Breakout Session Schedule
April 1: 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Speakers
Kyle Bixenmann and Laura Woodward
Where Am I? Where Are You? How Do We Get There Together?
This session will focus on better understanding and utilizing the concept of co-regulation. Participants will explore how they themselves and a young person they support thinks and behaves differently under stress. Using the arousal continuum, participants will explore what they look like under stress and how they can help themselves maintain their own regulation to better support a young person. After determining how we can better understand and maintain regulation in ourselves, we will then explore what does the young person look like under stress and how we can better support them so that we all end up in a regulated place together.
Katie Lohmiller and Halley Gruber
The Trauma-Informed School: Implementation of the Sustainably Integrated Trauma-Informed Education Framework (S.I.T.E. Framework)
The Sustainably Integrated Trauma-Informed Education Framework (S.I.T.E. Framework) was developed to increase educational best practice and equitable student access to academic content and skill development opportunities through the facilitation of educator understanding and sustainable integration of trauma-informed approaches in the school setting. The framework was developed with community input, based on evidence-based practices and is implemented collaboratively with individuals internal and external to the school. The multicomponent design promotes the Neurosequential Model in Education’s science-based content and prescribes the inclusion of comprehensive evaluation and defined non-traditional roles. In this presentation directors of the Educational Access Group will talk about the development, implementation, evaluation, impacts and lessons learned during the first two years of the framework’s implementation at local Denver schools.
Jennifer Platt and Emily McNeill
Creative Arts Therapy Interventions to Foster Healthy Development and Emotional Regulation in Children
Participants will learn and experience specific creative art therapy modalities (including: dance/movement, play. art, rhythm/music) to foster healthy neurobiological development and emotional regulation in children. Participants will also understand how implementing a somatosensory diet within an attuned, empathetic relationship promotes positive emotional, physical, relational, sensory, cognitive and behavioral change in children.
Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)
Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is a trauma-informed approach to working with children and youth with a wide range of behavioral challenges. The approach is a nice complement to the Neurosequential Model, and has been recommended by Dr. Bruce Perry as an effective approach for working with children who have a history of trauma. For each child, specific skill deficits are identified, as well as triggers or problem situations that often result in difficulties for the child or his/her family. Skill development in the CPS model occurs through the process of collaborating with the child to solve chronic problems in a more adaptive manner. Unmet expectations are responded to in one of three ways, called “Plans,” which are decided on pro-actively. Plan B is the response that provides opportunities for the child to learn new skills, as they work collaboratively with empathic adults to solve problems. The CPS approach helps to facilitate positive adult-child relationships, stabilize child behaviors, identify lagging skills, teach skills, and resolve chronic problems.
This presentation will provide an introduction to CPS, with an emphasis on the power of using CPS in conjunction with the Neurosequential Model.
The Power to Heal: The Therapeutic Interpersonal Neuro-Biology of Animals in Child Trauma Recovery
This workshop will present emerging research and examples of the important roles that animals can play in responding to trauma, specifically child developmental trauma, highlighting contributions from the new book edited by Philip Tedeschi and Molly Jenkins; Transforming Trauma: Finding Resiliency and Healing through Animals with forward by Dr. Bruce Perry. The workshop will review some of the important ways that animals are being incorporated into clinical responses to trauma and offer new insights into why animals can be a highly effective strategy for intervention into developmental trauma and early child maltreatment. Highlights will include discussion of possible neuro-biological explanations how the integration of animals into the process of therapy may have important and beneficial impacts on individual neurological development that facilitate healing. This workshop will explore some case examples, and clinical methods with emphasis on child development and animals’ natural capacity for engagement in therapeutic relational play. The workshop will also offer input on the ethical considerations of including animals in trauma response.
Trauma Responsive Organizations
It has become evident that large percentages of the general population have been exposed to potentially adverse experiences. Human beings who are exposed to prolonged, severe stress, without the presence of adequate relational support, are vulnerable to becoming traumatized and suffering long term negative consequences. These vulnerable individuals in the general population, who have been either injured or relationally insulated but exposed, come together to form your organizations. The staff within these service-providing systems remain sensitive to stressors, not unlike the clients they serve. An organization, just like an individual, is vulnerable to stress. When the organization is impacted by chronic stressors related to financial pressures, increased demands for outcomes, aggressive behaviors from the clients, losses related to turnover, unresolved system conflicts and the increasing rate of change, an overall survival anxiety is ever present. Sometimes, the organization develops habits or strategies that protect the organization in the short term but have negative impacts in the long term. If these survival strategies are not frequently reexamined, they become just part of the way business is conducted.
This presentation will focus on how an organization can become either trauma organized or trauma responsive. A review of the principles of trauma informed systems and how these practices can counteract the hyperarousal generated by stress in an organization. The roles of boards and leadership will be discussed and clarified in supporting the installation and maintenance of these trauma responsive practices in your organization.
April 1: 3 – 4:30 p.m. Speakers
Allison Douglas and Pam Wolf
“Continual and Contextual”: Implementing the Neurosequential Model in Caregiving
Caring for children who have been impacted by abuse, neglect and substance exposure requires specialized training and support from child welfare agencies, community health programs, mental health professionals and the public educational system. This workshop will be facilitated by Allison Douglas, an adoptive mom certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and the Neurosequential Model in Education, who has navigated the challenges of finding support for her family and children. Allison will provide participants with a rich understanding of how the concepts of the Neurosequential Model can be successfully implemented by caregivers, explores the challenges and victories of parenting a traumatized child and assists professionals in reevaluating how they provide these much needed supports for permanency and well-being.
Hillary Morris and Lindsay Quandt
Clinical Utility of SPECT in the Diagnosis of Brain Based Conditions
Traumatized children present with complex symptoms that often mimic psychiatric conditions, this can lead to a diagnostic challenge for providers. Further, it is difficult to prescribe proper treatment and generate symptom relief. SPECT imaging can help providers properly diagnose and treat these children.
The Transformation of Educational Practices
This presentation will look at four elements of educational practices that must transform when a system is becoming trauma-informed. Each element will highlight the impact it has on students and how it is transformed through a neurobiological lens. Practical examples of each element will be provided so educators can see the work being done at schools who are implementing a more trauma-informed approach. Participants will get a chance to engage in an activity that helps them assess the areas for their own school or area of focus at the end of the presentation.
One Flagship Site’s Journey in the Implementation of the Neurosequential Model
Hull Services is a Calgary-based non-profit founded in 1962 that serves children and families in a variety of settings including residential and group care, school-based settings, family-based care, prevention, early intervention and young adult services. During our eight year journey in the Neurosequential Model, we have seen significant impact and change in our Agency with respect to our focus in our practice, staff selection and retention, policies and culture. Prior to the introduction of the NM, Hull programs were quite independent, each with its own goals, focus, and language; 27 programs working in their own silos. The Neurosequential Model created a common thread that is now weaving all the programs together. Its impact has caught the attention of a broad array of stakeholders and has moved us from implementation in two pilot projects to the creation of an entire NMT Department that supports all 27 programs in the Agency, and is sought out externally to provide clinical consultation using the NMT Metric as well as to train agencies about how to better support their staff.
Somatosensory Interventions in the Classroom: Creating a Trauma Informed Classroom
Somatosensory intervention is an important component in the treatment of traumatized children, as it helps students to become better regulated so that they can be available to learn. Often children who have experienced early trauma require this type of intervention before they can benefit from more cognitively based treatments and fully engage in the learning process.
Mount Saint Vincent’s Sister Daniel Stefani School (K-8), in Denver, Colorado, uses NMT/NME to guide intervention, including the use of somatosensory interventions. This session will give hands on examples of somatosensory interventions to utilize in the school setting. The session will ground these examples in a framework for moving a residential/day treatment classroom towards trauma-informed education. During this presentation, participants will learn how to implement NMT/NME in a school, to transition teachers to this way of thinking about intervention, and specific classroom examples will be used to illustrate this process. Using a case study from the Sister Daniel Stefani School, participants will learn about the implementation of a specific somatosensory diet and see how the metric helped to track client progress and demonstrate success to teachers in the classroom.
Developmentally-Informed Music Therapy for Traumatized Children
Trauma and neglect disrupts the developmental process in ways that result in sometimes severe and chronic dysregulation. Patterned, repetitive, rhythmic stimulation can help regulate the brain after these developmental disruptions (Perry, 2006). Music interventions are prime examples of patterned and rhythmic stimulation. Neuroimaging research over the course of the last two decades has confirmed the profound effect that both passive and active music stimulation have on the brain. This workshop/presentation will provide participants with a basic overview of music therapy and how music and movement interventions can be used when working with children who have experienced trauma. Participants will learn how to utilize music interventions in the home, as well as leave the workshop with an understanding of how and why music therapy interventions such as drumming, songwriting, musical improvisation, musical mnemonics and movement games can be effective. No musical expertise required.