As a therapist and educator, I have seen and worked with many young men and women who have had a number of adverse childhood experiences within the last 15 years. The goal of my seminars and workshops are to aid administrators, teachers, counselors, community organizations in understanding the nature of trauma, how it affects the whole child and to engage children who have had adverse childhood experiences. My primary desire for professionals to see youth not as victims or discipline cases, but as people who are responding to life in the way that they know how to do given their experiences, inter-generational legacies and their own choices. By being knowledgeable about how trauma impacts development, thoughts and behavior is essential to offering high quality care and education. My secondary desire is for staff to know and utilize resilience strategies to encourage the child to move from basic survival to thriving in their environments. My third desire is to provide professionals a “tool box” to work with families who are disengaged from the educational system and/or who have experienced trauma in their own lives.
I utilize three key structures in all of my workshops- trauma informed care principles, classroom management techniques and self-care strategies. Being a former educator and working as a therapeutic day treatment counselor, I find it is essential to support the child as well as the educator. Within my workshops I offer ways to address professional stressors, minimize compassion fatigue/burnout and give concrete ways to address those stressors. I have also found that relationships are the key to good teaching, learning and relating. I have workshops dedicated to strengthening relationships between children, families and organizations to improve family engagement.