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Keynote Sessions

Research Study on Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Trauma Treatment Service for Chinese Caregivers and Their Children in Hong Kong

Medium of language: English


The effect of trauma is often carried across generations. A survey and an intervention study were conducted to explore the mechanism of intergenerational transmission of trauma in Hong Kong and the impact of a sensory-based trauma group intervention based on the framework of attachment, emotion regulation, and competence for caregivers and their children. Results of the survey revealed that the trauma of parents and children, parents’ sense of coherence, and parenting practices contributed to children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Participants of the intervention study highlighted the therapeutic elements of the group-based intervention and suggested directions for future practice.

Dr. Leung Suk Man, Grace, Ph.D.

Dr. Leung is the Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Grace is a social work practitioner and researcher who has interests in developing evidence-based practice to promote children’s mental well-being. She developed group interventions for primary school students and kindergarteners with anxiety using gestalt approach and cognitive-behavioral approach. Currently, she is engaging in a practice research on the application of emotionally-focused group therapy for parents with parenting stress and a study on sibling bereavement.


Developmental Trauma Disorder: New Research Guides Effective Treatment for Youth with Histories of Early Life Trauma

Medium of language: English


This keynote address will introduce the latest research on Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), an emerging diagnosis for youth with histories of complex childhood trauma, including maltreatment, neglect and intergenerational trauma. Our keynote presenter, Dr. Joseph Spinazzola, an internationally recognized expert in the area of complex developmental trauma, will articulate the need for accurate diagnosis to capture the pronounced effects of exposure to early life trauma on neurobiology, attachment, self-regulation, learning, behavior and social functioning. He will present cutting edge research findings that advance the empirical basis of DTD. Finally, Dr. Spinazzola will delineate the core components of effective treatment of complex trauma with children and adolescents, and highlight innovative treatment models that target the distinct symptoms of DTD.

Dr. Joseph Spinazzola,Ph.D.

Dr. Spinazzola is an internationally recognized clinical researcher and trainer in the area of complex traumatic stress. A practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Spinazzola is the Executive Director of the Foundation Trust and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. He is a Principal Investigator of the Developmental Trauma Disorder national field trials and founder of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Spinazzola has authored over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, including expert guidelines for the treatment of Complex PTSD. Dr. Spinazzola trains multidisciplinary professionals worldwide on accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of complex traumatic stress in children and adults, and consults organizations on trauma-informed care and systems transformation. He is a senior trainer for the Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) model and the lead developer of Trauma Drama, an improvisational theater-based youth violence prevention and trauma intervention model. Dr. Spinazzola co-authored the recently published book Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse and Neglect: Component-Based Psychotherapy. Dr. Spinazzola is the creator of – a comprehensive information and resource website for survivors, loved ones, and service providers.


Working with the Body in Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Medium of language: English


Somatic regulation is a ‘bottom-up’ body-based form of regulation necessary for psychological and physical health. Trauma, including neglect, attachment losses, and abuse, disrupts the psychophysiological systems underlying somatic regulation.

Throughout normal development, the child depends on caregivers to help him co-regulate, and moves his body, using his sensory motor systems, to self-regulate. In treatment for trauma, when therapists engage with full participation and embodied attuning in playful ways, traumatized children and adolescents learn new rhythms of engagement that help them regulate their emotions and behavior. Examples of embodied attuning and full participation will be shown through film of therapists in action.

Dr. Elizabeth S. Warner, Psy.D.

Dr. Warner is a founding partner of SMARTmoves, LLC and a licensed psychologist with 40 years of experience working with children and families in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings, schools, mental health clinics and residential treatment, as well as in her private practice. Early in her career, she spent 15 years working with severely disordered children including traumatized children and their parents, using innovative treatment methodologies and videotape for process study at the Language & Cognitive Development Center. In the last 12 years, her focus has been on development of innovative treatment for children from 1.5 years to 22 years whose lives have been impacted by chronic stress and complex trauma, and their caregivers.  As project director at the Trauma Center at JRI, a center of excellence in trauma treatment, training and research, she oversaw development, training and consultation in Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) for outpatient, in-home, therapeutic day school, and residential treatment settings in the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong. As a partner in SMARTmoves LLC, established in 2018, she continues to train and consult to therapists.  She is conducting research through videotape study and treatment outcome studies, in order to test out hypotheses about the impact of sensory motor interventions and somatic regulation. Dr. Warner also maintains a private practice for adult psychotherapy and parent consultation in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Sandplay Therapy in Psychiatric Settings: A Case Sharing

Medium of language: English


Sandplay therapy, besides often used with those who suffered from abuse, neglect or trauma, is also a technique useful for individuals who have difficulties in expressing themselves. In this talk a clinical case of a young girl with brain tumor is presented to share how sandplay therapy assisted in the management of the patient in a generic psychiatric service.

Dr. Mo Yi Man, Flora

Dr. Mo is the Chief of Service of the Department of Psychiatry of Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, Tai Po Hospital and the North District Hospital.   She is also a Consultant Psychiatrist of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric service of the New Territories East Cluster in Hong Kong. She is also an Examiner of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.

Dr. Mo has participated in the research of Autism, Psychosis and Schizophrenia. She is Editorial Board Member of the Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry and Co-investigator of Autism Research Team, Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.



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