The mission of the Trauma Research, Education, and Training Institute, Inc. (TREATI) is to increase the abilities of mental health and social service workers to provide effective, ethical treatment for survivors of traumatic life experiences. We pursue this mission through programs of professional training, community education, and research on the psychological impact of trauma on survivors, the impact of treatment on both helpers and clients, and effective interventions for helpers and clients.
Pat Wilcox and Steve Brown are presenting at the Healing the Generations conference at Foxwoods March 25 and 26th. Please stop by and say hello! www.cliffordbeers.org
Risking Connection® faculty trainer Dr. Robert Davis to present on Benefits and Implementation of Trauma Informed Care at the Doctor Franklin Perkins School in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
This workshop will describe efforts to implement a trauma-informed approach to residential treatment and an on-campus school environment. Over a five-year period, this multifaceted initiative resulted in substantial reductions in both physical management episodes and staff injuries. Research in the area of trauma-informed practices within residential schools is still in its infancy.
1. Participants will learn about the national movement toward use of trauma-informed strategies.
2. Participants will learn about the benefits of training interdisciplinary staff in Risking Connection®, an established curriculum for working with traumatized youth.
3. Participants will learn about numerous trauma-informed milieu and/or classroom approaches which can be integrated into existing evidence-based models of treatment.
4. Participants will learn about future directions in trauma treatment for youth, including several body-based interventions.
5. Participants will learn ways to anticipate and overcome many of the institutional challenges of implementing trauma-informed treatment.
Robert Davis, Psy.D. Director of Clinical Services, Devereux Rutland, MA
Dr. Robert Davis has served as the Director of Clinical Services at Devereux as well as the Chief Psychologist of Devereux’s APPIC-approved Predoctoral Clinical Training Program. He also is a Faculty Trainer for the Risking Connection® Training Program for which he has trained multidisciplinary staff from congregate care settings throughout the country.
The workshop will be from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The cost is $45 for Members and $65 for Non-members. (Lunch is Included in registration fee).
To Register: copy this link into your web browser:
On April 6, 2010 (Tuesday) Steve Brown, PsyD. and Pat Wilcox, LCSW will be presenting at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Child & Adolescent Restraint/Seclusion Prevention Initiative Grand Rounds. Our topic will be: Transforming Resistance to Enthusiasm – Implementing Trauma-Informed Care. Trauma-informed care is an important element to the success of preventing restraint and seclusion use. This training will provide and understanding of how to implement trauma-informed care in child & adolescent settings. It will include an overview to the Risking Connections trauma training program, as well as the Restorative Approach which is a trauma- and relationship-based approach to treatment of children. The presentation will focus on the most effective transformation process for overcoming common staff concerns and changing resistance to enthusiasm.
The presentation will be held 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, (Registration starting at 8:30AM) at the Lazare Auditorium of the UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA. The registration deadline is Monday, March 29th, 2010. To register please contact Annabelle Lim at Email: email@example.com or Phone: 617.626.8087. An email confirmation with directions will be sent upon registration. CEU applications have been submitted for: Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Nurses, & Social Workers. Hope to see you there!
Pat Wilcox, LCSW and Bob Davis, PsyD. last week completed a three day basic Risking Connection training for the staff of Devereux, New York. The agency is in Red Hook, and the training was held in Germantown with a lovely view of the mountains. The staff who attended found the training to be very helpful. evaluation comments included: “This is the best training I have ever attended!” and ” I would recommend this training to anyone in the field.” As a special feature, Steve Brown, PsyD attended the training on Day Two to provide a segment on children with problem sexual behavior. He focused on how to examine these symptoms from a trauma lens, and how the concept of symptoms as adaptations helps to provide directions for treatment and skills development. Also within this training we examined the connections and crossover with the language of developmental disability services, including the connection between applied behavior analysis and symptoms as adaptations. It was a great group and a positive experience.
I want to highly recommend the second annual Healing the Generations conference at Foxwoods on March 25 and 26th. Last year’s conference was wonderful and this year looks to be even better. I am presenting on Trauma Informed Foster Care, Helping Survivor Parents and What We Know about the Brain and What We Should Do. My colleague Steve Brown is presenting on teaching Healthy Sexuality to High Risk Kids, and on our statewide initiative to use Risking Connection to train the staff of Extended Day Programs. This presentation, in conjunction with Marilyn Cloud from DCF, will include exciting new research demonstrating the effectiveness of the training. I hope to see you at the conference, and be sure and come up and say hello!
For full conference agenda visit: www.cliffordbeers.org
TREATI just just completed a three day basic Risking Connection training. Professionals from ten Connecticut agencies participated in a class taught by T’Kai Howard, LCSW, Mollie Rusczyk, and Mary Deneen, MSW. When asked “how could this program be improved?” on the evaluation form, one participant responded: “Make it required for everyone in this field.”
Our next training will be March 10, 11 and 12th. To register contact Megan Albanese at 860 832 5514.
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
- Aid organizations are bringing mental health professionals to Haiti
- Vicarious trauma symptoms include sleep problems, social withdrawal, anxiety
- It helps to take breaks, communicate with friends and family
- Expert: It can be tough to step away from people in need, but “it’s very important to do it”
However, relief agency workers can suffer the same psychological trauma as the people they are helping. And they often ignore these feelings in the face of the work at hand.
The intensity of being dispatched to a mass emergency can cause volunteers to develop problems that include sleep disorders, social withdrawal, substance abuse, anxiety and difficulty trusting people. They may try to lose themselves in their work, even if that work is what’s stressing them.
Aid organizations in Haiti know about this phenomenon, called vicarious trauma, and they’re preparing for it.
After the first week on the ground, volunteers for CARE are showing signs of the trauma, said Wills Moore, director of human resources business partnerships for CARE. He has been getting reports from people who are either really unemotional or really emotional all the time, which could be signs of vicarious trauma.
“People might either shut down emotionally or get very sensitive emotionally and cry at the drop of a hat,” said Laurie Anne Pearlman, former president of the Trauma Research, Education, and Training Institute Inc. and author of several books about vicarious trauma. “The hallmark of both direct and indirect or vicarious trauma is disrupted spirituality, a loss of meaning or hope.”
Many people on the staff at CARE are going through trauma, and some have lost relatives, said Rigo Giron, associate vice president for strategic initiatives at CARE.
“It’s a hard place for them because they are committed to provide relief, but at the same time they need to recover from the trauma they face. They’re very stressed,” he said. “They’re very traumatized. It’s hard for them to overcome that.”
Mental health specialists with the American Red Cross are primarily in Haiti to work with earthquake victims, but are also looking out for fellow volunteers, said Jonathan Aiken, spokesman for the Red Cross.
The University of Miami’s Project Medishare also is coordinating the travel of mental health professionals to Haiti beginning next week to help quake victims, but also to assist other aid workers if needed, a representative said.
Disaster and emergency workers often get an adrenaline rush that powers them to work without rest. That, combined with a strict ethic of working as much as possible, is “a recipe for trouble” for both the helpers and the people they’re serving, Pearlman said.
“After we’re overworked for a certain amount of time, as we all know, our brains don’t work as well, and we’re not making such good judgments, we’re not making such good decisions, and then pretty soon you’re on the list of people who need to be taken care of, rather than the list of people who can help,” she said.
It helps to have people encouraging volunteers to take breaks now and then, although it’s also hard for the workers amid the disaster relief to heed that message, she said.
This is the kind of advice that Moore said he received before his departure for Haiti on Wednesday. A staff psychologist told him to try to make himself take breaks while doing earthquake relief — for instance, exercising, reading or otherwise getting away from the situation briefly. Journaling and communicating with family and friends are also “good, almost cathartic ways” of coping, Moore said.
Aid workers and volunteers who have psychiatric histories, major life stresses or traumas of their own are more vulnerable to trauma in Haiti, and may need more help, Pearlman said. A personal trauma history in itself is not a bad thing — and people in the trauma field are more likely to have one — but it’s a problem when they haven’t worked through it, she said.
There are ways relief agencies can help: If an organization has policies restricting the number of hours before a break, or before leaving the disaster site altogether, that can help, she said.
“It’s hard to say, ‘Well, look, everybody, I see that you folks don’t have food or water, but I need to go rest for a few hours,’ ” she said. “But it’s very important to do it.”
CNN’s Jacque Wilson contributed to this report. Find story at: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/01/22/haiti.vicarious.stress/index.html
January 12, 2010 Promoting Healthy Sexuality for Sexually Abusive Youth. Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, Idaho Falls, ID.
Dr. Brown presented a full-day training entitled “Promoting Healthy Sexualtiy for Sexually Abusive Youth” sponsored by the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections. The audience was largely from their St. Anthony facility that treats general delinquent youth as well as sexual sex offenders. There were also parole officers, case managers, and school personnel from systems that work with juvenile corrections. Topics covered in the training included: What’s Your Opinion About Promoting Healthy Sexuality with JSOs; Does Our Treatment Promote Healthy Sexuality; Traditional versus Holistic/Integrated Approach to Treating JSOs; Hurt People…Hurt People — The Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Sexual Development; Exploring Our Own Sexual Learning; What Are We Striving For: Characteristics of a Sexually Healthy Adolescent; Systemic Interventions to Promote Healthy Sexualtiy with JSOs; Sex Education and Sex Education Strategies; Grooming Paranoia; Healing Attachment Wounds — Route to Healthy Sexual Development.
The training included lecture, application exercises, self exploration exercise, and numerous video clips exploring both the serious and humorous side of sexuality.
On December 8th TREATI hosted its fourth annual Day of Learning and Sharing for Risking Connection Associate and Faculty trainers and other invited guest. This year the keynote speaker was Lynn Sanford, LCSW. Lynn is a licensed independent social worker who began working with survivors of sexual assault in l973 and with children who have sexual behavior problems in 1983. In the past twenty years, she has served as Clinical Director for: an outpatient trauma clinic; a 40 bed staff-secure facility for teen boys convicted of crimes against people; a 16 bed long-term locked psychiatric unit for teen girls; and most recently, a day school and residential treatment center for 95 latency-age children with profound learning differences, mental illness or attachment issues. She is the author of Strong at the Broken Places (1990, 2004) and The Silent Children (1980). Sanford is also co-author of Women and Self-Esteem (1984) and In Defense of Ourselves (1978). As well as providing training and consultation on a national basis, she is an Associate Professor at the Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work. In 2002, Sanford received the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Work Practice.
Lynn’s topic for the Day of Learning and Sharing was Shame. She covered guilt vs. shame; shame as “The eyes turned inward”; the origins of chronic shame; anger + shame = rage; shameful behavior makes sense out of chronic shame; interventions; dealing with our emotions and countertransference; making amends and the power of groups.
Lynn is a marvellous speaker, warm and human, very knowledgeable about our populations, and so respectful of both the clients and the workers. She is also quite funny.
Many participants wrote on their evaluations that they got more than they expected from the day.
The community of trainers is very powerful. It is inspiring to see so many great minds working together to change the world and to give our clients the best possible treatment.
Board member Howard Tennen published an article in Psychological Science.
Volume 20—Number 7. Psychological Science, the flagship journal of the Association for Psychological Science, is established as a leader in its field, with a citation ranking/impact factor that places it in the top 10 psychology journals worldwide.
The journal publishes authoritative articles of interest across all of scientific psychology’s subdisciplines, including the behavioral, clinical, cognitive, neural, and social sciences. In addition to these full-length articles, Psychological Science also features summaries of new research developments.
The article is entitled:
Genuine Positive Change?
Patricia Frazier,1 Howard Tennen,2 Margaret Gavian,1 Crystal Park,3 Patricia Tomich,4 and Ty Tashiro5
Abstract: In this study, we evaluated the validity of self reported posttraumatic growth (PTG) by assessing the relation between perceived growth and actual growth from pre- to post trauma. Undergraduate students completed measures tapping typical PTG domains at Time 1 and Time 2 (2 months later).We compared change in those measures with scores on the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996) for those participants who reported a traumatic event between Time 1 and Time 2 (n5122). PTGI scores generally were unrelated to actual growth in PTG-related domains. Moreover, perceived growth was associated with increased distress from pre- to posttrauma, whereas actual growth was related to decreased distress, a pattern suggesting that perceived and actual growth reflect different processes. Finally, perceived (but not actual) growth was related to positive reinterpretation coping. Thus, the PTGI, and perhaps other retrospective measures, does not appear to measure actual pre- to post trauma change.
You can down load a copy of the full article here: