In this workshop, Starr Commonwealth will discuss the integration of trauma-informed, sensory-based occupational therapy into behavioral health therapy via the “co-treatment approach.” This specialized approach enhances the developmentally appropriate, play-based tactics that help young children who have experienced trauma heal. This session will include discussion and demonstrations of activities conducted to assist participants in understanding the foundations of this specialized approach as well as how the developmentally informed strategies appear in practice.
Check out this article, authored by presenters Jenny Sloan and Sara Gariepy, referencing these practices in the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.
- Enhance knowledge of child development and integrate theoretical approaches to engaging children
- Adopt and develop at least three new strategies to engage clients in developmentally informed activities
- Evaluate your own historical journey of “play” and explore how your experiences as “players” informs your approach with play-based, developmentally informed interventions
Jenny Sloan, LMSW CTRT CTP-C
Behavioral Health Clinician
An organization’s ability to provide quality care and services is completely dependent on its ability to care for, equip, and retain its team members. The Buckeye Ranch serves families across a broad continuum of care with multiple, diverse service lines. Since the early 2000s, they’ve established organization-wide standards for serving families through the implementation of their principles of quality care, which are: Strength based, family centered, trauma informed, and culturally responsive. Their understanding of trauma’s impact on the brain has informed the care model and given them a scientific lens through which to implement the principles in their work. As increased turnover and a growing workforce crisis threatened their capacity to provide quality care, they turned attention to the application of these principles as well as the corresponding neuroscience to their team members.
The Buckeye Ranch’s 2020 strategic plan included investments in a deliberate approach toward operationalizing and applying these principles in working with their employees. This effort involved an expansion of their understanding of social-neuroscience to inform the creation of work environments that are not only trauma informed, but also strength based, family centered, and culturally responsive. They have taken a multi-pronged approach to this work, which includes: Restructuring the organization to make professional development a priority, intensive focus on supervisor and manager development, strategic investments in understanding and utilizing team member strengths, and deep dives into organizational self-reflection as well as resource allocation toward culturally respectful responses with their staff. In this presentation, they will offer a brief overview of the brain science informing this work and key strategic initiatives designed to increase employee well-being.
- Basic neurobiology of the stress response and neuro-reward systems
- How social-neuroscience informs the management of stress and reward in the workforce
- Organizational strategies to care for, equip, and retain staff
Director of Professional and Clinical Development
The Buckeye Ranch
Executive Vice President of Innovative Strategies
The Buckeye Ranch
Trauma-Informed Care Administrator
The Buckeye Ranch
Come and play Getting By, the game that puts your brain into poverty. You will see how your own thinking and decision making respond to scarcity. After playing, you will learn the basics of brain science. You will understand what some take for granted (give no thought to) and how that differs for people and children coping with poverty. With so many things crowding the brain, people in poverty respond to certain kinds of communication and not others. In this workshop, you will learn how to listen and respond effectively, improving your work with low-income children and families.
- What poverty changes in a person’s brain
- How to apply a framework to examine their own work
- Factors that interfere with learning and how to explore new ideas
Health Economy LLC
Principal Consultant / CEO
Poverty Informed Practice LLC
What does it look like to align brain science and race equity and embed both into programming, organizational culture, and systems change efforts? Come learn from the experiences of the Texas Change in Mind Learning Collaborative. This two-year project brought together ten diverse human service organizations in Texas from 2021-2023 to provide foundational content, peer-to-peer learning, implementation supports, and sustainability planning focused on these critical and connected topics.
In this session, participants will learn about the theory of change that guides the work of Social Current’s Change in Mind Institute, and hear directly from participants in the Texas Change in Mind cohort about their experiences in this learning community. Specifically, the presenters will analyze the themes and strategies that emerged across the cohort related to transformational change at multiple levels—programmatic, organizational culture, and community/systems change.
- The theory of change that guides the work of Social Current’s Change in Mind Institute
- How brain-friendly, healing-centered, equity-focused strategies overlap and can be implemented at the programmatic, organizational, and systems levels
- Lessons learned, challenges, and sustainability considerations identified by the Texas Change in Mind Learning Collaborative participants
Impact & Data Quality Manager
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
Chief Clinical Officer
Santa Maria Hostel
Director of Community Development
Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services
Director, Practice Excellence
Senior Director of Change in Mind
Did you know that the first impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is on the development of healthy executive function and self-regulation skills in 3-5 year olds? From late 2019-2021, three members of Social Current’s original Change in Mind brain science learning cohort joined forces to pilot home visiting and parenting group strategies to buffer children and caregivers against ACEs and toxic stress. With support from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child-Frontiers of Innovation, the three Change in Mind sites, the Institute for Child & Family Well-Being (Children’s Wisconsin), Children and Families First of Delaware, and The Family Partnership (TFP), came together to conduct rapid cycle, COVID-safe pilots of TFPs innovative Executive Functioning Across GenerationsTM curriculum. This session will discuss the results and learnings, implications for early childhood and parent support policy and practice, as well as how we are each continuing to innovate in the brain science space.
- Why executive functioning skills are core capabilities for life
- About an innovative brain science curriculum designed to boost skills and buffer children/caregivers against toxic stress
- How Social Current members have joined forces to innovate, test new solutions, and learn through rapid cycle evaluation
Senior VP of Strategy & Innovation
The Family Partnership
Manager, Grants & Quality Excellence
Children & Families First of Delaware
President and CEO
The Family Partnership
Director of Child Well-Being
Children’s Wisconsin Community Services
Children & Families First
Organizations in Social Current’s Texas Change in Mind Learning Collaborative are embedding brain science concepts into everything they do, including their daily work practices. To be well at work, we need to know about basic brain functioning. Our brain mediates our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and as Dr. Bruce Perry, an expert in brain science and trauma, notes “…a brain aware perspective helps me when I’m trying to understand people.” With this knowledge, we can prevent and mitigate the impact of toxic stress on our brains and bodies and achieve the workforce outcomes we strive for—increased trust, stronger relationships, candid conversations, more accountability.
Join this session to explore the brain science strategies critical for a healthy workforce, and how our Texas Change in Mind organizations are bringing them to their daily work.
- Brain science concepts for increasing effective communication and partnering at work
- Regulation strategies that are relevant for the work setting
- Executive functioning, its role in our daily work, and practical ways to reduce executive function burden and strengthen executive function capacities
- Strategies used by Texas Change in Mind organizations to infuse brain science into their daily work
Director of the Change in Mind Institute
Director of Practice Excellence
Participants will gain a deep understanding of polyvagal theory and how it applies to restoring balance in the autonomic nervous system. Functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems will be discussed to support trauma and resilience practitioners in understanding what sensory experiences will be most supportive. In addition, participants will learn how to activate the social engagement system to help chronically stressed or trauma-exposed children regulate their nervous system. Most stressed and traumatized people focus immediately on negative inner states, which increases fear reactions. The underpinning of the polyvagal theory encourages the drawing of attention to positive, non-aversive inner states, helping to bring the autonomic nervous system into a less fearful state. Participants will gain both an understanding of the physiological principles of trauma and stress in addition to practical interventions to help.
- Name and describe the two branches of the parasympathetic nervous system
- Discuss the polyvagal theory as it relates to trauma and resilience
- Identify at least three examples of interventions for youth that can be used in response to crisis and/or for psychological first aid
Senior Trainer and Program Consultant
Focusing on simple, practical, and adaptable strategies that can be effectively integrated into the busiest of days, this workshop will provide an overview of the impact of chronic elevated stress on physical and mental health based on our current understanding of neuroscientific research. Utilizing a combination of didactic information and experiential exercises, participants will learn the seven evidence-based stress busters and how to incorporate them into their own daily lives, as well as applying them to their work supporting others.
- Seven evidence-based strategies for mitigating toxic stress
- Organizational practices to reduce the impact of toxic stress in staff, youth, and families
- An individualized plan to enhance personal well-being using the seven stress busters
Phoebe Harris Millman
Clinical Director for School-Based Services in Contra Costa County
This presentation will discuss a translational research approach that is linking neuroimaging with applied research to improve trauma-informed services for children and families. Results from neuroimaging studies using functional MRI (fMRI) and applied research on assessment and treatment of trauma and abuse will be shared, and implications for practice and policy will be discussed.
- A translational research approach that is merging neuroimaging with applied research to improve the quality of trauma-informed services for children and adolescents
- Results from neuroimaging studies using fMRI that show how different forms of child maltreatment have different impacts on neural function
- Applied research findings on assessment and treatment approaches used in a trauma-informed residential program
Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., LIMHP, LPC
Senior Director of the Child and Family Translational Research Center
Karina Blair, Ph.D.
Boys Town National Research Hospital