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"It’s not about changing what happened, it’s about changing how it lives within us."


At the Developmental Trauma Training Institute (DTTI), we envision a world where individuals of all ages receive compassionate, effective treatment and support, enabling them to overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and thrive.

Our mission is to increase awareness of the profound effects of ACEs and empower practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality, accessible treatment. We accomplish this by using the most up-to-date, accurate research to distinguish key differences between Developmental Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Developmental Trauma primarily results in substantial dysregulation or instability in the nervous system, significantly hindering the individual’s quality of relationships, life, and health. Recognizing this, DTTI focuses on teaching and applying techniques that heal the underlying nervous system-based struggles at their core, through a comprehensive approach that combines both physiological and systemic methods.


At DTTI, we are unwavering in our commitment to advancing equity and expanding access to excellent care. We achieve this by offering a range of valuable resources, including workshops, consultations, and educational programs. Our collaborative efforts extend to working closely with community-based organizations, partnering with Native tribes, supporting mental health treatment centers, and empowering mental health professionals.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those impacted by Developmental Trauma. Join us in this essential mission by registering for one of our workshops or signing up for personalized consultation today.

Steve Sawyer sitting in Nature


As a Brainspotting trainer, I am often asked: "Why get trained in Phase 2 if you use Phase 1 techniques to the the job done in a lot of cases?". I often respond that Phase 2 techniques are essential tools for "unsticking", "unfreezing", and achieving the highest level resourcing/stabilizing when all else fails.

Take a look at some other trainings around Developmental Trauma Training

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  • How Does a Person with Trauma Develop Self-Control or Self-Regulation?
    I have often quoted that an anger management course, which I ran for many years, is of very limited benefit if a participant does not develop the capacity to feel or sense anger rising in the body enough to know when to employ new skills. The capacity to sense internally what a person is experiencing is called Interception. Interception is a complex experience of sensing what is going on inside of ourselves through emotional literacy, physiology, and sense of self. Interception is commonly compromised in individuals with traumatic experiences. The nervous system commonly focuses externally (extroception) and becomes hyper-focused on its own self-preservation. Stephen Porges said, “Trauma replaces patterns of connection with patterns of protection.” One form of protection response is to remain vigilant to external surroundings through extroception. For an individual to develop self-regulation, their nervous system must be stabilized enough to become or allow introception to occur. This often requires experiences, exercises, and interventions that open the participant’s capability to reconnect a sense that has been disconnected for self-preservation purposes. To learn more about the six key steps to self-regulation development, see our Equilibrium Trauma Treatment training.
  • How do Addiction and Trauma Correlate With Each Other?
    Watch this video: (Video to add)
  • How Does Brainspotting Help with Developmental Trauma?
    Answer to add
  • What is the difference between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Developmental Trauma (DT), and Complex Trauma (CPTSD)?
    Research has become more clear about differentiating these high-stress adaptations. Yes, ADAPTATIONS. These are mental health diagnoses and are often viewed through a pathologizing lens in today’s mental health world. Adaptation to stressors or highly dangerous situations is a matter of survival for any species, and as Samual Butler stated “Self-preservation is the first law of nature.” When looking at three variations through a stress adaptation lens, it becomes easier to separate each of these diagnoses on a physiological level. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has a more episodic source, often associated with an event or series of events. The symptoms are often highly correlated to specific triggers that are identifiable. These symptoms and source memories are usually accessible by memory and are highly responsive to a memory-focused treatment approach. Complex trauma is often associated with ongoing multiple sources of traumatic experience. There will often be memory-specific oriented triggers, but these triggers become more generalized to the overall day-to-day experience of feeling unsafe regularly with the world around the individual vs specific triggering events like PTSD does. Developmental trauma is a foundational experience where trauma was experienced AND there was a lack of caregiver (parent, guardian, teacher, authority) response. When this is experienced, a key relational variable of trust is ruptured, and betrayal from those relationships is commonly embedded in the development of the nervous AND relational systems through dysregulation. Research has identified six distinct forms of how this dysregulation surfaces and dominates the person’s living experience. For more specifics on this, check out the Digging Roots training program. (When Nowhere is Safe, see the research section of our DTTI site)
  • Can Someone Really Experience Healing from their Childhood Trauma?
    The answer is YES! However, a vast majority of the mental health fields struggle with how to effectively treat it. A precious quote for the healing journey of childhood trauma is “It’s not about changing what happened, it’s about changing how it lives within us.” Research has indicated that when there is a myriad of continuous high-stress exposures in childhood, the key factor of traumatization rests in the relational factor of caregiver responsiveness. (Hidden Wounds Study) LINK A quote from Joseph Spinazolla, one of the most published researchers on childhood trauma was “It’s not particular all about what happened, but against the backdrop of things that did not”. Research has been conclusive that the answer lies in healing the nervous system response of dysregulation in six forms and integrating the relationship with our body, boundaries and emotional literacy. This research indicated that treatment needed to be focused on the Maleficent 8 (When Nowhere is Safe, see the research section of our DTTI site).
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Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.

C.S. Lewis

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