Garrett County Performing Arts Center
Location Type
In Person

United States

Ethical Responsibility
Mentoring / Education
Recovery / Wellness
Total Hours
Contact Person Name
Melissa Clark

While mental health organizations and schools want helping professionals, victim advocates, and teachers to be trauma informed, there’s little consensus on what, exactly, that means! In this workshop we will explore what a trauma informed helping professional needs to bring to the work, applying trauma-informed concepts including pacing, and asking strengths-based questions, particularly in the earliest phases of treatment or during an interaction when a client gets triggered. It also means helping teachers look at “symptomatic” kids through a trauma-informed lens. We will process what happens when kids do not receive sustained secure attachment or were subjected to trauma, abuse, or neglect and grapple with an inability to self-soothe or regulate emotional states in healthy ways.
Participants will then be introduced to several creative treatment strategies designed to help traumatized clients develop affect regulation skills. These strategies will help to promote safety, grounding, containment, self-soothing and emotional stabilization: all prerequisites that need to be installed and resourced before deeper trauma retrieval work is introduced in therapy and before a dysregulated child can return to the classroom and effectively learn. We will explore techniques that incorporate activation of mirror neurons, soothing breath work, somatic resourcing, power poses, cognitive reframing, and a simple flashback halting protocol.
Since this work creates our own vulnerabilities for vicarious traumatization, a special emphasis will be placed on self-care for the helping professional and for teachers. We will discuss why self-care is often difficult for us to achieve, and process specific strategies that are designed to mitigate the adverse effects of collaborating with traumatized clients and students.