Karen Treisman

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Dr. Karen Treisman is a London-based highly specialized clinical psychologist. She has worked in the NHS and children’s services for several years and has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.

Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, 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.

In addition to holding a doctorate in Clinical psychology, Karen has undergone a range of specialist trainings including in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Sensory Attachment Intervention, and Theraplay.

Karen currently works as a Clinical Lead for a court assessment and intensive parenting intervention team for children on the edge of care and in proceedings. Karen is also the director of Safe Hands and Thinking Minds training and consultancy services.

Karen is an external consultant, trainer, and assessor to Barnardos Adoption Service, Grandparents Plus, PAC-UK, Hope for families, and the Fostering Network and a member of the CoramBAAF health group advisory committee, as well as a reviewer for the Journal of adoption and fostering.

Karen regularly presents at local, national, and international trauma, parenting, and attachment conferences. Karen is the author of the Routledge published book Working with relational and developmental trauma in children and adolescents.

The Quote

Relational trauma requires relational repair.
Dr. Karen Treisman

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Intergenerational trauma has been a part of Karen’s life and it is the collection of these experiences which have not only shaped who Karen is, but inspired the work she’s doing now.

A Crucial Early Mistake

Karen shares a time in her training when she first started working with a young pregnant woman. The young woman came into the office, Karen recognized this young woman was pregnant and then said something to the her which ended up being the exact wrong thing to say.

Karen’s Why

I think I have this huge passion for spreading the word of attachment and trauma so that we as a society can become more aware. And if we can create these rich environments of awareness it will have a huge ripple effect on public health.

Karen’s Advice

  • Self-care and self-management is huge. Think about how you’re going to maintain your self-care while you’re doing this work.
  • Try to get as big a tool box as you can.
  • Try to hold on to the fact that the client is the expert of their own experience.

Karen’s Go-To Books

Interview Links

Anthony Giovanniello, MS, Ac; L.Ac.
Racial Trauma with Thema Bryant-Davis

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