Recent Posts



Using Trauma-Informed Care with Yourself

The five main principles of trauma-informed care (TIC), as developed by (Fallot & Harris, 2006) are safety, trustworthiness, collaboration, empowerment, and choice. How might we use these principles with ourselves and our feelings? It can be really common, particularly amongst trauma survivors, to dismiss our feelings. This is especially the case when we feel scared of our feelings or feel like we don’t have a right to those feelings. The problem is that feelings don’t just go away simply because we don’t want them or don’t acknowledge them. Instead, unwanted feelings tend to grow when they are not acknowledged. In fact, the great psychiatrist Henry Maudsley once said, “The sorrow which has

Handling Holiday Stress the Trauma-Informed Way

As we approach the winter holidays, we are all well aware that the world around us can feel chaotic, scary, worrisome, and stressful. These emotions and feeling states often conflict with the majority culture’s implicit and explicit emphasis on holiday cheer, happiness, and joy; feelings that are expected and valued. Unfortunately, the conflict between these divergent states can inadvertently lead to feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that can be out of character for many of us and cause further stress, anxiety and sometimes depression. While this state of affairs may be acute for adults, it is also true for our children and adolescents. In general we hope that adults have the psychologic

The Foster Care Label in the Classroom: Effects on Teachers’ Judgments and Decision-Making

In my clinical work I find that there are a few phrases that I tend to use over and over. One of my favorite things to say to parents and other caregivers goes something like: “I’m going to work with your child for one hour a week and I think we can do a lot of good in that hour. But it’s the people that your child is around the other 167 hours that are going to be the most important tool that we have.” It might be a little cliché, but in my experience (as well as in the research literature), the importance of a having a coordinated team of adults including caregivers, teachers, coaches, therapists, medical providers, and others cannot be overstated. Although these teams are important for al

Trauma-Informed De-escalation

Approaching each day with general attitude of equanimity is something that I have found allows me to be a successful administrator and therapist. I have been working in the behavioral health field for over ten years and the ability to approach tense times, overwhelmed employees, and escalated patient/clients is imperative. I have also learned in this time that those that may need help calming down likely have experienced, or at the very least been influenced by, some sort of trauma in their life. It is for this reason when attempting to de-escalate anyone I treat them as if they have experienced trauma. I always start any interaction with the perspective shift of, "What happened to them?"

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Erie County