How Experiences shape Brains and Physiology – Epigenetics and neuroplasticity for trauma-informed ACE aware approaches

29th November 2022, 9.30 am – 4.00pm

Exeter Community Centre, EX4 3RG

£80+VAT per person. Contact: to book, or with any enquiries.

Zebra Collective is introducing the Neuroplasticity Narrative –  a 3-day course designed and delivered by Dr Haley Peckham neuroscientist mental health nurse, philosopher and expert by experience.

Trauma-informed and ACE aware approaches attempt to de-pathologise narratives of ourselves and others moving the focus towards the contexts in which we have lived.

The course acknowledges the limitations of the medical model and diagnosis and considers the neuroscience of how experiences shape brains and calibrate physiological systems; the critical importance of relationships in the service of emotional and physiological regulation and de-escalation, how evolutionary biology reveals a path of accountability and compassion for culture-wide change.

This course is suitable for anyone with curiosity about how our experiences shape us and wants to critically examine their role as ‘helpers’ within services tasked to be ‘of service’ to vulnerable populations. How can we think more clearly about trauma and adversity and what changes in services and working practice would really be both helpful and sustainable?

Day One is a stand-alone session – Days 2 & 3 will be run next year with a discount for those attending all 3 days. Come along!

This workshop:

  • is for anyone who is, or is working with people who are, affected by adversity (ACEs) and/or complex trauma that often leads to diagnosis
  • brings the trauma-informed change from ‘What’s wrong with you?’ to ‘What happened to you?’ to life, revealing how mechanisms of neuroplasticity including epigenetics, neurogenesis and synaptic and white matter plasticity embed our experiences into our brains
  • offers professionals a space to reflect on the challenges as well as the benefits of trauma-informed ACE aware approaches
  • begins a process of evaluation and development of our knowledge, skills and interventions with people who have been affected by ACEs and/or complex trauma

Format: Slide presentation plus interactive brain and body learning, small and large group discussion and a group activity /game


About Dr Haley Peckham

Dr Haley Peckham brings an extensive background in philosophy, mental health, psychotherapy and neuroscience grounded in her own lived experience of recovering from complex trauma.

Following her early studies in Philosophy and Philosophy of Mind, Haley worked with children and adolescents in foster and residential care and later trained as a Mental

Health Nurse at Kings College London (2008). She has since worked in the UK and overseas in in-patient and community services with children and adolescents, and with adults who have histories of complex trauma.

In developing her understanding of the mechanisms of how experiences shape our brains, our physiology and the way we live our lives, Haley studied Molecular Neuroscience at Bristol University (2011) and gained her PhD in Neuroscience from The University of Melbourne (2017).

Struck by the revelation that not only do our formative experiences shape our brains and physiology but we have evolved to adapt to and anticipate more experiences like them, Haley recognised that an understanding of neuroplasticity – recognising that experiences and relationships shape brains and physiology even in adulthood, is empowering and for some, a game changer.

Haley has offered trainings in Neuroplasticity and Attachment for Adverse Childhood Experience aware and Trauma-Informed approaches to professionals in Mental health, Forensic and Corrections Services in Victoria Australia, both independently and through the Centre for Mental Health Nursing at The University of Melbourne. Her favourite piece of feedback from training was “I didn’t want to go to the toilet in case I missed anything”.

Since her return to the UK, she has continued to deliver training alongside her Mental Health Nursing – where she learns from and works with people in crisis. As a lifelong learner Haley is committed to her own personal and professional development, whilst helping to shape services that support children and adults with trauma.

Please note that we will be unable to refund/transfer credit for participant cancellations in the week up to the start date of this course. Refunds or credit transfer to a future course are available if this course is postponed or cancelled.

Solution-focused Practice 2-Day Course Online 12th & 19th October

Wednesdays 12th & 19th October 2022
9.30 am – 4.30pm

using Zoom

The solution-focused approach is a versatile communication tool that can have real power in work with anyone who is stuck with big problems, as well as those just contemplating making some changes in life.

Trainer: Marc Gardiner

Marc is the SF lead of the Zebra Collective and a highly experienced SF practitioner and trainer of 20 years working with individuals, groups, communities and organisations.

£160+VAT per person; 40-page course notes and an attendance certificate with learning outcomes listed + free attendance at one Solution-focused Practitioner Group.

Discounts available for individuals self-financing (low income), and for 2+ bookings.

Contact: to book, or with any enquiries.

Please note that we will be unable to refund/transfer credit for participant cancellations in the week up to the start date of this course. Refunds or credit transfer to a future course are available if this course is postponed or cancelled.

About the course

Tired of getting stuck looking at the problem? This two-day course will leave you thinking and working in a powerful new way. It may change your life.

The ideas, values and skills of solution-focused communication are helpful to anyone who works with people: the focus moves away from the problem towards preferred futures, strengths, resilience and competencies, progress already made, and possibilities.

The power of this approach has long been evidenced in helping services, community work and schools, but is becoming recognised also in personnel management, organisational development, and coaching.

Solution-focused communication is a “non-expert” approach to helping and change work. That is, it’s not based on the notion that the worker knows best. There’s a paradox here, though, in that to learn to function as an effective, truly non-expert practitioner takes some expertise.

This course offers new communication skills and fosters personal & professional development, and will be useful to anyone who works with people – particularly those who support others through problems and change (e.g. workers in social care and housing support settings, mental health workers, community workers and health staff) and staff / team / organisation managers etc.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this online two-day workshop you will:

·         Have a working knowledge of the philosophy, value base, and key tools and techniques of solution-focused communication

·         Have experience of a solution-focused conversation, both as worker and client

·         Have insight into how the learning can be applied and sustained in your individual work context

·         Have an action plan and an immediate first step for consolidating and building on the learning, and for your future use of solution-focused communication

·         Know about the local networks for keeping in touch with solution-focused workers

What people said about this course:

“An excellent trainer with firm knowledge & skills, & a sustained belief – inspirational.”

 “Most valuable, interesting training session for a long time. Thanks.”

 “Wasn’t sure after first day whether this could be useful in support work – convinced now … <and> … would like to practice more…fascinating.”

“Many thanks for a great second session yesterday, it was a fast paced, stimulating day and I’m now full of enthusiasm for SF and looking forward to putting it into practice.”

 “The best training I have been on since I can remember! I believe this will have a huge impact on my working and personal life! Thank you.”

 “I think it is life changing – thanks.”