Heather MacIntosh, Ph.D., C.Psych. (CPO/OPQ)

Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma

Heather MacIntoshRescheduled for

April 28 & 29, 2022

9:00am – 4:00pm EST

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Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma (DCTCT) is a novel approach to couple therapy that was developed out of research examining the impacts of trauma on couple relationships and the challenges that trauma survivors experience within the therapy context. DCTCT considers emotion regulation and mentalizing challenges to be at the core of struggles facing trauma survivors in their relationships and in therapy and these issues are also pivotal in couples where conflict escalates and the risk of intimate partner violence becomes a concern. Traditional approaches to therapy in the context of intimate partner violence require that couples be divided and individually focused treatment such as anger management, be undertaken.

This two-day training will provide participants with comprehensive and practical guidance for integrating DCTCT into their work with traumatized individual survivors or couples. The approach includes an evidence-based framework which emphasizes the importance of containing conflict and helps clients to build emotional regulation and mentalizing skills. The framework is an invaluable asset to all those working with individual survivors or couples dealing with the ravaging impacts of complex trauma, who may not be able to benefit from traditional forms of therapy due to challenges in regulating emotions, mentalizing, and other aspects of the complex trauma response that limit capacity to engage in relationships.

The workshop will guide participants through the four key stages of DCTCT: Psychoeducation, Building Capacity, Dyadic Processing and Consolidation. Each stage has accompanying activities and narratives in which to engage traumatized individuals and couples. The workshop will be helpful for those who help individuals or couples dealing with complex trauma.


  1. Discuss the results of research and practice regarding the impact of childhood trauma on relationships;
  2. Discuss the results of research and practice regarding previous approaches to mitigating the impact of childhood trauma in couples therapy;
  3. Justify the development of the DCTCT model – Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma;
  4. Provide introductory clinical training, including through role plays and video demonstrations, of DCTCT.


About the Speaker

Heather MacIntosh Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University and teaches in the M.Sc. Family Therapy Program. She is a clinical psychologist and principal investigator on research projects funded by SSHRC and the FRQSC. She is interested in the difficulties experienced by survivors of trauma in childhood, the regulation of emotions and mentalization.

She has written numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters in the field of trauma and couple therapy and is currently developing a model called Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma (DCTCT). Dr. MacIntosh is also a private psychologist in Montreal and a regular investigator at CRIPCAS.


CCPA accreditation for MAGentix's workshops
CCPA     12 CEU’s CACCF   12 CEU’s

Participation in this workshop allows OAMHP members to apply 12 hours (CECs) towards their required continuing education hours. OAMHP does not endorse this training or the training provider.



  • April 28 & 29, 2022 | 9:00am- 4:00pm EST
  • Virtual and In-Person Workshop
  • Saint-Paul University, 223 Main St., Ottawa, ON, K1S 1C4
  • Parking at the University for $11.00/day or public parking nearby