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Kitchener campus  Kitchener | Also available online 

Changes Due to COVID-19

In-person workshops from Sept. to Dec. 2020 will be live streamed through Zoom. In-person workshops from Jan. July 2021 are scheduled for on campus in either Kitchener or Milton. If we are unable to hold in-person events at the time of the training, the workshop will be changed to the live stream option. Registrations will be automatically switched to the live stream workshop and our usual cancellation policy will apply. If you have any questions, please contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office at fswprofessionaldevelopment@wlu.ca prior to registering.

Held in-class in Kitchener, online, or through a combination of both, the Trauma certificate will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what trauma is, how it affects the body, the brain and the memory and how trauma differs from crisis and other distress. The program will also explore various types of trauma, such as interpersonal violence and refugee/war experiences, and how other issues, such as addictions, can interact with trauma. Some of the topics covered in this program include:

  • The neurobiology of trauma.
  • Assessment of trauma.
  • Current, evidence-based treatment models for trauma.
  • The effects of torture, violence or risk of violence.
  • How to effectively manage issues of religion and spirituality while working with triggered refugees or survivors of war.
  • The connection between trauma and addiction.
  • Flashback management.
  • Building resilience in children who have experienced trauma.
  • Strategies for managing the effects of secondary traumatic stress.
  • The basic steps to implementing trauma-informed care in organizations.

Completion Requirements

To complete the Trauma Certificate, you must take a minimum of 84 course hours. It is strongly recommended that you take the Foundations of Trauma workshop if you do not have extensive training or experience working with trauma. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years.

You do not have to be working toward the Trauma Certificate to take any of these courses.

In-Class Workshops

Building Resilience in Children Who Have Experienced Trauma

  • Dates: February 4 and 5, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructor: Barbara Ward, MSW, RSW, PhD
  • Hours: 12

This course focuses on building resilience in children who have experienced trauma by reviewing the various definitions of childhood trauma and exploring how trauma impacts the brain and areas of development specifically in a child or youth. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) is reviewed to demonstrate how trauma interrupts development and presents itself through behaviours, reactions, responses and symptoms that often mimic or contribute to the development of mental health disorders. The critical core components of evidence based treatment models are reviewed to highlight effective intervention practices. Concepts from positive psychology and the narrative approach are integrated into this course, along with the recent research on resiliency, well-being, post traumatic growth and self-regulation. Pathways to resilience and protective factors in childhood are emphasized so that participants feel hopeful and have concrete strategies to help. Strategies on creating a safe place for children and youth who have experienced trauma, that specifically attends to their needs, will be explored along with the key elements involved in helping to create the context to shift a trauma story into one that focuses on resilience.

Information is provided throughout the presentation using video, activities, conversation and handouts. Many resources will be shared to provide participants with tools to further integrate building resilience in their work with children and youth who have experienced trauma.

Participants will learn:

  • Definitions of trauma.
  • What the research is telling us on how trauma impacts childhood development and the elevated risks of unresolved trauma.
  • Critical components common to all effective trauma treatment interventions.
  • How the research from positive psychology, resiliency, well- being, post traumatic growth and self- regulation can help us in our work with children who have experienced trauma.
  • Eight resilience based story shifters that can make a difference for someone who has experienced trauma.

CBT Interventions for Suicide

  • Dates: Oct. 7 and 8, 2020
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructor: Charity Fleming, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

This workshop will provide participants with several evidence based approaches to eliciting and restructuring suicidal ideation. From acute crisis to relapse prevention planning, this power packed two-day workshop will give you all the skills needed to effectively use CBT to measure and decrease thoughts of suicide as well as decrease suicide attempts and increase reasons to live, as research shows, for up to two years after intervention. Learning will happen through lecture and role play and all worksheets needed will be provided for future use.

Complex Trauma

  • Dates: January 14 and 15, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructor: Stephanie Baker, MSW, PhD
  • Hours: 12

Given the current social and political climate, it is important to increase our understanding of complex trauma to ensure we effectively support those we serve. There has been much debate in the literature about the nature, diagnosis and treatment of complex trauma, including how it differs in progression from isolated traumatic incidents. Although exposure to isolated events produces specific behavioural and biological responses, experiences of repeated, chronic and/or prolonged traumatization tend to interfere with our neurobiological and emotional development, inhibiting our ability to integrate sensory, emotional, and cognitive information into a meaningful whole. Symptomatology associated with complex trauma is pervasive and multifaceted, often leading to increased contact with a variety of correctional, medical, and social services.

This two-day workshop intends to support participants with developing a more nuanced understanding of complex trauma by exploring how it alters our experience of the world. It will examine the influence of complex trauma on our neurobiology and development, as well as increase participants’ sensitivity to factors that contribute to its etiology. It will also explore therapeutic approaches that are best suited to effective treatment and enhance awareness about the ways in which complex trauma intersects with vulnerable groups.

Crisis Intervention

Fall

Spring

Helping professionals regularly encounter crisis situations in various work environments. At times, they can seem overwhelming and taxing, even for the most seasoned professional. Managing a crisis effectively can dramatically decrease individual, family and a community’s possible traumatic and/or mental health reactions, increase coping strategies, reduce the possibility of chronic or maladaptive symptoms and re-establish pre-crisis equilibrium or functioning. The emphasis of this course will relate to mental health in a variety of possible settings with various populations including: children and youth, adults, seniors and families in the context of broader systemic influences.

Upon completion of this course, participants can expect to:

  • Increase their knowledge base related to crisis intervention theory, as well as various models and their application.
  • Increase their awareness of personal reflexivity, values and beliefs related to crisis themes.
  • Broaden their understanding of, and develop intervention strategies related to, specific areas of trauma and crisis that may include: mental health and addictions, loss (anticipatory and ambiguous), grief, possible intimate partner violence (if participants are not enrolled in other trauma workshops with this theme), aging parents and related sibling and family issues, as well as community theory and interventions, with a heightened focus on school violence.
  • Gain skills in assessing and intervening suicidality ideation and behaviours, as well as understanding the duty to protect and warn as it relates to ethics.
  • Gain an understanding of broader systemic influences, as well as work with diverse populations/social locations and the possible role of spirituality.
  • Gain knowledge and develop strategies related to self-preservation and safety.

This workshop will offer numerous practical skills and interventions, case examples, practice exercises, video clips and rich discussions as experiences are shared by the instructor and participants. In addition, there will be useful handouts for future referencing.

Note: As themes for review are quite varied and are all important, there is room for flexibility around the course themes, depending on the experiences and interests of the participants. Hope to see you there!

Early Developmental Trauma: From Blueprint to Imprint

So many of our earliest experiences play out in our day-to-day lives as powerful whispers of early patterns, which have become so familiar that we often repeat them unknowingly and call them fate. Working with early trauma involves learning to recognize the unconscious imprints that play out and work to consciously repattern sequences that have gone awry as a result of a variety of adversities and disruptions. These imprints can be noticed through the verbal narrative, but emphasis in this workshop will be placed on the somatic or body story that carries and drives the majority of this imprinting.

This two-day workshop focuses mainly on working with adult clients who have experienced trauma during their pre-conception, prenatal period, birth, and perinatal period (into toddlerhood). However, the content will also have direct applicability to working with clients of all ages, including children, youth, and their parents. Practical embodiment activities will be explored to support participants’ own awareness and ability to dip into their own inner blueprint of resources for healing. Participants have the choice to opt in or out of any activity in the course.

Attachment theory, the polyvagal theory, and principles and practices drawn from a variety of early trauma experts (including Kathy Kain and Stephen Terrell, authors of Nurturing Resilience; Kate White of the Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Programs; Ray Castellino, prenatal and birth trauma therapy pioneer; and Aline LaPierre, co-author of Healing Developmental Trauma) will be explored. This course is an introduction to a complex topic, and suggestions for further training will be provided.

Notes:
  • Participants are recommended to take the Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing® workshop or the Working with Parts workshop prior to or after attending this one, if possible.
  • The workshop will only cover a few brief elements of the polyvagal theory. Students who want to go deeper into this topic are encouraged to take The Polyvagal Theory and Trauma Treatment workshop.
  • This workshop offers a review and comparison of different models and does not constitute formal training in any specific approach to early developmental trauma work.

Expressive Arts with Trauma

  • Dates: December 7 and 8, 2020
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructor: Christine Mayor, MA, RDT/BCT
  • Hours: 12

This course will introduce the use of expressive arts when working therapeutically with those who have experienced trauma.* Rationale for, and examples of, using the arts for expression, healing and activism in response to trauma will be explored. Exercises and interventions using drama, art, music, dance/movement, poetry and play will be explored in individual, family and group contexts. In addition, intermodal approaches that use numerous arts-based methods will be demonstrated.

Trauma, for the purposes of this workshop, will include interpersonal and familial trauma, as well as systemic, intergenerational and state violence forms of trauma (e.g. war, racism, poverty, heterosexism, etc.). The course will address the use of arts to promote healing and activism in response to the personal and political aspects of harm.

Rather than “telling,” this course will focus on learning through “doing.” It is designed to be highly experiential, allowing participants to actively engage in arts-based methods as both a participant and a facilitator.** In addition, information will provided throughout the course using video, conversation and handouts.

Participants will:

  • Gain an introductory understanding of the use of the arts and the range of expressive arts therapies.
  • Experience activities and exercises in each of the arts modalities across a variety of forms of trauma and with different age groups.
  • Practice effective facilitation of arts-based methods for expression, healing, and activism following trauma.
  • Obtain a handout of useful articles, books and websites with additional resources.

REQUIRED MATERIALS 

Because this course is happening remotely, all participants will need to have access to basic arts materials at home in order to participate in the workshop. In addition, a few days before the workshop you will be sent handouts that you will need to print and have ready to use during the workshop, so you will need to ensure you have access to a printer.

For the workshop, please prepare the following materials:

  • 5-10 sheets of blank letter-size paper
  • basic set of crayons
  • basic set of markers
  • pen or pencil
  • 2-3 magazines to cut up
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • small sealed container filled with something you can make a noise ‘shaker’ with e.g. yogurt container with dried beans, glass jar with pasta
  • small to medium size container e.g., shoe box, jar, small cardboard box, etc.
  • optional (while you don’t need to buy these materials, if you are crafty and have any of these items at home having them available will give you more creative options): string, yarn, hot glue gun, tissue paper, paint, beads, etc.

*Please note that this is an introductory course and calling oneself an arts therapist is a protected term. If you are interested in becoming certified in expressive arts therapy or one of the specific modalities, further information about official training programs and national organizations will be provided.

** Experiential activities will differ from other workshops being run by Christine Mayor.

Foundations of Trauma

Understanding the impact of crisis and trauma on peoples’ lives and being able to respond in meaningful ways are crucial skills for those working in the helping professions.

This two-day interactive workshop will provide both a conceptual framework and practical skills for assessment and interventions when working with those who have experienced a range of crisis and/or traumatic experiences.

This workshop will leave participants with:

  • An understanding of the meaning of crisis and practical crisis intervention skills.
  • A conceptual framework for understanding trauma.
  • Practical and applicable therapeutic tools for responding to trauma and traumatized individuals.
  • Specific counseling techniques that are proven effective for people with lived trauma experiences.
  • An understanding of the impact of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, as well as skills to manage the impact of the work on ourselves.

Sue and Sandy use a relaxed, interactive teaching style with lots of discussion and time to reflect on the material. Come to the workshop prepared to interact and practice the skills!

Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing ®: Embodiment and Boundaries

Offered with special licensing permission from the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute, this three-day introductory workshop will provide an understanding of trauma from the standpoint of the nervous system and the body. Students will learn about the activation cycle, incomplete self-protective responses, ways to use the verbal narrative to shift into exploring the body's story, attunement and presence, the body as a resource, and skills for tracking sensations and other aspects of one's inner experience. Ways to address fear or discomfort around embodiment (and grow the window of tolerance) will also be discussed, as will ethics and caveats around body-oriented practices. The course will also explore how to explore and renegotiate boundaries with clients from the lens of this perspective.

The workshop will include a combination of theory and practice, including lecture, group discussions, and hands-on experiential learning. The workshop has been lengthened to allow more time for practice in pairs and small groups. Participants will have the choice to opt in or out of any activity in the workshop.

Notes:
  • This workshop is offered independently from the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute and continuing education hours from the course do not count towards the formal Somatic Experiencing training process offered through SETI.
  • Participants who wish to go deeper into some of this material are encouraged to take The Polyvagal Theory and Trauma Treatment workshop, the Early Developmental Trauma workshop, or the Integrative Case Conceptualization workshop.

 

Human Trafficking: Knowing the Facts

  • Dates: February 25 and 26, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Instructor: Julia Manuel, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

This workshop is intended to examine the reality of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation (i.e. sex trafficking). We will explore the different types of human trafficking, define differences between human trafficking and sex work, discover who it happens to, identify risk factors, and explore how it happens. You will learn to recognize signs of human trafficking and how to work with those impacted. Assessment, effective treatment strategies and ongoing support for victims and their families will be discussed. Along with case studies, presentations from a survivor, law enforcement and a representative from the judicial system will be woven throughout the two-day training.

Integrative Case Conceptualization

This one-day workshop will help students hone their case conceptualization skills when working with clients who are facing complex issues. A number of composite client cases (fictitious clients who are made up of a variety of elements drawing from the instructor's and her colleagues' practices, with details anonymized and changed to respect privacy) will be explored through an integrative lens, to help students deepen what they see and sense into as they begin with new clients. This workshop will also help expand participants’ perspectives about existing clients as well.

Cases will be explored through the lenses of: the ARC framework, Somatic Experiencing®, parts work, early developmental trauma/pre- and perinatal imprinting, EMDR, Brainspotting, Deep Brain Reorienting, attachment theory, the polylvagal theory, social justice, touch work, and other approaches and frameworks as relevant.

Notes:

  • To get the most out of this class, participants are recommended to have completed the Integrative Trauma Treatment workshop first.
  • Alternatively, participants can also attend if they have taken the Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing® workshop, the Working with Parts workshop, or both.

Integrative Trauma Treatment: Promising Frameworks and Approaches

Working with trauma effectively requires a toolkit and skills that can address the multiple nuances and complexities inherent in working within this area of practice. The New Haven Trauma Competencies will be explored, and then participants will be introduced to two frameworks to guide assessment and treatment planning for children and adults: the ARC model (Attachment, Regulation, Competency) and the neurosequential model of therapeutics.

The remainder of the workshop will introduce participants to some of the latest treatment options they might consider pursuing training in to further their professional development (or as options to refer clients to). These include Somatic Experiencing®, sensorimotor psychotherapy, EMDR, Brainspotting, Deep Brain Reorienting, pre- and peri-natal trauma approaches, parts work approaches, and approaches for working with racialized trauma and other oppression-based trauma.

This is a two-day introductory workshop providing a map of key portions of the trauma treatment landscape as it currently stands. Participants will receive a lengthy handout with an extensive list of these and additional trauma treatment approach training options to consider as they explore their next steps in terms of their career development.

Notes:
  • This workshop is a recommended prerequisite to attend and make the most out of the Integrative Case Conceptualization course.
  • For participants who are interested in diving deeper into Somatic Experiencing® and parts work, there are two separate workshops in the trauma certificate program dedicated to going into these topics in greater depth.
  • This workshop offers a review and comparison of different models and does not constitute formal training in any specific approach.

Managing Countertransference Reactions Within Vulnerable Populations Impacted by Trauma

  • Dates: March 1, 2021
  • Cost: $210
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructors: Ian Robertson, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 6

Historically, the work we do within addictions and mental health tends to focus more on symptoms rather than causation. Clients who seek out our services from these populations present with a significantly higher prevalence of trauma. The real architect of the intervention for our clients who are trauma implicated is the worker. Our personal wellness, insight and healthy attachment to our clients truly matter in their process of recovery.

As clinical workers who are wanting to be trauma informed, we must reflect on our component of what we bring to the therapeutic experience. As our clients are triggered and react and re-enact historical trauma within our session, so are we as clinicians. Our history and experiences can be helpful, but also can be harmful to the therapeutic work. Our histories, especially when we are not aware, do enter into the work with our clients. Having insight to our countertransference reactions is critical to a ‘do no harm’ approach for the highly vulnerable populations we service.

Participants will learn:

  • Use of self as an approach, as well as the challenges and even risks for use of self.
  • The historical evolution to the understanding of countertransference as a concept.
  • Overview of transference reactions and its potential risks.
  • Overview of countertransference reactions – types 1 and 2.
  • The benefits of empathy and the messiness of empathy in the clinical work.
  • Emphatic strain including withdrawal, repression, enmeshment, disequilibrium and over-identification.
  • Power of healthy clinical attachment.
  • Trauma re-enactment syndrome.
  • Overview of strategies for the helping professional to recognize, contain and heal event countertransference.

This workshop will include videos, personal reflective exercises, breakout groups and clinical knowledge overview of the above stated topics.

Mindfulness for Trauma

FALL
  • Dates: Nov. 4, 2020
  • Cost: $210
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructors: Ian Robertson, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 6
SPRING
  • Dates: May 28, 2021
  • Cost: $210
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructors: Ian Robertson, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 6

Combining mindfulness to strengthen emotional regulation with existing empirical supported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments can improve outcomes through:

  • Increasing engagement.
  • Increasing compliance.
  • Decreasing the level of ruminations in PTSD.

Several psychotherapeutic interventions incorporating training in mindfulness are clinically relevant to traumatic stress. PTSD treatment could benefit from including mindfulness into the therapeutic process. This would include areas such as the neuroscience of mindfulness, assessment instruments for mindfulness, mechanism of mindfulness and the relation between mindfulness and other techniques. Evidence suggests that mindfulness can improve the therapeutic results and the outcome of PTSD clients.

Mindfulness can be used in two ways:

  1. As an emotional regulation support technique for existing empirically supported PTSD treatments.
  2. As a stand-alone treatment (mindfulness based cognitive behaviour psychotherapies).

The Polyvagal Theory and Trauma Treatment

The polyvagal theory (PVT) has been enthusiastically heralded by trauma therapists worldwide as a game changing framework with which to understand client symptoms and intervene more effectively in treatment. Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the PVT offers a more nuanced explanation of what happens to the nervous system when we experience a neuroception of safety, danger or life threat, and practical tools to guide client work in a variety of contexts.

Supplemented by content and graphs that Dr. Porges has reviewed and approved, this one-day workshop will translate complex neuroscience into easy-to apply concepts that participants can explore in relation to their own lives, their workplaces, and their clients. For participants who are interested in the human-animal bond, the PVT is applicable to mammals in general, so the material has applicability for interspecies relationships as well.

Participants will also be provided with information about other resources that can help them integrate this material further into their work, regardless of what other therapeutic approaches they use.

Notes:

  • For participants who want to go deeper into the practical application of the polyvagal theory, enrollment in the Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing® workshop is recommended as a follow up.
  • Alternatively, participants who have already taken Fundamentals of Somatic Experiencing® are welcome to take the polyvagal workshop afterwards to go more deeply into this theory.

Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Resilience

FALL
SPRING

An informative and interactive workshop designed for service providers in order to understand the conceptual impact of the helping field on personal and professional selves. Skills, theories and practical applications will be explored and practiced on both an individual and organizational level.

Trauma and Addictions

  • Dates: June 21 and 22, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Instructor: Ian Robertson, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

Recent research has confirmed what addiction treatment providers already knew to be true: the large majority of people who suffer from addiction issues also have a history of trauma and/or victimization. Experiences of trauma can cause lasting psychological and physiological effects, including deficiencies in emotional regulation, problem solving and impulse control. This, in turn, can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs and/or addictive behaviours as a "functional fit" to cope with overwhelming emotions, physical dysregulation and other post-traumatic symptoms.

This two-day workshop explores the connection between trauma and addiction with a focus on providing knowledge, tools and resources to effectively serve clients who are dealing with both trauma and addiction issues.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the link between trauma and addiction, including the neurobiology, physical and emotional responses of trauma and how they intersect with addictions
  • Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on future substance use dependency
  • Understand the impact of compassion fatigue when providing treatment to individuals with trauma/addictions
  • Being FULLY with the client, supporting connection, attachment and safety
  • The importance of integrating a trauma-informed care within organizations and service delivery model for addiction treatment
  • The impact of stigma, either visibly and invisibly, and how it operates within the structures of treatment for addictions and mental health
  • Understand addiction as a survival/coping strategy for traumatic memories and symptoms
  • The understanding and role of Structured Dissociative Approach within substance abuse treatment
  • Teach clients tools and practical strategies to regulate autonomic arousal and trauma-related emotions and body sensations without resorting to addictive behaviours
  • Explain and demonstrate strategies for flashback management
  • Review the of Seeking Safety Model and ATRIUM Model, supporting a trauma-informed care approach

Note: There is quite a bit of overlap between this workshop and Foundations of Trauma, so we don’t recommend taking both Foundations of Trauma and Trauma and Addictions.

CACCF: Twelve continuing education hours.

Traumatic Bereavement

When individuals experience a sudden, unexpected and/or violent death, we can anticipate that trauma is going to be part of their grief experience. Traumatic bereavement, however, is more than just the co-existence of grief and trauma. It is the interaction between grief and trauma that creates a persistent and prolonged set of painful and debilitating symptoms. This unique grief experience is highly vulnerable to environmental triggers which are imbedded in the neuropathways of the brain. ‘Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder’ is the category under consideration in the DSM-V, which incorporates the existing literature on complicated grief (CG) as well as new clinical considerations. Trauma informed grief work has become the new standard for clinicians working with individuals who have experienced a traumatic loss. In this workshop, participants will learn about:

  • Complicated grief.
  • Suicide bereavement.
  • The effects of trauma on the mourner.
  • Assessment and diagnostic criteria for CG.
  • Trauma informed grief therapy.
  • The importance of ceremonies and rituals.
  • Taking care to give care.

Trauma-Centred Psychotherapy Techniques

  • Date: January 21 and 22, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live Stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Instructor: Christine Mayor, MA, RDT/BCT
  • Hours: 12

This course will introduce the use of trauma-centered psychotherapy principles and techniques when working with individuals. This approach, created by Johnson and Lubin (2015), integrates psychodynamic, exposure-based, cognitive behavioural, and humanistic approaches to trauma treatment for individuals who have experienced a wide range of traumatic events. This approach and set of techniques will provide participants with concrete tools for how to help clients who have experienced trauma to process these memories and their impact on their current life.

This is practical introductory course that focuses on how to:

  • Set a trauma-centered frame with a client.
  • Conduct a direct and detailed trauma inquiry.
  • Help clients understand the connections and differences between traumatic events and present-day behaviours.
  • Handle avoidance and common disruptions in trauma work and the therapeutic relationship.

Trauma for the purposes of this course will include interpersonal and familial trauma, as well as systemic, intergenerational and state violence forms of trauma (e.g. war, racism, poverty, heterosexism, etc.). The course will address the use of arts to promote healing and activism in response to the personal and political aspects of harm.

Rather than “telling”, this course will focus on learning through “doing”. It is designed to be experiential, allowing participants to actively engage in role plays and practice the techniques being taught. In addition, information will provided throughout the course using case examples, conversation and handouts.

Participants will:

  • Gain an introductory understanding of trauma-centered psychotherapy principles and techniques.
  • Learn how to set a trauma-centered frame with a client.
  • Practice effective methods for conducting a direct, detailed trauma inquiry.
  • Rehearse how to decode the connection between present-day behaviours and traumatic memories with clients and help them begin to differentiate.
  • Gain tools for effectively addressing common disruptions in trauma work and the therapeutic relationship.
  • Obtain a handout of core techniques and practice examples.


Please note that participants will be engaging in direct discussion and experiential work about difficult and traumatic subject material throughout the two days.

Reference materials: Johnson, D. R. & Lubin, H. (2015). Principles and techniques of trauma-centered psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Trauma-Informed Service Systems

  • Date: Dec. 15 and 16, 2020
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Live stream (Zoom)
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Instructor: Laurie Robinson, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

This workshop will include an extensive review of the research on the prevalence of psychological trauma across sectors and the psychobiology of trauma, and presents the case for the implementation of a service system that is trauma informed. Participants will be engaged in a review of the theory and practice of a trauma-informed system and examine a variety of approaches and sector specific toolkits available for implementing standards at the organizational/systems level. Laurie will also present a review of the advances being made in promoting and implementing a trauma-informed approach across a variety of systems all over the world. Challenges in advocacy and leading change will be discussed, including the role that direct service providers can play in influencing change at the client service, organizational, community and policy level.

This workshop is recommended as a prerequisite for Trauma-Sensitive Practice.

Trauma-Sensitive Practice

  • Dates: May 17, 2021
  • Cost: $210
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Instructor: Laurie Robinson, MSW
  • Hours: 6

Sometimes referred to as trauma-informed, trauma-focused or trauma-infused practice, trauma-sensitive practice is the term used to describe the way that an organization/system/individual responds to trauma and adversity. Anyone can adopt a trauma-sensitive practice approach to their work by applying the trauma-informed principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, empowerment, culture, history and gender, in their interactions with the people they work with. This one-day session includes a brief review of the research on the prevalence of psychological trauma, the history of the trauma-informed care movement and the 10 standards for a trauma-informed system, and the difference between trauma-informed care, trauma-specific interventions and trauma-sensitive practice. Participants will be engaged in discussion of brain science and the biopsychosocial aspects of trauma, practical applications of the principles of trauma-sensitive practice and briefly, best practise principles of trauma specific interventions. The philosophical underpinnings of trauma-sensitive practice will be discussed including strategies for using a trauma lens in the screening, assessment and planning for interventions with individuals coping with the aftermath of psychological trauma.

It is strongly recommended that you complete Trauma Informed Service Systems before registering for this workshop.

Working with Parts: Healing the Child(ren) Within

This two-day workshop provides an introduction to a broad area of trauma work, known in different circles as parts work, ego state work, inner child work, or shadow work, to name a few. Participants will learn about the similarities common to all parts work approaches, and explore how to work with inner conflicts, personality fragmentation, and dissociation from this perspective. Drawing elements from different models, such as structural dissociation theory, transactional analysis, and internal family systems, the workshop will provide:

  • Helpful frameworks through which to conceptualize one's inner experience and common intra- and interpersonal issues.
  • The self-protective roles of different parts or ego states, including criticism and shame.
  • Parts work in the context of the tri-phasic model of trauma treatment.
  • Tools to support building a relationship between one's core or adult self and one's parts or inner aspects to foster greater integration, inner coherence, regulation, and resilience.
  • Specific exercises for working with the Self and parts of the whole, involving imagery, somatics, attachment, art, journaling and self-compassion.
Participants have the choice to opt in or out of any activity in the course. Participants will also be provided with resources and suggestions for further training.

Note:
This workshop offers a review and comparison of different parts work models and does not constitute formal training in any specific approach to parts work.

Working with Refugees and Survivors of War

Refugees and survivors of war are often left to face a lasting impact that trauma, violence or risk of violence may cause. Even after making the journey to a safe country, the immigration process (resettlement and acculturation) may also cause a stress that could have an impact on refugees’ and survivors of wars’ physical and mental health.

This two-day interactive workshop will provide both a conceptual framework and practical skills for assessment and interventions when working with refugees and survivors of war.

Throughout this workshop participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the effect of torture, violence or risk of violence.
  • Understand the effect of migration and post migration trauma.
  • Learn and practice effective skills for working with refugees and survivors of wars.
  • Learn and practice effective skills for working with triggered refugees or survivors of wars.
  • Learn how to effectively manage issues of religion and spirituality while working with triggered refugees or survivors of wars.
  • Learn effective ways to manage self-care.

 

Online Workshops

There are currently nine Trauma workshops available online, allowing you to complete the certificate program on your own schedule and from your own location. Each online workshop takes either three or six weeks to complete and will require approximately two hours of work per week. Instructors will use a variety of learning methods, such as discussion boards, videos, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations to provide a rich learning experience.

You don't have to log on to the course at any particular time, but the course is broken into separate weeks so you are required to log on and complete the work each week. Each weekly lesson includes:

  • Written lectures for you to read.
  • Mandatory discussion boards.
  • A quiz.

Building Resilience in Children Who Have Experienced Trauma (Online)

This six-week online course focuses on building resilience in children who have experienced trauma by reviewing the various definitions of childhood trauma and exploring how trauma impacts the brain and areas of development specifically in a child or youth. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) is reviewed to demonstrate how trauma interrupts development and presents itself through behaviours, reactions, responses and symptoms that often mimic or contribute to the development of mental health disorders. The critical core components of evidence based treatment models are reviewed to highlight effective intervention practices. Concepts from positive psychology and the narrative approach are integrated into this course, along with the recent research on resiliency, well-being, post traumatic growth and self-regulation. Pathways to resilience and protective factors in childhood are emphasized so that participants feel hopeful and have concrete strategies to help. Strategies on creating a safe place for children and youth who have experienced trauma, that specifically attends to their needs, will be explored along with the key elements involved in helping to create the context to shift a trauma story into one that focuses on resilience.

Information is provided throughout the presentation using video, activities and discussion. Many resources will be shared to provide participants with tools to further integrate building resilience in their work with children and youth who have experienced trauma.

Participants will learn:

  • Definitions of trauma.
  • What the research is telling us on how trauma impacts childhood development and the elevated risks of unresolved trauma.
  • Critical components common to all effective trauma treatment interventions.
  • How the research from positive psychology, resiliency, well- being, post traumatic growth and self- regulation can help us in our work with children who have experienced trauma.
  • Eight resilience based story shifters that can make a difference for someone who has experienced trauma.

Foundations of Trauma (Online)

Spring 

Understanding the impact of crisis and trauma on peoples’ lives and being able to respond in meaningful ways are crucial skills for those working in the helping professions.

This six-week online workshop will provide both a conceptual framework and practical skills for assessment and interventions when working with those who have experienced a range of crisis and/or traumatic experiences.

This workshop will leave participants with:

  • An understanding of the meaning of crisis and practical crisis intervention skills.
  • A conceptual framework for understanding trauma.
  • Practical and applicable therapeutic tools for responding to trauma and traumatized individuals.
  • Specific counseling techniques that are proven effective for people with lived trauma experiences.
  • An understanding of the impact of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, as well as skills to manage the impact of the work on ourselves.

Sue and Sandy use a relaxed, interactive teaching style with lots of discussion and time to reflect on the material. 

Human Trafficking: Knowing the Facts (Online)

  • Dates: January 18 to February 28, 2021
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Online
  • Instructor: Julia Manuel, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

This workshop is intended to examine the reality of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation (i.e. sex trafficking). We will explore the different types of human trafficking, define differences between human trafficking and sex work, discover who it happens to, identify risk factors, and explore how it happens. You will learn to recognize signs of human trafficking and how to work with those impacted. Assessment, effective treatment strategies and ongoing support for victims and their families will be discussed. Along with case studies, presentations from a survivor, law enforcement and a representative from the judicial system will be woven throughout the two-day training.

Mindfulness for Trauma (Online)

Combining mindfulness to strengthen emotional regulation with existing empirical supported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments can improve outcomes through:

  • Increasing engagement
  • Increasing compliance
  • Decreasing the level of ruminations in PTSD

Several psychotherapeutic interventions incorporating training in mindfulness are clinically relevant to traumatic stress. PTSD treatment could benefit from including mindfulness into the therapeutic process. This would include areas such as the neuroscience of mindfulness, assessment instruments for mindfulness, mechanism of mindfulness and the relation between mindfulness and other techniques. Evidence suggests that mindfulness can improve the therapeutic results and the outcome of PTSD clients. Mindfulness can be used in two ways:

1. As an emotional regulation support technique for existing empirically supported PTSD treatments.

2. As a stand-alone treatment (mindfulness based cognitive behaviour psychotherapies).

Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue and Resilience (Online)

An informative and interactive workshop designed for service providers in order to understand the conceptual impact of the helping field on personal and professional selves. Skills, theories and practical applications will be explored and practiced on both an individual and organizational level.

Trauma and Addictions (Online)

Fall

Spring

Recent research has confirmed what addiction treatment providers already knew to be true: the large majority of people who suffer from addiction issues also have a history of trauma and/or victimization. Experiences of trauma can cause lasting psychological and physiological effects including deficiencies in emotional regulation, problem solving and impulse control. This, in turn, can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs and/or addictive behaviours as a "functional fit" to cope with overwhelming emotions, physical dysregulation and other post-traumatic symptoms.

This six-week online workshop explores the connection between trauma and addiction with a focus on providing knowledge, tools and resources to effectively serve clients who are dealing with both trauma and addiction issues.

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the link between trauma and addiction, including the neurobiology, physical and emotional responses of trauma and how they intersect with addictions
  • Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on future substance use dependency
  • Understand the impact of compassion fatigue when providing treatment to individuals with trauma/addictions
  • Being FULLY with the client, supporting connection, attachment and safety
  • The importance of integrating a trauma-informed care within organizations and service delivery model for addiction treatment
  • The impact of stigma, either visibly and invisibly, and how it operates within the structures of treatment for addictions and mental health
  • Understand addiction as a survival/coping strategy for traumatic memories and symptoms
  • The understanding and role of Structured Dissociative Approach within substance abuse treatment
  • Teach clients tools and practical strategies to regulate autonomic arousal and trauma-related emotions and body sensations without resorting to addictive behaviours
  • Explain and demonstrate strategies for flashback management
  • Review the of Seeking Safety Model and ATRIUM Model, supporting a trauma-informed care approach

Note: There is quite a bit of overlap between this workshop and Foundations of Trauma, so we don’t recommend taking both Foundations of Trauma and Trauma and Addictions.

CACCF: 12 continuing education hours.

Trauma Informed Service Systems (Online)

This workshop will include a review of the research on the prevalence of psychological trauma across sectors, the psychobiology of trauma with emphasis on understanding the effect of trauma on the developing brain and presents the case for the implementation of a service system that is trauma-informed. Participants will be engaged in a review of the theory and practice of a trauma-informed system and examine a variety of approaches and sector specific toolkits available for implementing the five principles and 10 commonly agreed upon standards at the organizational/systems level. Laurie will also present a review of the advances being made in promoting and implementing a trauma-informed approach across a variety of systems with discussion of real life local examples and a brief look of the movement around the world. Challenges in advocacy and leading change will be discussed, including the role that direct service providers can play in influencing change at the client service, organizational, community and policy level.

This workshop is recommended as a prerequisite for Trauma-Sensitive Practice

Traumatic Bereavement (Online)

When individuals experience a sudden, unexpected and/or violent death, we can anticipate that trauma is going to be part of their grief experience. Traumatic bereavement, however, is more than just the co-existence of grief and trauma. It is the interaction between grief and trauma that creates a persistent and prolonged set of painful and debilitating symptoms. This unique grief experience is highly vulnerable to environmental triggers which are imbedded in the neuropathways of the brain. ‘Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder’ is the category under consideration in the DSM-V, which incorporates the existing literature on complicated grief (CG) as well as new clinical considerations. Trauma informed grief work has become the new standard for clinicians working with individuals who have experienced a traumatic loss.

In this workshop, participants will learn about:

  • Complicated grief
  • Suicide bereavement
  • The effects of trauma on the mourner
  • Assessment and diagnostic criteria for CG
  • Trauma informed grief therapy
  • The importance of ceremonies and rituals
  • Taking care to give care

Working with Refugees and Survivors of War (Online)

Refugees and survivors of war are often left to face a lasting impact that trauma, violence or risk of violence may cause. Even after making the journey to a safe country, the immigration process (resettlement and acculturation) may also cause a stress that could have an impact on refugees’ and survivors of wars’ physical and mental health.

This two-day interactive workshop will provide both a conceptual framework and practical skills for assessment and interventions when working with refugees and survivors of war.

Throughout this workshop participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the effect of torture, violence or risk of violence.
  • Understand the effect of migration and post migration trauma.
  • Learn and practice effective skills for working with refugees and survivors of wars.
  • Learn and practice effective skills for working with triggered refugees or survivors of wars.
  • Learn how to effectively manage issues of religion and spirituality while working with triggered refugees or survivors of wars.
  • Learn effective ways to manage self-care.

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