Using PBSP to Work with Adults with Unresolved Childhood Trauma: What We Can Learn from the Neuroscience of Memory and Attachment Theory

Petra Winnette, PhD.
Plenary lecture
Saturday September 28, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

PBSP is a psychotherapy used with adults who suffer from adverse childhood experiences. The method is based on the concept of “creating new memories in the past”. We will compare current findings about memory systems in neuroscience and attachment theory which resonate with concepts used in PBSP.

Learning objectives:

  • Review relevant neuroscience research on memory
  • Review how attachment memories influence social development
  • Explore how these findings can inform and enrich PBSP theory and practice

Attachment theory and neuroscience research both emphasize the importance of early experiences for decision making, behavior and relationships later in life. Both positive and adverse childhood experiences are encoded in the brain but have different effects in shaping social functioning throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood.

We will summarize current neuroscience findings on memory systems and the impact of memories of early care giving on development and show how the research relates to PBSP therapy.

Videotapes of clinical work will illustrate how early attachment memories influence behavior in childhood and adulthood and how the principle of creation of new positive memories is used therapy.

Petra Winnette, PhD. (CZ)

Petra Winnette has a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Pedagogy at Charles University in Prague. She studied developmental psychology at University College Cork in Ireland and graduated from Charles University with a Doctorate in Comparative Science. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Affective Developmental Neuroscience Lab in the Psychology Department of Columbia University in New York (2017-2018). Petra was a lecturer and a member of the scientific committee for the ICAPAP conference (International Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Affiliated Professions) in 2018. As a clinician and scientist, she is interested in how early childhood experiences influence brain development and behavior throughout the life span and how neuroscience relates to psychotherapy. Petra is an author of several books in this area. She is a certified PBSP therapist.