Dr Karen Treisman: A Spotlight on Organisational and System Trauma, Stress & Pressure

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A brilliant new day with Karen looking at organisational stress and trauma. This day can be attended as a stand alone session or it can be paired with a second new day with Karen in May 2024 on Intergenerational Trauma.

Content Summary:

Trauma is an umbrella and broad term, and we often focus in services around certain types of traumas; but the crucial area of organisational stress and trauma and how an organisation itself or parts within it can become trauma soaked, trauma organised, trauma saturated and unwell is often less acknowledged or spoken about.

This day is not focused specifically on interventions or direct strategies for addressing organisational trauma; however, there will be a treasure trove of terms, concepts, metaphors, and ideas which are the crucial foundation for these interventions and can be interwoven with them.

This day explores increasing awareness, understanding of, and sensitivity to organisational stress and trauma. Whilst “trauma-informed organisations” are not the key focus, the understanding, acknowledgment and incorporation of this knowledge is a vital part of the wider trauma-informed organisational picture.

This course will be of most interest to those working within organisations and trying to further understand the processes and dynamics, or those working with, collaborating, and/or interfacing with organisations, those working as change agents around organisational culture, those interested in trauma-informed organisations, and those with an interest in organisation culture.


What will be covered:

  • We will explore some of the terms and words using to describe organisational stress and trauma.
  • We will reflect on some of the blocks, barriers, and incongruence around discourses of being “resilient” and of “self-care”.
  • We will explore how trauma and stress can be soaked into an organisation; and liken the organisation to a person responding and/or navigating through trauma.
  • We will look at some common patterns, survival responses, signs, and signals of a stressed struggling organisation/ team; and also, of those experiencing secondary and vicarious trauma, moral injury, and burnout.
  • We will talk about some of the mirroring, parallel, and echoing processes that can occur within the work from an organisational perspective.
  • We will explore the importance of organisational culture.
  • We will share the importance of modelling the model and the organisation not just talking the talk but walking the walk.
  • We will talk briefly about system trauma and iatrogenic harm.
  • We will link some of our knowledge around trauma on an individual level and apply and expand that knowledge to an organisational lens.
  • Amongst many other aspects.


Delivery Style:

There will be a combination of lecture style, small group discussions, analogies, metaphors, props, and interactive exercises. Karen tries to use as much engaging and accessible language as possible to suit a wide and varied audience as the training is open to everyone from a range of roles and contexts- as well as bringing the material to life with stories, examples, and images.

Please note: that whilst this is a new and different training course that Karen is running especially for us, there may be some overlap and interweaving of content from some of Karen’s other training days – in particular the Understanding the Impact of Trauma two day training.


CPD Access Pass

This workshop on its own counts as 7 CPD hours as part of the CPD Access Pass 12 hour allowance. If you are booking both of Karen’s days, they total 14 hours and you may need to arrange payment for any hours not already covered by the passPlease email us to arrange use of your pass on [email protected]. The Access Pass is a key part of The Sunflower Network’s commitment to providing affordable and accessible high quality CPD to our peers, and can be bought by individuals who have joined our free Sunflower Hub multi-disciplinary resource.


About Karen: 

Dr Karen Treisman is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the National Health System and children’s services for several years. Karen has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. She also is the author of 10 books, including the bestselling book, “The therapeutic treasure box”, 4 sets of therapeutic card decks, and 6 therapeutic soft cuddly toys.

Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, systems, and children in or on the edge of care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, and adopted children. Karen also specialises in supporting organisations and systems to move towards becoming, and to sustain adversity, culturally and, trauma-informed, infused, and responsive practice. This work focuses on creating meaningful and multi-layered cultural and paradigm shift across whole systems. This was the focus of Dr Treisman’s Winston Churchill Fellowship Karen was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship Travel Award which involved visited several places in the USA to further study whole system and organisational approaches to trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care and this topic is the focus of Dr Treisman’s newly released book entitled “A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems”.

In addition to holding a doctorate in Clinical psychology, Karen has undergone a range of specialist training courses including in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Trauma-focused CBT, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Systemic Psychotherapy, Video Interaction Guidance, Sensory Approaches, and Theraplay.

Karen has previously worked in both Milton Keynes’s and Kensington and Chelsea’s Looked after Children and fostering services, and within the National Implementation Service for evidence-based interventions for Looked after children, children on the edge of care, and children in custody at the Michael Rutter Centre in the Maudsley Hospital; and as Clinical Lead for a court assessment and intensive intervention team for children on the edge of care and in proceedings in Islington.

Karen is an external consultant, trainer, speaker, and assessor to a variety of local authorities and organisations including Barnardos, PAC-UK, AdoptionPlus, BAAT, Pause, Action Trauma, Grandparents Plus, Three Steps Ireland, MedicaCPD, and the Fostering Network. Karen is also an expert witness and regularly undergoes a variety of assessments for court. Additionally, Karen is also a reviewer for the Journal of Adoption and Fostering.

Karen was also awarded the 2018 Psychology Professional of the Year Award for Excellence in Attachment and Trauma; and Youth Psychology Professional of the Year 2020. Karen was also awarded an MBE (Queens Honour list 2020).

Karen regularly attends and presents at local, national, and international trauma, parenting, and attachment conferences (See the events tab on this website). Karen is also a TEDx speaker on the power of relationships and viewing behaviour as communication.

Karen is the author of “Working with children and adolescents who have experienced relational and developmental trauma” (Routledge, 2016); and the best-selling book- “A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma: Creative techniques and activities”. Karen is also the designer of “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Sentence-completion and Feelings Cards”; and “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Grounding, Regulating, Coping, and Soothing Cards”; and the Parenting Patchwork Treasure Deck. Karen is also the designer of Neon the Ninja toy and workbook- ; Gilly the Giraffe (Self-esteem & confidence), Cleo the Croc (Children who have been hurt and learned to be afraid to let people close, Presley the Pug (Emotional regulation, relaxation, calm, mindfulness, and finding an emotional safe place), and Binnie the Baboon (Anxiety, fear, stress, and worry).



The ticket price includes any handouts the trainer may wish to share with you – which will be sent out AFTER the event has taken place – and a CPD certificate. Please note: The decision to share any content either during or after the event always rests with the trainer as the owner of the intellectual property.


It is a requirement that all participants adhere to ethical conduct in the context of events including:

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  • Sensitivity to complex issues being discussed

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Therapeutic trainings can work with complex and emotive topics that may be deeply personal for some delegates, depending on their lived experience. There will be breaks included on the day and one to one support will be available if needed, but please do reflect on whether you feel able to attend.  Your safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.


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12 October
9:30 am-4:30 pm
£70.00 – £160.00


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One Day ticket October only KT
Dr Karen Treisman: A Spotlight on Organisational and System Trauma, Stress & Pressure
£ 90.00 Excluding VAT