“Trauma is marked by a loss of control. Treatment must start with creating an atmosphere of safety through predictable, respectful relationships. For an individual to heal, they must feel safe and in control. Choice, empowerment, and the ability to express how they feel and be heard are essential to recovery.
— Dr. Bruce Perry (2006)
There is a growing interest in trauma-informed care in North America, including across Canada. With increased emphasis by authorities and funders on the need for trauma-informed services, it is becoming more common to see a staff member and/or an organization complete some level of training in this area. However, what this looks like may vary from one person or agency to another, ranging from completing a checklist, to attending a short workshop, to taking on a more fulsome organizational assessment and implementation process. Furthermore, most trauma-informed service trainings or toolkits available do not include a deeper understanding of the neuroscience of trauma and attachment as a framework and are limited in their scope.
Why Adopt This Model? Our Advantage:
Becoming a Certified Trauma Integration Organization (CTIO) assures that you have taken steps to ensure comprehensive agency-wide training to implement an integrative trauma and attachment model of trauma-informed services. This framework is ideal for many mental health, addictions treatment, medical, social and community service settings in both the private and public sector. This training will provide insight into some of the most current information available regarding trauma-informed organizational change, implementation, and sustainability.
- by Trauma Specialist Clinicians: As Registered Psychotherapists, both Sarah and Lori offer clinical insights to supplement their theoretical knowledge and extensive training with world-renowned trauma and attachment experts. This allows for rich case examples that many participants can relate to with regards to their own clients and cases. Both are seasoned and sought after speakers in the area of trauma, attachment, and compassion fatigue prevention and have backgrounds in policy development and administration. Having worked for various non-profit organizations in the social services, community services and mental health sectors, as well as having worked on the funding side of the health care system, both Lori and Sarah are well-versed in understanding the importance of balancing the provision of quality care with performance measures and funding requirements.
- Integrates Best Practices and Promising Approaches: The CTIO training draws extensively from the latest research and literature on trauma-informed care and trauma-specific treatment, and provides a strong, evidence-based and evidence-informed model that consolidates resources and recommendations from a variety of sources. The training covers the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and additional insights gained from research in the field of PTSD, complex early developmental trauma, dissociation, and attachment dynamics. The training is aligned with the tri-phasic model of staged trauma treatment, emphasizes the importance of safety and stabilization as the foundation of all trauma-informed care, and is inspired by the works of:
- Dr. Roger Fallot and Dr. Maxine Harris and the Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care organizational model and toolkit
- Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and associates at The Trauma Center in Brookline, MA
- Dr. Peter Levine and faculty members at The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute
- Dr. Stephen Porges and polyvagal theory
- Dr. Dan Siegel and interpersonal neurobiology
- Dr. Dan Hughes and dyadic developmental psychotherapy
- Dr. Shari Geller and therapeutic presence
- Dr. Lisa Najavits and the Seeking Safety model
- Dr. Marsha Linehan and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy skills
- As well as material inspired by Dr. Pat Ogden, Dr. Janina Fisher, Dr. Robert Scaer, Dr. Allan Schore, Dr. Bruce Perry, Dr. Ruth Lanius, Dr. Paul Frewen, Dr. Ed Tronick, Dr. Beatrice Beebee, Dr. Peter Fogany, Babette Rothschild, and others.
- Presents Practical Tools for Clients, Workers and Clinicians: The training draws on basic principles in trauma neuroscience, neurophysiology, attachment theory and systems dynamics, allowing for an understanding at working level of how trauma impacts our brain, mind, body, behaviour and relationships. The training offers an introduction on how to successfully promote self-regulation through a variety of sensory-based techniques that are as relevant for clients as they are for those working with them. The training also goes beyond trauma-informed tools for supporting clients, and explores the importance of worker self-regulation and therapeutic presence in fostering safety, trust, and co-regulation for clients with complex trauma and compromised nervous systems (“safe and effective use of self”).
- Addresses Change at All Organizational Levels: The training also focuses on how the organization can become more trauma-informed at a systemic level, by exploring administrative practices, policies and procedures as well program and site-specific adaptations that encourage client safety, choice, voice and empowerment. This includes guidance on the difference between trauma screening and trauma assessment, guidelines for screening clients to prevent retraumatization and overwhelm, a review of existing policies and practices, as well as core competencies for working with clients in a trauma-informed way.
- Accommodates Different Learning Styles: Including a combination of lecture style modules and case examples along with opportunities for small group discussion and dyad practice, the CTIO training models the importance of top-down and bottom-up learning and processing as paralleled in trauma-informed services and treatment.
- Diversity Sensitive, Inclusive and Strengths Based: The training touches on the intergenerational impacts of trauma, from epigenetic to pre-natal injuries and early developmental trauma, to shock trauma and beyond. It also promotes an anti-oppression framework that acknowledges the particular challenges suffered by marginalized populations such as residential school survivors, slavery and genocide survivors, oppressed sub-cultures, minority groups, including individuals of various faiths, socioeconomic status, ethnicities, sexes, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. The training has particular relevance for working with clients facing a variety of mental and physical health challenges, addictions, eating disorders, dual diagnoses, and concurrent disorders.
- Support for Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma: The training promotes identification and prevention of these common hazards of working in the mental health sector, through somatic self-awareness, self-compassion and self-care.
- Customized: The CTIO training is comprised of core material that is adapted to the specific context and needs of your organization, community and client population, and values the existing skills and experience of your team.
The CTIO training fosters an understanding of people that shifts away from the more stigmatizing and shame-inducing, “what’s wrong with you?” to a more compassionate and accurate “what’s happened to you?” and “how have you adapted to survive?” leading to the additional question of “what is possible in terms of healing and moving forward?” Adopting a trauma lens means that we understand that it is not that people don’t want to respond a certain way or change certain behaviours, but that they can’t at the present moment without the proper internal skills and supports in place.
This perspective recognizes that trauma is co-morbid with and masquerades as a number of other mental and physical health issues, and that a core awareness of its differential diagnoses is crucial in order to ensure effective assessment and treatment planning. It also emphasizes a refreshing paradigm shift, balancing the familiarity of the diagnostic model most often used in mental health, with a new way to recognize and understand diagnoses in terms of where clients are on the dysregulation spectrum.
Herman (1997) indicates that working with complex trauma can be challenging due to its oscillating and dialectical nature, and that a comprehensive awareness of trauma and its impact should be known before engaging in trauma interventions. While this is certainly true for trauma-specific practices and practitioners, holding an understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and attachment is just as important for people and organizations that are not providing trauma treatment but are still wishing to become trauma-informed.
Pre- and Post-Training Assessments
Prior to the training, a self-report measure will be provided in order to assess where your organization currently is in relation to integrating trauma-informed principles at all levels of your organization. It is highly recommended to complete and review this readiness and needs assessment in advance, in order to identify and map out the areas, policies and procedures you would like to prioritize and focus on during the formal training process. To obtain the most accurate reflection of your current strengths and growing edges, we suggest collating responses from the entire team, by department.
To facilitate the integration of trauma-informed services within your organization, we encourage the development of a working group or task force comprised of key management staff and/or representatives of various departments prior to the implementation of CTIO, who would attend the team planning workshop.
Post-training self-report measures will also be provided in order to help track the integration of trauma- informed principles over time in alignment with your funder’s performance measures and with your agency’s vision and mandate. Annual booster training sessions and clinical supervision / consultation can also be provided to maintain currency and ensure sustainability of changes over time.
Participants should come away from the process with a greater understanding of:
Trauma-Informed Organizational Development
- Frontline changes, such as relational dynamics, procedural issues, physical environment, agency values and organizational culture
- Service-level changes, such as policies, client screening and assessment protocols, and guidance in assessing options for further training in trauma-specific treatment modalities
- Administrative changes, such as human resources practices, policies and procedures
- Organization-wide changes, educating administrative support staff, clinical team members, management and Board
- System-wide changes, in terms of exploring collaborative service delivery with community partners to enhance integration and help reduce gaps
- Goal setting and implementation of the above
- What it means to be trauma-informed at an organization, service system and societal level
- Core principles, guiding values and common language of trauma-informed services
- Understanding what is helpful vs. what is harmful
- The difference between trauma-informed and trauma-specific services
- Trauma-informed competencies for frontline workers, including therapeutic presence
Foundations of Trauma and Attachment
- How stress and trauma affect the brain, body and behaviour
- Understanding self-protective responses, the triune brain and window of tolerance models
- The role of attachment in self-regulation and healthy development
- The impact of early trauma and attachment injuries on child development and adult health
- Recognizing the signs of emotional and physical dysregulation
Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
- Identifying common signs and symptoms, as well as concrete tools to support self-care, self- regulation and self-compassion
Introduction to Safety and Stabilization Skills (Stage 1 Trauma Support)
- Grounding and sensory down-regulation strategies
- Orienting and resourcing
- Containment and self-soothing strategies
- Mindfulness and self-compassion
- Structured sensory interventions
An overview of trauma-specific treatment approaches will be provided for further exploration. Additional trauma-specific trainings can be delivered via the training consultants, and suggestions for other trauma therapy trainings offered by independent sources will also be provided.
For More Information
Please contact Lori Gill, MA, RP, CTS, founder of the Certified Trauma Integration Organization model, or Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP, co-developer and co-trainer, for additional information or to discuss your organization’s requirements and needs, and to obtain a quote.