XIV Conference of European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Trauma in Changing Societies:
Social Contexts and Clinical Practice

10-13 June 2015 Vilnius, Lithuania

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Trauma Victims: Theory, Technique, Evidence

10 June | 10:00 – 17:00
Room 407

Workshop description:

Trauma has been a central concept for psychodynamic theory and practice for more than 100 years resulting in strong mutual influences between psychotraumatology and psychodynamic therapy. In this workshop, psychodynamic concepts and techniques will be illustrated avoiding school-specific terminology and evaluated for their evidence base. Prominent examples are the interaction of trauma and the personality of the trauma survivor and his relationship with the therapist. Using information from patient-therapist interaction for individually tailoring interventions and the role of therapists’ emotional reactions will be further topics. Large room will be given for participants to discuss cases of their own clinical work with experienced psychodynamic trauma therapists. Possibilities of integrating psychodynamic approaches into non-psychodynamic trauma therapy will be illustrated.



Prof. Dr. Lutz Wittmann

Dr. Lutz Wittmann completed his MA in psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, in 2001. In 2002 he has been employed at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, in the work group of Prof U. Schnyder. Since that time, he received his PhD on psychopathology after accidental injuries at the University of Bern, and completed psychotherapy training at the Psychoanalytical Seminar Zurich. His main research interests include the areas of dreaming in PTSD as well as psychotherapy research. He has been co-supervising the PTSD outpatient unit of the University Hospital Zurich, where he applied both psychodynamic as well as integrative trauma-focused treatment approaches (e.g., Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD). He has given workshops on psychodynamic trauma therapy at the European Workshop on Traumatic Stress (EWOTS), ESTSS and ISTSS conferences, and the MAS Psychotraumatology at the University of Zurich. In summer 2008 he established the ISTSS Special Interest Group „Psychodynamic research and treatment“. In 2009, he was awarded the Young Minds in Psychotraumatology Award by ESTSS for which he serves as a member of the Board of Directors since 2011. Dr Wittmann has been appointed Professor for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Research at the International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin in April 2013. In summer 2014 he was appointed International Editor of the APA Journal “Psychoanalytic Psychology”.


Dr. Roderick J. Ørner, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor, University of Lincoln, UK

Roderick Ørner is Consultant Clinical Psychologist in private practice and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Lincoln which awarded his Ph. D in 2005. Clinical experience comprises of specialist assessment and therapy clinics for adult patients especially following exposure to traumatic events in the maritime industries (ForceMajeureMaritime.com). He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and trauma related research interests range from British Falklands War Veterans, European War Veterans and the provision of psychological support services for emergency responder groups.  Alone, he hosted the First European Conference on Traumatic Stress in Lincoln in 1988 and for a number of years maintained a leading role within the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies of which he was President between 1997 and 1999. He is senior editor of ‘Reconstructing Early Intervention after Trauma’ published in 2003 by Oxford University Press.


Robert Bering, MD, PhD

Dr. Bering is medical director of the Centre of Psychotraumatology (CoP) of the Alexianer Krefeld GmbH and associate professor at the University of Cologne.  Dr. Bering studied medicine and psychology and graduated in both fields. In 1995 he defended his thesis in molecular neuropathology and in 2000 he completed his clinical education as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. On behalf of the German Ministry of Defense he was promoted as a senior project manager on prevention and treatment of military zone related stress disorders. In 2005 he habilitated on his work on psychotraumatology and became a fellow of the University of Cologne. Together with international partners he participates and coordinated different EU projects like PLOT, EUTOPA, TENTS-TP, EUTOPA-IP and EUNAD.