Healing & Growth of the Psychosocial, Intellectual and Neurocognitive Functioning of Young Males with Complex Needs: Evidence Based Attachment, Regulation and Competency Model

Dr Michelle Byrnes1,2,3,4

1Director, Grow Your Life, Perth, Australia,

2Head of Clinical Psychology Unit, Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Sciences, Perth, Australia,

3Adjunct Associate Professor, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia,

4Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia


Complex developmental trauma describes children who have experienced multiple traumatic events that are chronically present during their development. The wide-ranging and pervasive impact of complex trauma includes but is not limited to the compromising of a child’s sense of safety, attachment, self-concept, emotional regulation, response flexibility, impulsivity, intellectual and neurocognitive functioning.  The Youth Partnership Project’s Early Intervention Model is grounded in current complex trauma theory and research and recognises the core impacts of complex trauma on the attachment (a safe caregiving system), self-regulation (ability to regulate and tolerate experiences) and competencies (support in the mastery of an array of tasks and skills which are crucial to the resilient outcome) of the child in addition to the importance of individually tailored trauma interventions (Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2019). This presentation will provide a cross-sectional and longitudinal evaluation of the baseline and follow-up (6, 12, 18 months) psychosocial, intellectual and neurocognitive outcome measures of 20 young males with complex needs who have participated in the Youth Partnership Project (YPP) to date.  In addition, this presentation will reflect the various inter-relationships between the psychosocial, intellectual and neurocognitive outcome measures which have consequently guided further design of the YPP Model.  These comprehensive results demonstrate statistically significant improvements in each of the assessed psychosocial, intellectual and neurocognitive outcome measures which demonstrates and reinforces the efficacy of the designed and implemented YPP framework.


Dr Michelle Byrnes is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuroscientist with over 25 years of clinical, assessment and research experience.  Dr Byrnes has completed 2 PhD’s at the University of WA, with her first in Neuroscience in 1994 and her second in Clinical Psychology in 2010.  Her expertise includes psychological therapy, functional neurocognitive assessments, post-traumatic growth, clinical research, teaching, supervision with over 55 peer reviewed journal publications.  Dr Michelle Byrnes is currently a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Youth Partnership Project and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Perron Institute of Neurological and Translational Sciences and Murdoch University.

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