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Digital Seminar

Transforming Trauma: The Roots of Addiction

Trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder but is rather an injury caused by paralyzing fright, helplessness, and loss. Addiction is often used as an excuse for destructive behaviour when it is actually a failed attempt to self-regulate and soothe deep emotional wounds. It is a maladaptive way of dealing with difficult emotions such as shame, anger, sadness, and fear. It is also a way of avoiding or dissociating from the person’s traumas and their accumulation of adverse life experiences; for these reasons, effective treatment needs to be holistic in helping these individuals deal with the underlying roots which propel addiction and reduce the likelihood of relapse. By grounding energetic experiences through the containment of bodily sensations, while engaging our innate capacity to self-regulate states of arousal and intense emotions, we can facilitate the transformation of trauma and the integration of healthy experiences.

In this program, we will look at how underlying traumas often trigger and support addiction-based behaviour and how the roots of addiction lie in unresolved trauma, insecure attachment, lack of support, overindulgence, and habitual childhood frustration. 


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Peter Levine, Ph.D.
1 Hour 03 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jul 20, 2020
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Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD
Never expires.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.0 hours CPD.


Peter Levine, Ph.D.'s Profile

Peter Levine, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Dr. Peter Levine holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing® (SE), a naturalistic body-awareness approach to healing trauma, which he teaches all over the globe. Dr. Levine is also the founder of the Foundation for Human Enrichment and was a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the space shuttle.

An accomplished author, Dr. Levine penned Healing Trauma, Sexual Healing and the bestselling book, Waking the Tiger. He also co-authored with Maggie Kline Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids. His latest book, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, is a testament to his lifelong investigation into the connection between evolutionary biology, neuroscience, animal behavior, and more than 40 years of clinical experience in the healing of trauma.

Dr. Levine was honored in 2010 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) and is a Senior Fellow at Meadows Behavioral Healthcare.


Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Peter Levine is the Developer of Somatic Experiencing®. He is the founder and Senior Advisor to the Foundation for Human Enrichment and Senior Advisor to The Meadows Addiction Treatment Center. Dr. Levine receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Peter Levine is a member of the American Psychological Association; Humanistic Psychological Association; and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Differentiate between top-down and bottom-up processing.
  2. Assess how trauma-based perceptions remain fundamentally unchanged until the internal experience of the body changes.  
  3. Appraise the theory that the trauma response is a set of defensive bodily reactions.
  4. Theorize about the biopsychosocial links between addictive behaviors and traumatic stress

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Case Managers
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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