The newsletter of the
International Trauma Training Institute (ITTI)
Mike Dubi, Ed.D., LMHC, Editor
Jeanne Thomas, MBA, Associate Editor
August/September 2019, Vol. 2, No. 5

As you are all aware, this past month has been a busy trauma month around the world. It seems that almost every day there was a new disaster or traumatic event reported on the 6 o'clock news. These events emphasize the need for more training for mental health professionals and ITTI is attempting to meet the training needs of the professional community. We are committed to providing quality training in the areas of trauma, forensics, addictions, neurobiology, and alternative therapies.
In this issue of TraumaOnline, we are pleased to announce two new courses: Bilateral Hypnosis (BIH), 13 CE Hours and one mini course, Sex Offender Trauma Informed Care (SOTX) , 1 CE Hour.

Bilateral Hypnotherapy: Developers of this course, Andy Brown, Ed.D. and Sarah Stewart-Spencer, Ph.D. (read more in the article below), offer an interesting and innovative method for the application of hypnotherapy, as well as presenting some of the more traditional approaches. This course will be of interest to clinicians with no knowledge of hypnosis as well as more experienced clinicians who are interested in expanding their skills.

Sex Offender Trauma Informed Care: this course will be of interest to mental health professionals who currently work with or intend to work with sex offenders, as well as those who may be interested in understanding TIC as it relates to sex offenders. Presenters Harry Morgan, Ph.D. and Ken Hulata, B.S., have years of experience working with the SO population and do a great job of sharing their knowledge.

During 2019, ITTI introduced a wealth of courses, adding and expanding its offerings. Culturally Competent Trauma Informed Practice with Charles Alexander, Psy.D., ADHD Across the Lifespan with Cheryl Paulhus, Ed.D. and Complemetary & Alternative Therapies for Trauma with Joffrey Suprina, Ph.D. have expanded and enriched these offerings and ITTI is committed to adding interesting and relevant material to our catalog. If you have suggestions for new courses, please contact ITTI.

Our premier core course: Clinical Trauma Professional continues to be our most popular offering, telling us that the need for trauma education for mental health professionals is one of the most crucial tools in a therapist's tool box.

Have you checked out our journal yet? The Practitioner Scholar is loaded with relevant articles to help you in your critical work with traumatized clients.

Best regards,
Mike Dubi, Ed.D., LMHC
President ITTI
Digital Online Training Mentoring Learning Education Browsing Concept
beginning on
September 16, 2019

To see course descriptions and to register, click this link:


Hypnotherapy for Trauma Treatment
Andy Brown, Ed.D. and
Sarah Stewart- Spencer, Ph.D.
Why Hypnotherapy?

Trauma pioneers have advocated for clinicians to use hypnotherapy with trauma clients. During a training with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk several years ago, Bessel randomly polled nearly 500 clinicians about using hypnotherapy. Astonishingly, less than a hand-full of therapist raised their hands! Dr. van der Kolk advocated that hypnosis is an amazing tool for trauma treatment; however, his endorsement did not translate into action. Clinical practitioners are still missing this effective strategy in their clinical toolbox. Hypnotherapy empowers both the client and therapist while providing more efficient and effective treatment.

How does it work within the context of trauma treatment?

Trauma-based therapies have been moving towards brain-based theories for the past two decades. Most trauma treatment, despite the specific method or approach, tends to assemble under three distinct phases: Safety and Stabilization, Resolution (also called processing, desensitization or remembrance and mourning) and Reconnection (also called integration or recovery). These phases are not linear as most therapeutic approaches would function. Instead, phases are a fluid process dependent on the client’s ability to remain stabilized or reach a successful level of internal safety. Some clients are often too fragile to move into the second level of treatment (i.e., resolution) due to the nature of reprocessing or exposure. Recalling or reprocessing traumatic experiences is emotionally overwhelming and can be damaging to the client. Therapeutic progress is stalled when safety and stabilization cannot be obtained; however, out of this turmoil was borne an extraordinary solution for therapists to support clients. Hypnotherapy bridges the gap for fragile clients to undergo trauma treatment without the vehement emotional impact that tends to align with most power and exposure therapies during the second phase of treatment.

What’s old is new again

Hypnosis is one of the oldest treatments for traumatic stress. The application of hypnosis for the treatment of traumatic symptoms can be seen in rudimentary protocols in the 1600s. Franz Mesmer (where we derived the term “mesmerized”) was the first physician to use bilateral, cross-hemispheric stimulation in hypnotherapy in the late 1700s (Hartmann, 2006). Hypnotherapy induces a relaxed physical state while the client embraces suggestions for how to re-encounter their traumatic material (O’Toole, Solomon, & Bergdahl, 2016). For clients who struggle to reach physical stabilization over their traumatic symptoms, hypnotherapy provides the needed safety and relaxation. Although hypnosis has proven effective for centuries, it sank in popularity by professionals due to stage hypnotists and entertainers. Fears and misconceptions about the use of hypnosis arose and therapists overlooked an approach that could provide their clients with necessary progress in their treatment. Nowadays, hypnotherapy is used for countless treatment concerns and medical issues, such as anxiety, smoking cessation, diabetes management, obstetrics, pain management and oncology (Mendoza & Capafons, 2009). The medical and dental establishments have created an association dedicated to the application of hypnosis for dental and medical procedures, including surgeries. Hypnotherapy is an effective approach in reducing traumatic symptomatology (Rotaru, 2016).
What you will learn with Bi-lateral Hypnotherapy

This course is layered into practical teaching steps through six weeks of modules so that clinicians receive hands-on training with hypnotherapy. Attendees will learn traditional hypnotherapy and how to customize this unique, versatile intervention with clients. The GIDIE method of hypnotherapy is explored in detail so that therapists walk-away with an easy-to-remember intervention process for each phase of hypnosis. As part of the GIDIE method, the educational modules will guide you through common misconceptions of hypnotherapy, and how you might address each of these using facts and research. You will also learn appropriate treatment planning, induction techniques, and interventions to use while clients are induced. 

In addition to learning hypnotherapy, the course in Bi-lateral Hypnotherapy will also include focused application to traumatic stress. The sine qua non of the six-week course is the practical application and guided, supervised help and oversight. This course in Bi-lateral Hypnotherapy includes the opportunity to practice the steps to hypnosis and receive supervisor feedback on ways to improve or sharpen this technique.   


Hartmann, T. (2006).  Walking your blues away: how to heal the mind and create emotional well-being.  Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press.

Mendoza, M. E. & Capafons, A. (2009). Efficacy of clinical hypnosis: A summary of its empirical evidence. Papeles del Psicolgo , 30(2), pp. 98-116.

O'Toole, S. K., Solomon, S. L., & Bergdahl, S. A. (2016). A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotherapeutic Techniques in the Treatment of PTSD Symptoms. Journal of Traumatic Stress , 29 (1), 97-100. doi:10.1002/jts.22077

Rotaru, T. (2016). A meta-analysis for the efficacy of hypnotherapy in alleviating PTSD symptoms.  International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 64 (1), 116.
About the Authors
Andy Brown, Ed.D., LPC has completed his doctorate in Counseling Psychology and is a full time Professor in Chicago. He also works as the Vice President of Education for ITTI. Dr. Brown lectures at various conferences and universities in the United States and around the world. While Dr. Brown’s specialty is traumatology, he also provides counseling to individuals, couples, families, and groups on issues such as depression, anxiety, grief/loss, relationships, and advanced psychiatric and behavioral problems. He has a background in the field of health and wellness where he holds a Master’s degree in Physiology, as well as BS/BA degrees in Exercise Science and Religion. Dr. Brown uses an integration of psychological therapies and holds advanced certifications in Program Management, Behavioral Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Traumatology, Hypnotherapy, as well as level one and level two trainings in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brain Spotting. Andy has held national and world titles in the sport of Powerlifting, and he enjoys live entertainment, travel and time with friends and family.
Sarah Stewart-Spencer, Ph.D., LPC, LMHC, NCC, CCPT, CH, completed her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision and is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (in Virginia), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (in Florida) and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Dr. Stewart-Spencer works as an Associate Dean of a graduate program in Behavioral Sciences and as an instructor in counselor education. She has served in a variety of mental health capacities, including psychiatric inpatient, community mental health in emergency services, outpatient treatment, program development, and program consultation. She has presented at a local, regional, state, national and international level, as well as, been published on topics, such as trauma, therapeutic process and supervision. Sarah also holds advanced training in Traumatology and certification in Hypnotherapy. 

Sarah is the Editor and co-founder of Therapeutic Speakeasy Quarterly and the co-editor of a book series, Metaphors and Therapy: Enhancing Clinical Supervision and Education . Sarah enjoys travel, cooking, time with family and playing the guitar.


All courses are NBCC approved
(ACEP# 6674);
CTSW is approved by NASW

September 16 - October 27, 2019


September 16 - November 10, 2019

For additional certification requirements go to: