Developmental Trauma Disorder and the ‘Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment’ (SMART) Model


In this LiveTalk we speak with Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) project director Elizabeth Warner about this model and, specifically, how it is applied to the treatment of children and adolescents with Developmental Trauma Disorder.


Featuring: Elizabeth Warner, PsyD
originally recorded March 30, 2015

LiveTalks are hour long audio-only podcasts. The LiveTalk is part of the Sensory Integration and Mental Health Concerns bundle.

Description: Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) is a diagnostic criteria authored by Bessel van der Kolk and colleagues that was proposed for the DSM-5. DTD is the disruption of normal childhood development as a result of growing up in a context of ongoing danger, maltreatment, unpredictability, and/or neglect. Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) is a model of psychotherapy for traumatized children and adolescents. It draws upon sensory integration based occupational therapy and other body-oriented therapies and is designed to treat regulation problems commonly associated with trauma through active therapy in a room that allows for movement and play. In this LiveTalk we speak with SMART project director Elizabeth Warner about this model and, specifically, how it is applied to the treatment of children and adolescents with DTD.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this LiveTalk listeners will be able to:

  1. Define Developmental Trauma Disorder.
  2. Identify two sensory components of the Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) model.
  3. Name two ways in which integrating sensory integration theory with traditional psychotherapy may be helpful in treating traumatized children and adolescents.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational therapists, OT assistants, physical therapists, PT assistants, speech and language therapists.

Domain: Context and Environment
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.0 contact hours or 0.1 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded LiveTalk in its entirety, and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the speaker: Elizabeth Warner, PsyD is a psychotherapist at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. She has had a psychotherapy practice with adults, adolescents and children in Brookline for the past 25 years. Her specialization is in the area of child and adolescent development, family therapy, and the impact on adults of parenting. Special interests include adoption and adoptive families, the special nature and implications of that attachment, and the development of effective treatments for complex trauma in children and adolescents. She spent 15 years working with severely disordered children including traumatized children and their parents, using innovative methodologies and the use of videotape at the Language & Cognitive Development Center. In addition, she has worked in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings at Boston University Medical Center, schools, mental health clinics and residential treatment, providing therapy, teaching and consultation.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:

Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Developmental Trauma Disorder and the ‘Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment’ (SMART) Model”

The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.