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
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: 17

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. The developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which conducts trainings in this work throughout the world and in various indigenous cultures, with 26 faculty members and over five thousand students.

Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA on the development of the space shuttle project and was a member of the Institute of World Affairs Task Force of Psychologists for Social Responsibility in developing responses to large-scale disasters and ethno-political warfare. Levine’s international best seller, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, has been translated into 22 languages. His recent interests include the prevention of trauma in children, and he has co-written two books, with Maggie Kline, in this area: Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids.

His most recent book: In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, was recently released to rave reviews. Levine’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored in 2010 when he received the Life Time Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP).

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.

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. Describe 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 behaviours 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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Total Reviews: 101

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