Recorded workshop

Treating Chronically Traumatized Children with the Sleeping Dogs method


The Sleeping Dogs method is a trauma treatment for children who were severely and chronically traumatized in early childhood. Children who experience developmental trauma, abuse and neglect can display a wide range of trauma related symptoms and problems. They can have nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, but also be anxious, depressed, aggressive, have problems in school, with relationships, attachment. They can self-harm or even become suicidal. Some children just never talk about it and the trauma seems to be forgotten, or they become very aggressive, avoidant or dissociate when the trauma is mentioned. These children, who are called ‘resistant’ or ‘not motivated’ usually have good reasons not to engage, such as unsafety, instability in daily life, unsafe attachment relationships, lack of emotion regulation skills and negative core beliefs.


Some say it is better to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and not bring up the trauma and wait. However, research shows that unprocessed trauma has a devastating impact on all developmental areas and it is important to wake up those sleeping dogs (trauma memories). EMDR and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are evidence-based treatments for trauma, but when children have developmental trauma, it can be difficult to know where to start as there are so many problems and their families can be chaotic. 

With the Sleeping Dogs Tool you can analyse cases and assess which potential barriers the child might have and what you can do to stabilise, motivate, prepare the child to engage in traumaprocessing. The Sleeping Dogs method describes interventions to support the child and prevent it from dropping out and afterwards address the consequences of developmental trauma.


In this practical two-day-workshop the Sleeping Dogs method is explained and illustrated with case examples and video material. The theory will be explained in straightforward language and participants practise the use of the method with their own cases. The structure of the Sleeping Dogs method can also guide decision-making by child protection services around disclosures, safety, contact arrangements with biological parents, contact between foster parents and biological parents, and reunification.


Who is this workshop for?
Professionals, psychologists, family therapists, social workers, residential staff, foster care workers and caseworkers in child protection, who work with chronically traumatized children and their families.

Learning Objectives

Participants can use the Sleeping Dogs Method with their cases. Participants will be able to identify when the use of the Sleeping Dogs Method is appropriate. 

Participants will be able to make a structured assessment of the potential barriers for their cases with the Sleeping Dogs tool and make a treatmentplan.

Participants will learn interventions that can help children overcome barriers. 

Participants will learn how to stabilize children and adolescents as quickly as possible so they can start processing those traumatic memories.

Participants will learn how to involve family members, even when they have abused or neglected the child and may have little or no contact with them, and when reunification is no option.

Register and pay

Australian with GST

Non-Australian (no GST)

The ICTC uses Tickettailor for registration and payment. Payments can be made with Stripe or Paypal and with Applepay. Payments with IDEAL can be made via Stripe. Multiple participants can be registered at the same time.

About the trainer

Arianne Struik is a Clinical Psychologist, Family Therapist and EMDR Consultant, originally from the Netherlands and director of the Institute for Chronically Traumatized Children (ICTC) from which she provides specialized trauma treatment in remote areas, as well as workshops, training, supervision and research. She developed the award-winning Sleeping Dogs method, described in the book Treating Chronically Traumatized Children and teaches internationally on the treatment of trauma and dissociation in children. She is member of the ESTD Child and Adolescent Committee.



399 AUD ex GST including the ebook Treating Chronically Traumatized Children. The Sleeping Dogs method (Struik, 2019)


What others are saying

Thanks for a fantastic workshop with concrete and usefulknowledge and techniques to work with in this hard field! Despite 17 years in the field, it is amazing to learn soooo much new! Thanks indeed!
Arely Alvarado
Psychologist Denmark
Sleeping dogs training has equipped me with the skills to feel able to wake up and hold the sleeping dogs in young people. Not to avoid them and how to work through the barriers. It was a scary concept before training but now I feel more confident.
Therapeutic practitioner residential care MacKillop Melbourne.
During my training I was taught that if there are no trauma symptoms we should leave the trauma processing for a later time. Arianne's training explained so clearly why this is not true!This is exactly what we need in residential care. This will help our kids so much, and is so practical and kind.
Psychologist in residential care Sydney
A very valuable training, that supports a professional and safe way of working with trauma inchildren and their families.
Maiken Bjerg
Psychotherapist & SE-practitioner Denmark