Facilitating Groups for Children Using Trauma & Grief Informed Models

Provides at least one (1) hour of content on cultural competence.

Joan Letendre, PhD, LCSW
5 CECs

Monday, August 13, 2018
9:30 am – 4 pm   New Time!

Location: Hartford Public Library, Rm 026, 500 Main St.

Click here for seminar fees

When children experience grief from loss, or trauma from ongoing danger in the family or environment, developmental problems can occur that impact emotional regulation, impulse control, attention and cognition, all of which impact normal functioning and interactions with others. Using grief and trauma informed practices provides a therapeutic environment where children can learn to respond differently to events that trigger fear and reactive responses.  Within a group, use of a trauma informed model can provide an experience that allows children to feel safe, learn calming practices and engage in activities that lower reactivity and allow children to connect with others in ways that are fun and non-threatening.  Facilitation of such groups requires careful planning.  Leaders who facilitate such groups must be prepared to engage children in the group and learn ways of reinforcing behaviors that will contribute to a environment that promotes positive interactions and mutual aid while the children engage in the activities and exercises that will bring change and healing. Use of a curriculum with specific activities can be helpful.

In this seminar, we will focus on current trauma informed practices for working with children who experience grief/loss and trauma. Focus will include the current stressful larger social context that many children experience (incarceration of family members, anti-immigrant rhetoric, policies, and response, religious intolerance, anti-gay policy). Use of activities and exercises within the framework of developmental stages of the group (planning, beginning, middle and ending stages) and attention to cultural context will be emphasized.

Several teaching methods will be used including lecture, small and large group discussions, group activities and exercises, role-plays and case examples. Development of a safe space where all participants can engage in activities and share their group successes and challenges will be emphasized. Participants are encouraged to contribute by sharing examples of their own work including activities that they use with the children that they serve.

In this seminar, you will:

  • understand the effect that trauma and grief have on functioning of children
  • become aware of and learn to modify group models (evidence-based, trauma informed) to include the cultural context of the children
  • learn about and engage in activities that promote calming, connection and healing within a group
  • learn ways of providing support and self-care