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Level I: Part Two: Class 4 – Creatively and Effectively Treating Trauma: The Foundation of Trauma-Informed Care

April 16 Join Zoom 8:20 am; Training 8:45 am - 4:15 pm (ET) , 6 CEUs Presenter: Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA Zoom, MD + Google Map

This class is only open to participants of the Level I program.

For information about the Level I Trauma Certificate Program, click here.

Workshop Description

In this 6-hour workshop we will make the connection between the inevitable coping strategies that emerge for abused and neglected children and how those behaviors create suffering and dysfunction in adulthood. We will explore the impact that trauma has on their adult relationships, career choices, ability or inability to engage in self-care,  self-advocacy, and self-protection. We will process the co-morbid issues that adult survivors struggle with as they attempt to navigate, self-medicate or numb, the thoughts, feelings and memories associated with past trauma. Particular attention will be paid to doing “trauma-informed” assessments that appropriately pace the work and prevent clients from becoming triggered, dysregulated, or overwhelmed early in the therapy process. Participants will learn how to gather information about clients’ histories while maintaining a strengths-based approach. We will also take into consideration intakes, assessments, and treatment that is done by tele-therapy, where extra attention must be paid to issues including privacy, confidentiality, and pacing.

We will also process the “foundation” of trauma treatment, including: the creation of internal and external safety; strategies to address affect dysregulation; ongoing pacing and anchoring for stabilization; containment; and connection to external resources for support. Participants will have the opportunity to practice creating a safe place collage. Additional strategies designed to keep clients in the optimal window of arousal will be processed as well.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain at least three key concepts from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and their relevance to trauma work.
  2. Identify at least ten adult manifestations of childhood abuse or neglect and explain why earlier experiences led to those adult dysfunctional behaviors.
  3. Define ‘trauma-informed” assessment and differentiate it from an intake that is more likely to trigger the client.
  4. Analyze how a therapist’s counter-transference can adversely impact the assessment and intake process.
  5. Identify at least six “less threatening” questions that can be asked when gathering information about family-of-origin experiences.
  6. Identify at least six features that define a “trauma informed” therapist.
  7. Explain at least three reasons why some clients do not want to do trauma related work in an online format.
  8. Implement at least three strategies to create external safety in a therapy session.
  9. Describe and implement the “safe place” collage to help resource and reground clients.


8:45-10:00 am

  • Processing the ACE Study: its origins; the connection between medical and mental health
  • Why traumatized kids present the way they do
  • “What’s wrong with them” vs “what happened to them?”

10:00-10:07 am                      Break

10:07-11:00 am

  • Adult manifestations of childhood abuse and neglect
  • The impact of not resolving trust vs mistrust
  • The emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and somatic impact
  • Assessing for trauma and co-morbidity: making the process less traumatic

11:00-11:08 am                        Break

11:08-12:00 pm

  • Verbally administering questionnaires and assessment tools
  • Counter-transference, pacing, and keeping clients grounded
  • Asking less threatening questions during history taking

12:00-1:00 pm                        Lunch

1:00-2:00 pm

  • Defining the “trauma informed” therapist
  • Doing trauma work through tele-therapy: pros and cons
  • Assessing for co-morbidity

2:00-2:08 pm                         Break

2:08-3:00 pm

  • Exploring the “foundation” of trauma treatment
  • Creating internal and external safety: awareness of the office environment as well as the client’s internal resourcing

3:00-3:07 pm                         Break

3:07-4:15 pm

  • Safe place collage experiential and processing
Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C DAPA