Monday, February 18, 2013

Brain Based Social Work

Those who know me or who have been following this blog know that I am interested in the works of Bruce Perry and the neurosequential development of the brain. I believe that if we take his work seriously it could lead to a reveoution in the helping programs. To over-simplify, I believe that our most important task is to teach the child through experience that people cen be associated with pleasure. Then we also have to support brain development, offering that youth as many experiences as possible to promote his brain catching up to where it should be. This has all sort of ramifications.

So what do we actually do? I am giving a seminar for CT NASW: Using the New Brain Science to Create More Effective Treatment
Friday, March 1, 2013 - 9:00AM to 4:30 PM

( to register, hope to see you there), and in my preparation I decided to make a list of brain based interventions. This list is not complete by any means but it might be enough to start you thinking,

Brain Based Social Work

1.      With children and Youth

a.      Evaluation of brain capabilities
b.      Evaluation of verbal abilities
c.       Individualize approach to treatment
d.      Concentrate on positive interactions
e.      Use rhythm
                                                              i.      Walking
                                                            ii.      Rocking
                                                          iii.      Hand games
                                                           iv.      Throwing ball back and forth
                                                             v.      Use OT materials like large ball, mats  
f.        Emphasize narrative
                                                              i.      Journals back and forth
g.      Art
h.      Rythmic non verbal interaction when beginning to escalate
i.        Music and dance
j.        Sensory interventions
k.       Cooperative games
l.        Specifically inquire about safety
m.    Create opportunities for effective action
2.      With Families
a.      Playing together in session
b.      Project Joy
c.       Psycho-education
d.      Teach narrative, reading, etc.
e.      Sharing of skills
f.        Own trauma historie
3.      With adult clients
a.      Opportunities for motion
                                                              i.      Rocking chair
                                                            ii.      walks
b.      Sensory interventions
c.       Activity groups
d.      Cooking
e.      Parenting
4.  Specifically inquire about safety
g.      Create opportunities for effective action
h.      Create own narrative
i.        Not just trauma
j.        Teaching skill
k.       Effect of trauma on parenting
4.      As a supervisor
1.      Prioritize supervision
2.      Teach awareness and use of own feelings
3.      Celebrate success
4.      Hiring and promotions
5.      Awareness of VT
6.      Self and other care
7.      Notice and reward uses of brain-based thinking
8.      Acknowledge and troubleshoot obstacles
9.      Specific action on resistance
10.  Cultivate mindfulness
5.      As an administrator
1.      Enthusiastically support trauma informed care
2.      Clear vision of whyyou are making this change
3.      Measure results and share
4.      Resist  off over-using people
5.      Provide time to talk and think
6.      Promote inclusion of families
7.      Emphasize supervision and provide time for it
8.      Celebrate success
9.      Pay attention
10.  Acknowledge VT

So, what do you think? Do you have more examples? Click on#comment# and share them.






SB said...

Hi Pat, I went online to the naswct website but was unable to find informaiton about this seminar. I would love to get some more information and attend if possible. thanks!

Patricia Wilcox, LCSW said...

If you look on the front page of the NASW web site, which is www,, you will see the announcement of the Clinical Skills Series, with information on how to register. I hope to see you there!