Skip to main content

Understanding Complex/Developmental Trauma


Understanding Complex/Developmental Trauma

Presented by: Dr. Richard S. Zayed, C. Psych

Childhood trauma has been described as the most serious health care crisis facing the Western world. This workshop aims to provide an overview of the fundamentals of complex developmental trauma. To achieve this goal, and it will provide an overview of the pathways that lead to or prevent a traumatic response, including the role of peritraumatic reactions, relationships and resilience, and attachment. Brain architecture and mirroring, and the essential role of caregiving relationships in child development, are reviewed. Attachment theory is then presented to explain how those essential caregiving relationships form or disrupt the foundations of child development. Trauma symptomatology is reviewed, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This sets the stage for understanding complex developmental trauma (Complex PTSD) and the essential link of its pathway back to early caregiving relationships and attachment. Some basic principles and ingredients of intervention are then provided.

Learning Objectives:

By the conclusion of this workshop, learners will:

1. Be able to describe the pathways of trauma and complex developmental trauma.

2. Be able to identify the role of relationships and attachment in complex developmental trauma.

3. Be able to identify some basic ingredients for intervention and healing.

About Dr. Richard S. Zayed:

Dr. Zayed received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa and completed his clinical psychology residency at London Health Sciences Centre. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in the areas of trauma and dissociation. He holds adjunct professorships at Western in the Department of Psychiatry (Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry) and the Department of Psychology. Dr. Zayed has been practicing in the field for over 20 years in various professional settings, working across the lifespan with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He is currently a psychologist and the director of Zayed Psychological Services. Dr. Zayed has undertaken comprehensive training in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, and of complex developmental trauma and its consequences, including attachment disturbances and disorders. At CPRI, Dr. Zayed worked in the trauma and attachment clinic (ACES) for ten years and was clinic lead for five of those years. He has supervised, mentored, and educated a range of mental health professionals working in the areas of trauma and attachment, and has conducted over 200 presentations and workshops for diverse audiences on those topics. He has also been called upon to provide court-based expert testimony in these areas.

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by Continuing Professional Development, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. You may claim a maximum of 5.0 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

This event is online through ZOOM

Cost $35 per person

Register at Understanding Complex/Developmental Trauma (

This event is part of the 2021-2022 CPRI Education Catalogue of clinical education offerings on a wide variety of topics related to children with special needs.  Join CPRI’s Education Mailing list to receive reminders of upcoming events and visit The Volunteer Organization of CPRI – Seeing Beyond the Challenges ( to view the full list of events.

Who Is Attending

Add Comment

Comments (0)


This website has been funded by a grant from the Government of Ontario.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario.
Link copied to your clipboard.