On-Demand Webinars

The Hijacked Self: Toward Feeling Alive Without Threat

In this Webinar: 

Traumatized individuals often feel compelled to repeat the past through traumatic re-enactments or by engaging in reckless behaviors, as these are a few of the ways they are able to “feel alive.” It is well known that individuals with PTSD – particularly when associated with developmental trauma – often report a sense of self that does not exist entirely, illustrated eloquently through statements, such as, “I do not know who I am,” or, “I feel like I have stopped existing.”

Research suggests that these experiences may relate, in part, to the reduced functional connectivity of the default mode network, a brain network critical to the experience of a sense of self, observed during rest among individuals with PTSD. Critically, however, enhanced default mode network connectivity has recently been observed when individuals with PTSD are triggered by reminders of their trauma. This suggests the sense of self may “come alive” under conditions of threat and terror. It is therefore possible that some individuals with PTSD may seek situations involving threat or terror in order to experience a sense of self and a related sense of agency, which may be lacking in the absence of extreme hyperarousal states.

In this webinar, Dr. Ruth Lanius will discuss how we can work clinically to help traumatized individuals “feel alive” without engaging in traumatic re-enactments or reckless behavior.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the sense of self in the aftermath of trauma.
  2. Explain how the brain experiences sense of self when under threat.
  3. Review implications for traumatic reenactments and treatment.


Once payment is received, you will be emailed a full video recording of this webinar along with all presentation materials.

Optional CEs (1) may be purchased through R. Cassidy Seminars. A link to purchase CE Credits will be included in the email containing all your webinar resourcesMore Info Here

CEs Pending


About the Presenter

Ruth A. Lanius M.D., Ph.D. Ruth A. Lanius, M.D., Ph.D. is a Psychiatry Professor and Harris-Woodman Chair at Western University of Canada, where she is the director of the Clinical Research Program for PTSD. Ruth has over 25 years of clinical and research experience with trauma-related disorders. She established the Traumatic Stress Service at London Health Sciences Center, a program that specializes in the treatment of psychological trauma. Ruth has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the Banting Award for Military Health Research. She has published over 150 research articles and book chapters focusing on brain adaptations to psychological trauma and novel adjunct treatments for PTSD. Ruth regularly lectures on the topic of psychological trauma both nationally and internationally. Ruth has co-authored two books: The Effects of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease: The Hidden Epidemic and Healing the Traumatized Self: Consciousness, Neuroscience, Treatment. Ruth is a passionate clinician scientist who endeavours to understand the first-person experience of traumatized individuals throughout treatment and how it relates to brain functioning.

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