Below are brief descriptions of the different trainings offered through the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress.

Trauma-Informed Treatment Approaches:

Introduction to Childhood Traumatic Stress: Core Concepts

This half-day workshop will provide an introduction to identifying and understanding childhood traumatic stress and its impact. The workshop will provide an overview of the theoretical foundations and core concepts related to childhood traumatic stress. Participants will learn to distinguish between normal childhood adverse experiences and childhood traumatic stress. They will learn about the prevalence of trauma and the impact of various types of traumatic stressors on a child's daily functioning. Simple and complex trauma experiences will be discussed and will include the impact upon the developing brain. Attachment, attachment disruption, and the most common behavioral, emotional, and cognitive sequelae will be examined from a developmental and neurobehavioral perspective. Finally, key issues critical to effective treatment planning will be highlighted. Case studies will be presented along with didactic materials and a list of resources for further study. This workshop is appropriate for mental health professionals working with children and their families and/or those interested in learning more about childhood traumatic stress and its impact.

Core Concepts of Childhood Traumatic Stress in a Classroom Setting

This workshop provides an overview of the theoretical foundations and core concepts related to childhood traumatic stress and its impact on learning and the school environment. Participants learn to distinguish between normal childhood adverse experiences and childhood traumatic stress; the impact of various types of traumatic stressors on a child’s daily functioning; simple and complex trauma experiences are discussed and include the impact upon the developing brain. Attachment, attachment disruption, and the most common behavioral, emotional, and cognitive sequelae are examined from a developmental and neurobehavioral perspective. Finally, key issues critical to effective classroom approaches and tools available are highlighted.

Childhood Traumatic Stress: Assessment and Treatment

This half-day workshop will provide an overview of the core components and skills necessary to assess children with traumatic stress and will highlight key elements of trauma informed treatment. A brief overview of the available evidence based treatments for treating childhood traumatic stress will be presented. Assessment will be discussed in light of pre-existing vulnerabilities and factors that both promote traumatic stress and protect from traumatic stress. Diagnostic considerations, specific diagnoses, and complex trauma will be integrated into discussion. A brief overview of issues related to emotional and behavioral dysregulation as well as the impact of trauma on cognitive abilities will be presented. Participants will learn that trauma informed treatments are culturally sensitive, systemic, strength based, and ever aware of the necessity to empower clients and provide both physical and emotional safety at all times. Case studies will be presented along with didactic materials and a list of resources for further study. This workshop is appropriate for those who have a basic knowledge of childhood traumatic stress and are interested in enhancing and/or expanding their current skills and repertoire.

Vicarious Trauma

This six-hour workshop will address the personal impact upon mental health professionals and others who interact with children and their families, who suffer or have suffered from traumatic stress. Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, school counselors, spiritual counselors, and other professionals who work with this specialized population will be provided with an overview of the personal "cost of caring." Practical advice and easily implemented strategies to prevent and treat the effects of vicarious traumatization will be presented. The workshop will explore the similarities and differences between counter transference, vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, and burnout. Boundaries, self-care, and the concept of "Vicarious Resilience" will be presented in order to help participants reduce their risk of vicarious traumatization. Didactic material, case studies, and experiential exercises in mind/body awareness and control will be presented.

Complex Trauma in Adolescents

Designed for professionals who routinely interact with adolescents in the urban setting where the experience of complex trauma may be often overlooked. This 6 hour workshop seeks to enhance participants’ understanding of the often complicated and difficult to recognize clinical presentations of adolescents who have experienced complex trauma and are interacting with multiple service systems. This workshop will assist the participants in recognizing potential complex trauma symptomology and differentiating between complex trauma symptoms and more typical adolescent mood and behavioral concerns. Symptoms, assessment, engagement, risk management and treatment of complex trauma symptomatology will be discussed.

Core Concepts and Interventions from the Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) Model

This one-day workshop will provide an overview of SPARCS, a 16-week group intervention that was specifically designed to address the needs of chronically traumatized adolescents who may still be living with ongoing stress and are experiencing problems in several areas of functioning. These areas include difficulties with affect regulation and impulsivity, self-perception, relationships, somatization, dissociation, numbing and avoidance, and struggles with their own purpose and meaning in life as well as worldviews that make it difficult for them to see a future for themselves. The workshop will teach specific core concepts and skills of the model including: mindfulness, problem-solving, meaning-making, relationship building and communication skills. Participants will also be educated about how to implement key interventions into their daily practice.

Soothing Through Pain: The Assessment and Treatment of Self-Injury in Adolescents

This half-day workshop will present current research and trends related to the increasing presence of self-injurious behaviors among youth presenting for mental health treatment. Risk factors for these behaviors, particularly adverse experiences and attachment difficulties will be examined. This workshop will assist participants to feel more confident in their ability to recognize and assess self-injurious behaviors in youth, as well as their ability to effectively respond to these behaviors through effective and practical interventions.

Restoring the Whole Child: Yoga-Based Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Trauma

The neurobiological effects of childhood abuse and neglect are well documented. Among other implications, these negative effects can reduce the development of self-regulatory capacities which in turn inhibits social and emotional functioning and makes traditional mental health interventions less effective. Clinicians at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute developed a protocol for the Yoga-Based Psychotherapy Group (YBPG) to address deficits in self-regulatory capacities using principles from yoga and movement therapy. This 14 week trauma-informed group intervention utilizes yoga and movement techniques with boys and girls, ages 8-12, to increase self-awareness, promote improved self-regulation, self-esteem and pro-social behaviors. This 6 hour workshop will discuss Yoga as a complimentary alternative treatment and identify how its principles can be used to provide trauma informed treatment for children and adolescents. It will include the Yoga-Based Psychotherapy Group (YBPG) protocol. Presentation is experiential and will include lecture, practice exercises and discussion. The workshop will simulate an actual YBPG session. No previous yoga experience is required and movement is optional.

Evidence-Based Treatment Approaches:

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This two-day workshop is an introduction to Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a treatment approach based on the work of Judith Cohen, MD, Anthony Mannarino, PhD, and Esther Deblinger, PhD, TF-CBT is an approach used with children 4-18 years of age who exhibit significant behavioral or emotional problems related to exposure to traumatic events, and their primary caregivers. This workshop will introduce the essential treatment components of TF-CBT, as well as research and case studies supporting the effectiveness of treatment. Following the workshop, consultation/supervision necessary to implement the model will be offered.

Special Populations:

Engagement Strategies for Building Partnerships with Families Affected by Intergenerational Trauma

For individuals and families, high stress and multiple traumatic exposures across generations erode help seeking behavior and the belief in the possibility of improved conditions. This workshop will deepen participants’ understanding of the importance of a strengths-based, shared power approach to engaging families affected by traumatic exposures and social marginalization connected to racism and poverty. Clinical examples will be drawn from FamilyLive, a caregiver-focused clinical intervention developed in response to the needs of families exposed to significant adversities. Interactive exercises will offer participants the chance to reflect and expand on current practice strategies.

Treating Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children with Developmental Disabilities

Research suggests that children with developmental disabilities (DD’s), including autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, are more likely than their typically developing peers to be assaulted or maltreated (Sullivan, 2009, Turner et al., 2011). For example, children with special health care needs may be bullied at a rate 1.5 to 2 times more than non-impaired youth (van Cleave & Davis, 2006). However, there is relatively little research, writing or service provision designed specifically for children with co-occurring trauma and DD’s (Mevissen & de Jongh, 2010).

Identification can be difficult as children with developmental or intellectual delays may have trouble reporting traumatic events and their effects. Caregivers and treatment providers struggle to discriminate between DD-related behavior and trauma-related symptoms (Mazefsky, Kao, & Oswald, 2011). Provision of trauma-informed care requires an understanding of the prevalence of trauma and its effects on children. This half-day workshop has a three-pronged focus: reviewing the literature on trauma in developmentally disabled (DD) children, discussing dual diagnosis of trauma and DD; and giving practical strategies for applying a trauma-informed treatment approach to children with DD’s.

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST): Vulnerabilities, Recruitment, and What Practitioners Need to Know

This one day, two part training series is an introduction to DMST. Part 1 will focus on identifying children at risk for or who may be involved in sex trafficking in Maryland. It will explore the vulnerabilities of youth and how they may be recruited and groomed by traffickers. It is an interactive presentation and will include lecture, case examples and discussion. A prevention video to be utilized with youth in community settings will also be shown. Part 2 will explore how children are recruited and enter into sex trafficking. The role of pimp control and why children stay in addition to the role of trauma bonding for survivors will be discussed. It will also focus on the traumatic effects and symptomology among trafficking survivors and explore treatment models, safety planning and clinical interventions useful for survivors.

Safety Mentoring Advocacy Recovery Treatment (SMART) Model: Treatment of Sexualized Children

This two-day training will present the SMART treatment model that addresses the mental health needs of sexually abused children exhibiting problematic sexual behaviors. The model is abuse-specific and is directed at the resolution of the trauma of child sexual abuse through a reparative process. The training will provide an overview of pertinent theoretical perspectives embedded in the model; the typology of sexually aggressive children; the impact of sexual abuse on the continuum of sexual development; clinical strategies/interventions that are specifically designed to decrease problematic sexual behavior and address the trauma of child sexual abuse and the role of community networking that is required to best serve these children. A comprehensive, highly flexible, yet structured treatment manual and workbook will be provided that details the core components and strategies needed to successfully implement the model. Consultation calls to support the implementation of the model will be provided by the trainer.