Keynote – Heather Forbes

“This is Your Brain on Trauma: Understanding Challenging and Difficult Behaviors.”

Description: Exposure to trauma during the most critical developmental years of a child’s life can have a profound and life-long impact. So many of our children’s histories are plagued with multiple layers of chronic and prolonged abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect. There is nothing simple about it. The result is “Complex Trauma.” The multiple challenges faced on a day-in-and-day-out basis for those working with or parenting these children can be overwhelming. A fresh perspective with loving but scientifically-based options for parents, educators, professionals, and community leaders will be given to help change the negative cycle we’ve seen happening in our culture.

Breakout #1 Sessions 10:45AM – 12:00PM

Breakout: “Make Me!” – Strategies for Challenging Behaviors – Heather Forbes

Understanding the brain science and recognizing the impact that trauma has on our students is only half of the equation. Learning how to apply this knowledge in the daily interactions with students is the other half and often the most difficult. This workshop will help participants apply the concepts of neuro-science into real life. Through role-plays and video clips of real-life behavioral examples, participants will leave this presentation saying, “Now I get it…now I understand how to put science into action!”

 Creating Safe Spaces through Mindfulness – Abby Seyfer

Practicing mindfulness in every-day life has shown to decrease activity in the areas of the brain associated with trauma and the stress-response system.   It is through increased awareness of our physical movements, thoughts, and emotional responses that individuals are able to create a more solid sense of self, and thus increase self-esteem and self-acceptance. This presentation will offer new ideas on how to incorporate mindfulness into the therapy room, classroom, or home in order to encourage safe, calm spaces, in which healthy relationships can grow and thrive. Focus will be not only on practical exercises to utilize with children and adolescents within different environments but also how this practice benefits the whole person through a more integrated body and mind. Participants will have the opportunity to practice several mindfulness exercises to utilize with children and teens while incorporating ideas for their own self-care.

Building Resilience through Trauma Informed Clinical Practices with Children – Lindsey Swales

Statistics show that trauma happens and sadly impacts a large number of children each day.  As practitioners, we have the opportunity to walk alongside our clients as they make their journey towards healing.  One of the greatest ways we can do this, is by helping to build resilience.  Resiliency can be defined as an individual’s ability to overcome adversity and continue his or her normal development.  This presentation will assist practitioners in increasing their knowledge related to trauma and adverse childhood experiences.  Participants will learn ways to identify and assess for childhood adversity as well as learn techniques and core practices to utilize in sessions to foster resilience, hope, and well-being in clients.

 Compassion Resilience – Jennifer Null

In this workshop, participants will increase awareness of compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and burnout. You will learn why working with vulnerable populations can put you in such a high risk group for experiencing compassion fatigue. Participants will engaged in learning warning signs, symptoms, how to measure, and how to consciously work on increasing compassion resiliency as part of their daily practice.

Keynote – Dr. Mollie Marti

Resiliency Matters: Helping Children Grow Through Adversity

Description: Caring adults have the power to plant seeds of resilience that grow to strengthen and even save lives. Based on scientific research and effective community-based practices, the THRIVE Resilience Model™ developed by Dr. Marti serves as a framework for simple yet powerful actions that grow resilience. Pulling from her work with communities and schools, Mollie will share stories, insights, and inspirations for actions that you can take to help children respond to adversity, build strength, and grow resilience.

Breakout #2 Sessions 2:00PM – 3:15PM


Poverty and Its Effects on the Brain & Learning – Brian Christoffersen

Growing up in this unkind, hectic, media influenced 21st Century America is not an easy task. For kids who face this challenge engrossed in a life of poverty the odds are even more stacked against them. A childhood in poverty and the adverse circumstances that come with it has devastating effects on the development of their brain. The resulting difficulties with attention, learning, emotional regulation and social skills can wreak havoc in our schools and puts them at a disadvantage as they grow into adulthood. This session addresses the effects that poverty has on the brain and offers ideas on how schools can create enriching environments of sanctuary full of opportunities for all students in order to best meet their diverse learning needs.

 Building Resilient Students, Teachers, and Schools through PBIS: Making Connections between the ARCH Model of Resiliency and Effective Classroom Practices – Laura Medberry & Holly Becker

Schools across our area have been working toward effective implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) for multiple years.   Connecting the framework with strategies for building resilience can help staff to understand the critical importance of both. By coupling PBIS and the ARCH framework (Attachment, Regulation, Competency, and Health) we can increase the resilience of students and staff. Participants in this session will see how teachers in one local school connect PBIS Effective Classroom Practices (such as Procedures and Routines and Active Supervision) with the ARCH Model of Resilience.  This shines a new light on PBIS implementation in which teachers work to create the environments most conducive to learning and do so with greater intentionality toward building students’ resilience.

Trauma and the Brain: Looking for the links between attachment, trauma and the brain and possible solutions – Dr. Randall Lyle

The presentation will look at the effects of trauma and neglect on brain development and how that is translated into behaviors across the lifespan. The decade of the brain looks to be shifting to the quarter century of the brain and this presentation will try and integrate some of the most recent findings that links trauma, ACE and neglect on children and adult behaviors. In addition we will look at a range of treatment options for helping the brain to change and allow trauma survivors to enjoy their lives.

 Building Resilience through Authentic Relationships – Maggie Hartzler

Research shows us that healing happens in the context of relationships with others. It is our most primitive need to feel connected and a sense of belonging. Combine that with feeling purpose and meaning in life and the human potential is unstoppable. I believe it is our duty to live each day planting seeds of resilience into the world and within our relationships with others. When we perceive life through the lens of hope, well-being, and love we engage in relationships in an authentic, centered way that allows the mending of two people through vulnerability, connection and shared meaning. This presentation will focus on how we can foster resilience through authentic relationships in our everyday lives.

Trauma Informed Crisis Response– Sarah Nelson-Miller

Understanding the brain science behind the need for Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is the first step, but then what?  In this session you will learn how to take what you know about ACEs and TIC and put it into practice as you work with youth experiencing crisis.  Utilizing a trauma informed approach is both incredibly challenging and critically important when supporting youth in the midst of an acute crisis.  We will explore various scenarios and ways to tweak your interventions to deliver services through a trauma informed lens.  You can expect to leave this session with tools that will increase your confidence and strategies for working with youth in crisis.

Breakout #3 Sessions 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Designing My Resilience Path – Kristi Cooper

ACE’s may have shaped the story of your childhood, adolescent development, and adult life and health outcomes. You may be thinking that what happened to you created what’s wrong with you.  But we have the power to write the rest of our story. In this workshop, we will use a well-being model to examine pathways to our own healing and find meaning in our ACE’s journey. Experience a mind body skills tool for discernment. Draft a self-care action plan to build resiliency strategies that can evolve over our lifetime.

 Trauma & Resilience—The Latino Immigrant Experience – Lily Liggins

Latinos are the second largest population and the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. The state of Iowa, is no exception. Latinos are also the largest racial or ethnic minority group, and population growth is expected to double in size by the year 2050. This population growth presents us a unique opportunity to understand key issues and trends related to the Latino and immigrant community. We will explore trauma exposure in pre-migration, during migration, and post-migration experiences, as well as its impact on mental health needs. We will highlight the importance of Latino values in building resilient communities, and address culturally sensitive ways to support Latino individuals and families as helping professionals.

It Starts With Me – Jennifer McDonnell

Have you ever wondered where to start with a new idea, approach or theory?  Well, it starts with you.  Join Jennifer McDonnell, Associate Principal at Prairie Creek Intermediate School as she takes a look back at her practices with students, parents and staff and the impact made.  This session is beneficial to participants who are ready to take action in any system.

Creating Trauma Informed Schools: a Leadership Perspective – Autumn Pino

Participants will learn how to create school leadership that is grounded in trauma-informed policies and practices. Participants will learn how to build school teams that look at classroom practices through a trauma-sensitive lens. The presentation will focus on examples and learned lessons as well as key strategies for building systems rooted in trauma informed practices.

Trauma and the Benefits of Music Therapy – Amber Cook

Learn about music therapy and how music is a positive intervention when working with those who have experienced trauma.  Ways music can support and provide resiliency will also be highlighted.  A variety of interventions will be demonstrated and ways to adapt these interventions will be discussed. Participants will leave with a “toolbox” of ideas for personal use.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search