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Counsellor Cafe – Introduction to the Neurobiology of Trauma: Adding “The Brain” to Your Plans to “Take Over the World” Members Only
June 19, 2019 Harewood Quality Foods, 867 Bruce Avenue, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4A1 6:30 PM – 7:30 No Cost. Open to BCACC members only.

Region 1 Counsellor Café- Nanaimo


Introduction to the Neurobiology of Trauma: Adding “The Brain” to Your Plans to “Take Over the World”


Presented by Barbara Smith, M.Ed., M.A., RCC


Misunderstandings about neurobiological functioning permeate society and influence important issues from verdicts in criminal trials for sexual assault to how children and youth may be treated in educational systems.

In this Café, Barbara will discuss some basic neuropsychology in relationship to trauma and its impact.

Whether you’re working with children and parents, or working with individual adults or couples, being able to explain how the brain may be functioning during or after toxic stress, trauma, or complex trauma, and why people may be doing what they’re doing from a neurobiologically informed perspective can bring relief to some clients, and de-stigmatize and reduce blame from others.

Counsellors may also use knowledge of neurobiology to guide their intervention strategies and make their practice more effective.

What you will learn:

  • How the brain grows, and basic neuroanatomy implicated in trauma
  • Major brain “circuits” affected by trauma such as the HPA Axis and the Polyvagal “system”
  • What executive functions are, how they can be impacted by trauma, and the resulting behaviours that can cause clients distress and affect relationships and work

Session Information:

Date:          Wednesday June 19, 2019
Time:          6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Address:    Harewood Quality Foods, 867 Bruce Avenue, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4A1 “Café is being held in the smaller room upstairs”

Cost:        No Cost. Open to BCACC members only.


Pre-registration is required and appreciated. Should you encounter a problem with registering please contact Janine Toombs at  for assistance.


About the Presenter:

Barbara Smith is an RCC and an “all but dissertation” Ph.D. Candidate in Counselling Psychology at UBC; her dissertation investigates the use of play to access core emotions in adults. Barbara has worked and trained at a range of sites including the provincial Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, G. F. Strong conducting mental health assessments with clients with traumatic brain injuries, and most recently with Child and Youth Mental Health and Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services. In private practice, Barbara conducts a range of psychological and psychoeducational assessments from a trauma informed, neurobiological perspective. She also provides therapy for children, youth, and adults who have experienced trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic illness and a range of other presenting concerns. In addition to her university training, Barbara has trained in Existential Analysis, AEDP, and play and expressive therapies. She also provides play and expressive arts therapy for clients. For more information, see