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
Everyone in our sector is talking about “trauma-informed care.” But what does that really mean, and how does one become trauma-informed? In this exciting session, participants will learn what happens in the brain when someone experiences something as stressful as homelessness, and how to practically support someone through those challenging experiences.
- What eustress and distress are and how they affect the brain
- The philosophies and practices that make up trauma-informed care
- Discuss the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of embedding healing-centered principles in innovation and design efforts (and learn what this looks like in practice through a case study of Portland Homeless Family Solutions)
- Consider how these concepts apply not only to your programs and physical spaces but also to workforce resilience and organizational culture
Portland Homeless Family Solutions (PHFS)
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