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The Impact of Emotional Dysregulation And Trauma on the Developing Brain: A Neuroscience Series

4 Sessions, Friday, February 26, March 4, 11 and 18, 2016, 4-5:30 PM

Kimberly Satin-Kubler, MSW
Georgia DeGangi, PhD
Cynthia Margolies, PhD

CE/CME Award:

6 CE/CME credit hours


$180 Regular
$120 Current WSP Member
$60 Current WSP Student

Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave NW #400
Washington, DC

Feeling safe in loving relationships is a difficult challenge for our clients who have experienced trauma and suffer from emotional dysregulation. In this series, we will describe the underpinnings, symptomatology, and treatment of emotional dysregulation from a neuroscience perspective.

Participants will learn basic neuroanatomy and physiology helpful for understanding the effects of trauma and its treatment. We will present therapeutic interventions that combine mind-body techniques and affective therapy methods, which allow clients to enter a healing mind-state or “safe zone of regulation”.

Case presentations will include the various elements of this treatment approach, focusing on clients with a trauma history and resulting severe emotional dysregulation. The specifics of how these psychotherapeutic interventions can produce alterations in a client’s neurology will be explained.

Class participants will have the opportunity to discuss how to apply this information to their clinical case material in the final integrative session.


Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe some essential elements of the neuroscience underlying affect dysregulation and trauma.
  2. Assess the impact of constitutional and emotional factors in adults with dysregulation on attachment capacities.
  3. Describe intervention strategies that integrate constitutional, behavioral, and emotional needs of persons who experience dysregulation and trauma to foster biological safety and healthy attachment patterns.
  4. Apply an enhanced understanding of the theory of emotional regulation to the practice of psychotherapy.

Recommended Readings

Cozolino, L. (2002).  The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Building and Rebuilding the Human Brain. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Solms, M. & Turnbull, O. (2002).  The Brain and the Inner World. New York: Other Press.



Session 1:  February 19  
Overview of neuroscience for psychotherapists with emphasis on attachment and trauma.   Satin-Kubler
Session 2: February 26 
Overview of the development of affect regulation from a neuroscience perspective.  A detailed case is presented focusing on a highly dysregulated adult who experiences extreme emotional distress, constitutional problems, and disrupted attachments with others.  DeGangi
Session 3: March 4 
Overview of how understanding neurobiology and the use of mind/body methods can reduce shame in fragile trauma clients and increase motivation for change. How to help clients discover their unique personal resources for affect regulation.   Margolies
Session 4: March 11 
Discussion of psychotherapeutic approaches in persons suffering from dysregulation and trauma: Application to clinical material of participants.  


Georgia DeGangi, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA is a clinical psychologist and an occupational therapist in private practice at ITS:PALSS (Integrated Therapy Services: Psychological and Learning Support Services) in Kensington, MD. Dr. DeGangi has conducted research for many years to examine the most effective ways of treating children and adults who have problems related to self-regulation, sensory processing, attachment and social behaviors. Among her publications are the Pediatric Disorders of Regulation in Affect and Behavior: A therapist’s guide to assessment and treatment and her most recent book The Dysregulated Adult: Integrated Treatment Approaches. She is on the faculty of the Developmental Psychotherapy Seminar program of the Washington School of Psychiatry.

Kimberly Satin Kubler, MSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Bethesda, MD and co-director of Center for Growing Families, a specialized psychotherapy center. She serves on the faculty and board of the Washington School of Psychiatry and the faculty of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Kimberly has trained extensively in neuroscience and its applications to psychotherapy.

Cynthia Margolies, PhD, is trained in trauma therapy as well as psychoanalysis. She has extensive experience teaching clinicians how to integrate emerging neuroscience and experiential methods into their therapeutic work. She integrates EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Imagery, Ego State Therapy and Mindfulness into her psychotherapy with adults, and in her teaching and supervision groups.

As faculty of the Center for Healing and Imagery, Dr. Margolies teaches workshops including Trauma Treatment: What Works and Why, and Practical Neuroscience for Therapists. She has also taught in the Advanced Psychotherapy Training program at the Washington School of Psychiatry and in the Howard University Psychiatric Residency Program.


Cancellations and Refunds

Refunds will be made for cancellations received at the School office in writing at least 10 days before the seminar date and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.

Who should attend?

The workshop is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, medical students, and other graduate students.


The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The Washington School of Psychiatry has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6388. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Washington School of Psychiatry is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates each session for a maximum of _ of AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.