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Integrating a Trauma-Informed Approach in Behavioral Health Settings Enhanced Professional Learning Series

Over the past 20 years, a growing understanding of the pervasive and harmful impact of traumatic events on individuals, families, and communities has led to the emergence of research on the effects of trauma and treatment strategies to address mental health and substance use disorders. According to SAMSHA, trauma is a widespread, harmful, and costly public health problem, occurring because of violence, abuse, neglect, loss, disaster, war, and other emotionally harmful experiences. While many people who experience a traumatic event do not have lasting negative effects, others experience more difficulty with traumatic stress reactions. Research has documented the relationship between exposure to traumatic events and substance abuse. For example, approximately 20%-90% of individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) have a history of childhood trauma and 37% to 52% have a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis (Mergler et al, 2018). When it comes to trauma, there are no boundaries with regard to age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, geography, or sexual orientation.

This 7-week online learning series will increase the skill level of behavioral health professionals to define and recognize trauma in individuals. Helping individuals affected by trauma to manage their symptoms using a strength-based approach minimizes re-traumatization and enhances practitioners’ ability to provide trauma-informed support.


Every Tuesday, October 22 – December 3, 2019 12:00 – 1:30 PM CT


  • Identify initial and ongoing reactions to trauma
  • Review Identity Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth (PTG)
  • Explain the effects of trauma on various developmental stages
  • Identify common experiences that produce traumatic impact
  • Outline the Polyvagal Theory and brain/body responses to trauma
  • Conceptualize the system-wide impact of trauma informed care
  • Describe the core components of trauma and diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Review the relationship between childhood trauma substance use and suicidal ideation
  • Identify the key principles of a trauma-informed care in treating substance use and mental health disorders


  • Professionals in Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health Disorders, Peer Recovery Support, and medical practitioners located in the Mountain Plains ATTC Region (HHS Region 8).


  • Prior to the October 22, 2019, view a 20-minute tutorial on how to use the videoconferencing platform
  • Attend a live one-hour online Orientation Session on Tuesday, October 22nd at 11:00 am Mountain Time / 12:00 pm Central Time
  • Commit to 6-weeks of training for 1.5 hours weekly on scheduled series days/times and complete ONE hour of weekly learning activities
  • Access to appropriate technology to utilize online videoconferencing platform (i.e., an internet connection, built-in or USB webcam, laptop/tablet, built-in/USB/Bluetooth speakers and microphone)
  • Be prepared and actively engage while on camera 90% of the scheduled series time


  • Kate Speck, PhD, MAC, LADC
  • Pam Oltman, MS, LIMHP, LADC
Starts: Oct. 22, 2019 12:00 pm
Ends: Oct. 22, 2019 1:30 pm
Registration Deadline
October 18, 2019
Event Type
Virtual TA Session
Hosted by
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