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Using the S.E.L.F. Model to Understand Trauma, Attachment and the Importance of Rebuilding Connections

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Event: Using the S.E.L.F. Model to Understand Trauma, Attachment and the Importance of Rebuilding Connections

Date: 4/17/19

Time: 8:30 – 10:30 am

Where: Penn Foundation – Loux Center (Univest Community Room)

Cost: $50.00


About the Course

It is becoming well known that a history of trauma, abuse and prolonged exposure to persistently dangerous circumstances can have a profound impact on the later physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual growth capacities of children and adults alike.  As a result of this exposure to trauma, safe, reliable, and productive attachments with other human beings and even their own higher power can be troubled throughout their life cycle.  This course will identify the primary biopsychosocial and spiritual impacts that such exposure to trauma can have on a person’s ability to create safe and reliable attachments with others and will offer some strategies for social and emotional repair that communities can offer those so injured.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify four significant domains of a person’s life that are significantly altered by exposure to trauma and its impact, and the applicability of the S.E.L.F. Model to marginalized communities with limited access to behavioral health resources
  2. Summarize the reasons why exposure to trauma at different stages of a person’s life cycle can impact the ways that such exposure is then evidenced behaviorally and interpersonally later in life
  3. Assess and critique the strengths and limitations of current diagnostic formulations when applied with individuals with severe attachment disorders
  4. Compare the strengths and limitations of current treatment modalities when used with individuals with severe attachment disorders and complex histories of trauma

Target Audience

Target audience includes social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, recovery coaches, peer specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and substance abuse counselors for this intermediate level of instruction.


  • 2.0 Continuing Education Credits for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
  • 2.0 Continuing Education Credits for Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)


There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.

All attendees must arrive promptly at the beginning of the training and remain the duration of the training to receive continuing education credits.  Please have license number available when signing in.

Persons with disabilities and special needs are encouraged to contact the registrar for further information.


About the Presenter

Joseph F. Foderaro, LCSW, BCD, is a licensed clinical social worker and has Diplomat Status with the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.  One of the co-founders of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care and co-author of the S.E.L.F. Model, he served as Program Director for much of its history.  He continues this specialized work by providing clinical supervision, consultation and trainings for a variety of different treatment programs, residential facilities, and community-based organizations throughout the country.  He holds a position as part-time lecturer for the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Planning and is now doing specialized trauma consultations for the Baltimore City Behavioral Health System (BHSB).  The Maryland State Legislature has requested testimony before its members on the S.E.L.F. Model and Joseph is the 2017 winner of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society’s Benjamin Rush Awardpresented for his significant contributions to the behavioral health and wellness of the Philadelphia community.  Joseph is a graduate of Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and maintains a private practice in clinical social work in and near Philadelphia and Quakertown, PA.



  1. Trauma and Attachment with Bessel van der Kolk (PESI Inc. 2012)
  2. Adolescence, Trauma & Attachment:  Translating Research into Practice.  Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2018, Vol. 57, p. 321
  3. Berry, K., Barrowclough, C., & Wearden A. (2008)  Attachment theory:  A framework for understanding symptoms and interpersonal relationships in psychosis.  Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 1275-1282.  doi:10.1016/j.brat.2008.08.0094
  4. Declercq, F., & Willemsen, J. (2006).  Distress and posttraumatic stress disorders in high risk professionals:  Adult attachment style and the dimensions of anxiety and avoidance.  Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 13, 256-263.  doi:10.1002/cpp.492


For more information, contact Karen M. Kern at 215.453.5171 or kkern@pennfoundation.org


If you do not receive the professional benefits described in our program materials or you have some other professional complaint, please let us know in writing within 7 days of the training and we will honor your request for a refund.




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