Sunday, August 05, 2012

Training for Therapists

 I am thinking of developing a training series for therapists who are working in trauma-informed congregate care programs. This would not be a training to learn about trauma, how it affects people and how they can heal. Risking Connectionâ and other curriculum do that. This is to teach therapists to be the most effective treaters and leaders within a team program that believes that every staff member is actively involved in the treatment process. How can the therapist be the best leader, and be the flag bearer for clinical thinking? Often such programs hire therapists right out of graduate school or with limited experience. And if the therapist has worked mainly in outpatient settings he or she will discover that the congregate care setting is quite a different role. There are many tensions, traps and dilemmas. What do you think a good therapist in congregate care needs to know? What have you wished that people hired into your program had been taught? Click on “comment” and tell me your ideas.

Here are my ideas so far. I envision this to be a four to six week program, 2 hours or so a week.

An Awesome Therapist in a Trauma-Informed Congregate Care Setting

The Role of the Therapist
Take away a screaming child and bring her back calm
Integration- Does not mean running to every restraint or crisis
Characteristics of a good therapist
Role with Family
Role with team
Where is the line of confidentiality?
Interactions with outside system
Need for support and use of supervision

Formulation, Treatment Planning and Treatment Themes
Skill of Formulation
Formulation guides treatment planning
Formulation- current case or examples

Using the Trauma Framework and Brain Science to Know What to Do
Using brain science to decide what stage child is in and vary interventions
Evaluate self capacities
Skill development
Use crisis prevention plans
Constantly re-evaluate

Doing Therapy- Ignoring the Push to Change
How trying to change the client prevents change
Do not talk to child about how his life would be better if he stopped doing these bad things
Explore, explore, explore
Using creativity
Walk, move
Involving team members

When Things Go Wrong
Behavior Problems
Lack of progress
Team De-moralized
Cultivating Stamina

Strengthening inner connection
Boundary questions

Vicarious Trauma
Staying alive and hopeful in the work
Understanding and recognition
Individual protection
Agency protection
Vicarious transformation

I also hope that such a course for the therapists in an agency would strengthen bonds between them and increase their ability to support each other.

So, what do you think? Would this be helpful in your agency? Anything else you think I should add? I would certainly appreciate your ideas, just click “comment” below.

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