Listed below are Available Training Workshops with detailed descriptions. If you are interested in a topic, and would like us to present this to your organization, please contact us.

Training Workshops

Assessing Trauma in Children and Adolescents

This workshop will present a comprehensive model for the assessment of trauma in children and adolescents. Key clinical issues in trauma assessment will be identified. The role of psychometric measures, collateral information, previous diagnoses and child interviews will be defined. Models of trauma assessment will be presented and each model will be reviewed and discussed in terms of applicability.

Critical Issues in Sibling Sexual Abuse

This workshop will review the literature and clinical features of sibling sexual abuse. Topics include: separation of victim and offender, joint interviews with victim and offender, the roles of key service providers (police, protective services, probation, and mental health). The critical role of full family participation in the assessment and treatment process will be outlined. Case examples demonstrate a working model to address issues of safety, loyalty, engagement, and minimization.

Effects of Early Trauma on Brain Development

Attachment is a deep and lasting connection established between an infant and caregiver in the early years of life. It affects every aspect of child development. Children raised by nurturing and stable caregivers develop healthy attachments and a secure sense of self. The brains of such infants also have the opportunity for optimal development. Children raised in neglectful, abusive or unpredictable environments are at risk of developing attachment disorders and deficits in brain development. Such children present with oppositional, impulsive, aggressive and mistrustful behavior. They have poor affect regulation and an inability to trust and care for others, and are often very difficult to reach and to treat. These are the children who challenge and drain the resources of parents, caregivers and professionals. The workshop will include lecture, individual exercises and small group discussions. Implications for assessment and treatment planning will be outlined.

Effects of Early Trauma on Child Development

Trauma takes many forms in the early development of children. The impact of attachment disruption, chaotic, unpredictable and violent environments as well as specific events will be the focus of this workshop. The resulting effects of early trauma on brain development, personality development and functioning will be discussed. This workshop will examine the effects of trauma that occurred to the child between the ages of 0 and 6 years. Implications for assessment and treatment planning will be outlined.

Externalization of Graphic Imagery – Effective Use of Art in the Treatment of Trauma

Nightmares, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts are three of the most common symptoms reported by children, youth and adults who have experienced trauma. These effects are often the result of graphic imagery that is stored in limbic memory, inaccessible through cognitive methods alone.

Externalization of graphic imagery through the creation of two and three-dimensional art has the ability to lessen cathartic communication of raw emotions and avoid repetition of troubling memories.  Capturing traumatic experiences and transforming them into a visual language leads to emotional reparation and recovery.

This workshop will examine the effective use of art in the treatment of trauma and explore how symbolic and metaphorical expression can be a creative, right brain intervention, giving voice to the most unspeakable experiences.

Presenters will use specific case-related examples to demonstrate method. Workshop is relevant to all professionals working with persistent nightmares, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts.

Investigative Interviewing of the Preschool Child

Investigating allegations of abuse of a preschool child is particularly challenging to the family and criminal justice systems, law enforcement and child protection. In order to address the various needs of professionals and systems we have designed a training model focused on what everyone needs to know; did something happen? If so, what happened? Two seemingly simple questions present a considerable dilemma to those who have not been offered specialized training in eliciting accurate, non contaminated evidence from preschoolers. Developmental limitations particularly in cognition and language must be understood in order for the professional regardless of discipline to be effective in interviewing preschoolers. Our comprehensive multidisciplinary training includes:

  • Relevant developmental information on preschool children
  • Practical strategies for approach, questioning, interview focus, flow and closure
  • Interview protocols that protect against contamination
  • Review of research on suggestibility in a young child
  • Research on disclosure by young children
  • Review of validation criteria for assessing the credibility of young child statements
  • Crime scene preservation
  • Kahn applications
  • Successful prosecution strategies

The topics will be adjusted for single disciplines wishing to take this training.

Sexual Development Birth through Puberty: “What is Normative?”

Understanding inappropriate sexual behaviour presentations is impossible without having a clear understanding of normative sexual behaviour. This workshop will review normative sexual development – birth through puberty. Developmental expectations for each phase of sexual development will be clearly outlined.

Sexualized Behaviour Problems in Prepubescent Children – When is Clinical Intervention Necessary?

This workshop will address the confusing issues surrounding sexualized behaviour presentation by the pre-school and school aged child. Discussion will include the influence of culture and media on “acceptable” behaviour. Criteria will be outlined to assist in determining the necessity of clinical intervention. The role of parents, educators, health care personnel and mental health practitioners in identifying problems will be defined.

Tools Utilized in the Assessment of Trauma: Determining Treatment Direction

Effective trauma treatment is highly dependent on an accurate trauma assessment. The workshop will review specific tools for trauma assessment and outline the implications for trauma treatment based on assessment results.

“Translating Neurobiology for Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Complex Trauma”

Achievements in the science of neurobiology over the past decade hold profound implications for the treatment of complex trauma.  Breakthroughs have also assisted in the understanding of why some kids get “stuck”; leaving caregivers and therapists frustrated and perplexed as to “where to go from here?”  Changes in the lens through which we view children, the expectations we have of their behaviour, and the approach we use, all allow for effective, growth-producing intervention.  The veil of mystery regarding “what works and why” is lifted.  While many practitioners have been exposed to the language, few have had opportunity to think through and learn the specific strategies which result in change for children. This one day workshop will outline:

  • How an understanding of functional developmental level results in more appropriate and attainable goals for behavioural change and response.
  • The barriers to growth and development for severely neglected children.
  • How chaos and unpredictability in early care giving result in brain disorganization.

The presenter will teach approaches to working with children who have been raised in chaotic, unpredictable and violent homes.  Issues to be explored and addressed:

  • Affect regulation or anger management?
  • Aggression or intense manifestation of anxiety?
  • Attention seeking or connection/attachment seeking?
  • Rewarding bad behaviour or recognizing developmental need?

Trauma Assessment and Treatment for Individuals with Intellectual Disability

This workshop will present a comprehensive model for the assessment of trauma in individuals with Intellectual Delay. Key clinical issues in trauma assessment will be identified. The role of collateral information, previous diagnoses and client and support person interviews will be defined. Trauma presentation in individuals with Intellectual Delay will be discussed. Key issues surrounding the assessment and producing a formulation will be examined and strategies for overcoming barriers to assessment and treatment reviewed.

Trauma Treatment: A Directive Structured Approach to Treating Unresolved Trauma

Trauma treatment is complex. There are diverse and often competing theories about how individuals experience and interpret their traumatic experience and how we as counsellors can respond. All theorists are in agreement that trauma impacts on the emotional belief system of the individual. These belief systems often centre on the victims’ feelings of self blame and are played out in persistent trauma symptoms such as depression, depersonalization and aggressive behaviour. Trauma theory assists the clinician in identifying and responding to these key emotional belief systems. In this workshop, we will examine trauma theory and its impact on clinical practice. Choice of treatment modality (individual, group and/or family), treatment plan development and length of intervention will be highlighted.

Certification Programs

Sexualized Behaviour Assessment and Treatment Certification Program (Children and Prepubescent Youth)

This program includes 10 full days of training together with intensive monitored practice on how to assess and treat children and prepubescent youth who are exhibiting sexualized behaviors.

Each trainee will work on 5 to 10 assessment and 5 to 10 treatment cases where their work will be monitored and they will receive feedback through scheduled consultation sessions. See complete course description, fees and registration information under the “Certification” tab.

Trauma Assessment and Treatment Certification Program (Children and Adolescents)

This program includes 10 full days of training together with intensive monitored practice on how to assess and treat children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. In addition to in-class instruction, each trainee will be required to assess 5 to 10 trauma cases and provide treatment to 5-10 cases. Their work will be monitored and they will receive feedback through scheduled consultation sessions, following the training program. See complete course description, fees and registration information under the “Certification” tab.