleagues and ourselves toward positive change following the inevitable traumatic experiences? What can groups and group psychotherapy add to the process involved? In a two-day workshop, we will explore these questions through review of available clinical literature and application in experiential small groups.

Objectives of the Workshop:

  1. Increase knowledge about group dynamics and process by participating in the small groups and observing behavior of group, leader and self.
  2. Review the variety of experiences which can occur following a traumatic event, including the phenomenon of “natural recovery”.
  3. Distinguish between “resilience” and “posttraumatic growth”.
  4. Identify and apply the three major areas of posttraumatic growth: changed sense of self, change in the experience of one’s relationships, changed philosophy of life.
  5. Extend Calhoun and Tedeschi’s model of “expert companionship” to group work.
  6. Explore definitions of “trauma” in psychotherapy theory and their impact on clinical work.
  7. Explore how different psychotherapy orientations and theoretical frames may require different conditions for professional growth in consultation groups.

Each participant will be assigned to his/her own small group which meets six times during the weekend. Participation in the workshop is an integral part of the learning process. Participants are expected to be present for all group sessions as much as is humanly possible.

Small Group Leaders:

  • Robert Finch, MD
  • Mardy Ireland, PhD
  • Joan Seiffert, LCSW, CGP
  • Moira Artigues, MD, CGP

Continuing Education: 
11.5 CE’s for psychologists, and a certification of attendance for all other participants.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the North Carolina Psychological Association and the Carolinas Group Psychotherapy Society.  The North Carolina Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The North Carolina Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  This workshop is offered for 11.5 hours of continuing education credit for psychologists.

To receive credit, you must be present for the entire workshop, and you must sign the sign-in and sign-out sheets.  No credit will be given to participants who are more than 15 minutes late at the beginning of the morning and afternoon session.  No credit will be given to participants who leave before the close of the workshop.

About the Presenter:

Seamus Bhatt-MackinSeamus Bhatt-Mackin, MD is an individual and group psychotherapist who currently works as a staff psychiatrist at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Duke University Medical Center and as a group therapist in private practice. He has received specialized training in psychotherapy for treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder through the National Center for PTSD. He is a clinical supervisor and frequent lecturer in the Duke Psychiatry Residency Program. A native Vermonter and ice hockey enthusiast, he has made a home in North Carolina for the past nine years raising a family and skating.

Workshop Coordinator:

Esther Robie

Workshop Schedule:

Registration 8:30 – 9:00am (coffee and breakfast)

Program 9:00am – 5:00pm (Lunch 12:00)

Coffee and breakfast 8:30 – 9:30am
Program 9:00am- 5:00pm (Lunch 11:45)

Workshop Fee:

$230 CGPS Member ($200 before September 30th)
$280 Non-member, includes membership ($250 before September 30th)
$65 Full-time student (includes membership)

The early bird discount rate applies to registrations received before September 30th.


Scholarship aid is available based on financial hardship.
To apply for scholarship aid contact Esther Robie:

REGISTER TODAY – Space Is Limited!