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Finding Solid Ground Program

Understanding and Treating the Impact of Developmental Trauma: Pragmatic Interventions Based in Neuroscience, with Bethany Brand and Ruth Lanius

500€  375€

See discount coupons at the end of this page.
You can pay in 3 instalments.



November 23 & 24, 2024.


In-person training


Barcelona, Spain


Training in English, with the option of simultaneous translation into Spanish

Training Description

Ruth Lanius and Bethany Brand, internationally renowned trauma experts, will present recent research findings on how to provide integrative treatment for severely traumatised and dissociative clients.

The presentations are through clinical case examples, fascinating studies and engaging role-plays.

Methods for stabilising even high-risk suicidal and dissociative clients will be taught.

The programme, called Finding Solid Ground, guides clinicians to help traumatised people gradually develop the willingness and ability to engage with their emotions, bodies and fragmented states of self so that they can safely connect with others.

It will explain how findings from neuroscience and treatment studies can be applied to individual clients to help them become fully present, emotionally alive and feel a sense of belonging in the world.

Few clinicians have received training in treatment approaches for traumatised clients experiencing complex dissociative symptoms, even though these clients have extremely high rates of self-harm, hospitalisations and suicide attempts.

Bethany Brand, Hygge Schielke and Ruth Lanius developed the Finding Solid Ground Programme, a therapeutic intervention that has shown promise in stabilising clients with complex dissociative symptoms.

Promising findings from international treatment studies, such as Treatment of Patients with Dissociative Disorders (TOP DD), which evaluated the Finding Solid Ground programme, will be discussed.

These prospective studies show that trauma-informed phasic treatment is associated with a decrease in PTSD and dissociation symptoms, self-harm, suicide attempts, hospitalisations and treatment costs.

The speakers will discuss the findings of the recent TOP DD Network study, which is a web-based programme for patients with dissociative disorders (DD) and their therapists, and is currently being evaluated in a randomised controlled trial.


Day one:

Fundamentals of treatment of complex dissociative patients: Treatment approaches based on research and neurobiology.

  1. We will provide an overview of complex trauma research and the impact of trauma on the brain. We will review expert recommendations for interventions that are crucial in the early treatment of present-centred trauma.
  2. We will describe how and why we developed the TOP DD studies, as well as the Finding Solid Ground programme. The Finding Solid Ground programme is a consumer, therapist and research-based programme for trauma survivors who are overwhelmed by dissociation, PTSD and unsafe impulses and behaviours. Interventions and programming are guided by an understanding of the neurobiological impact of trauma. We will discuss findings on the most common triggers for insecure behaviour and how the Finding Solid Ground programme addresses these triggers.
  3. The development of the Finding Solid Ground programme has been based on over a decade of research and input from clinicians and people living with dissociative reactions. We will review the TOP DD studies and their findings, and then describe the format and structure of the current state-of-the-art TOP DD randomised controlled trial that is underway.
  4. Role-plays – Leaders will engage in role-plays of dissociative individuals who struggle with dissociation, safety and dissociation, but do not want to ‘give up’ self-harm and dissociation.
    Early Interventions in the Finding Solid Ground Programme: How to intervene with highly dissociative clients who slip into the traumatic past.


Early Interventions in the Finding Solid Ground Program: How to Intervene with Highly Dissociative Clients Who Slip Into the Traumatic Past

  1. Grounding – We will present the 3 core modules of grounding. To make progress in sessions and in their daily lives, clients need to be present and not feel too much or too little. Grounding helps with both. We present a very detailed guide on grounding and working with clients who are reluctant to ground themselves.
  2. Separating the past from the present – We present the 3 themes in this module. Even though a person is grounded, they may have the feeling that the past is coming back to haunt them. Clients may not be able to stay grounded and safe if they are frequently inundated by traumatic intrusions and too much or too little emotion. Therefore, grounding is necessary, as well as emotion regulation, as a basis for feeling safe.
  3. Foundations: There are 5 foundations necessary to move towards safety. We will discuss how to help clients manage excessive feelings, including crisis level feelings that create a sense of urgency in clients. We will present an overview of the impact of trauma on the brain and an overview of how the programme helps to heal the impact of trauma on the brain. We will discuss ways to help traumatised clients develop self-compassion, including helping them to recognise and manage trauma-based thinking.
  4. Role play – grounding and safety in role play.

Day two:

Finding firm ground in the present with self-compassion

  1. Getting and Feeling Safer – Part 1: We will discuss how to guide clients in identifying and managing triggers. We will present the Cycle of Unhealthy Behavior and how to use it with clients to improve their understanding of what leads to unhealthy behavior and how to interrupt this cycle. We will discuss helping clients recognize and plan how to manage challenging situations without engaging in high risk or unhealthy behaviors, and without dissociating.
  2. Healthy needs: We will discuss how to help clients understand that everyone has healthy needs. Many types of unsafe behaviors are actually attempts to get needs met. We will explain how to help clients understand their healthy needs and ways to get them met safely.
  3. Continued Work on Identifying and Reducing Trauma-driven Beliefs. Many of these beliefs create roadblocks to making progress in healing and are not fair or accurate. We discuss a method for helping clients identify and work on shifting from trauma- driven to recovery-focused thinking.
  4. Getting and Feeling Safer – Part 2: We will discuss the 3 topics in this module including working to calm the alarm system and the Window of Tolerance. Traumatized clients tend to feel too much or too little, which we explain in this section, along with how to notice when clients are outside their Window and how to widen their Window of Tolerance. Feeling Too Much or Too Little and Your Window of Tolerance
  5. Role plays based on these topics.


Learning to Be in Your Body After Trauma

  1. Improving the relationship to emotions, bodily sensations and aspects of the self: This is a critically important module with six topics related to why feelings are important and yet very difficult for trauma survivors. We present a method for slowly guiding clients to learn to identify, experience and name their emotions and related feelings.
  2. Accepting Feelings and Parts: We address what it does and does not mean to accept dissociative feelings and parts and how to develop healthy relationships with dissociative emotions and parts.
  3. Dealing with Toxic Shame – We discuss how shame is a tremendously important emotion in traumatized individuals and how to gradually work on healing toxic shame.
  4. Learning to allow good feelings and positive experiences: We explain why it is often difficult for trauma survivors to allow themselves to feel good and methods for developing the capacity to tolerate, and gradually enjoy, feeling good.
    Role plays based on these themes.


In-person training

2days of in-person training in Barcelona, Spain

Training in English

Training in English, with the option of simultaneous translation into Spanish

Certificate of completion

Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a certificate of completion

Date and time of live sessions

 (Central European Time)  

 Nov. 23rd Nov. 24th 
Registration  9:00 -9:309:00 -9:30 
Session 1  9:30 -11:009:30 -11:00 
Break11:00 -11:3011:00 -11:30 
Session 2
11:30 – 13:0011:30 – 13:00 
Lunch break13:00 – 14:0013:00 – 14:00 
Session 314:00 – 15:3014:00 – 15:30 
Break15:30 – 16:0015:30 – 16:00 
Session 416:00 – 17:3016:00 – 17:30 
Closing17:30 – 17:4517:30 – 17:45 

We are waiting for you in Sitges!


Ruth Lanius

Leading figure in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research.

Bethany Brand

Author, professor at Towson University, expert on trauma and dissociation

Cancellation policy:

You have the right to cancel your participation in our events, with the following conditions:

  • You must write by email requesting your wish to cancel your participation in the seminar to which you have subscribed: attention: [email protected]
  • You are entitled to a refund of your money, less €50 administrative costs, if you cancel at least 15 days before the event date.
  • Once the event has started you will not have the right to a refund.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the online seminar, contact us by email at: [email protected] and explain your complaint, we will try to respond appropriately.

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  • I agree to be the sole viewer of all video and/or audio recordings presented.
  • I agree not to copy or transfer copies of videos, audios or any other course material in any form, from my computer to any other device.
  • I agree to use the presented videos and/or audios solely for purposes of my training and education as a mental health practitioner.

Discounts available


Available for former students of Four Cycles Institute
The code is:


(25% discount)

Members of professional associations

Available for Members of professional associations (BPS, BACP, UKCP, EABP, ESTD, COPs in Spain).
The code is: 


(25% discount)

Residents in Latin America

Available for residents in Latin America.
The code is:


(30% discount)

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You can pay in 3 instalments.
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