Trauma is a public health issue that negatively impacts individuals and families across the lifespan and in any environment. Educating individuals who have experienced trauma requires an understanding of how trauma affects brain development and the implementation of effective engagement strategies. In Laurel Life’s trainings, audience members learn the foundations of Trauma-Informed Care, the correlation between symptoms and behaviors, and evidenced-based engagement and teaching strategies that create a safe learning environment.
Trauma is defined, not only as an experience, but also as a biological change in the body and in the brain's response to stimuli. Utilizing this “new” definition of trauma, attendees are encouraged to reframe the common response to behaviors from “what is wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” ThIs revaluation creates the opportunity for cutting edge, evidenced-based interventions that focus on creating a safe learning environment and increased engagement in the classroom.
In addition, Laurel Life recognizes the importance of self-care in the educational environment. Understanding trauma can improve responses to behaviors and also help workers to not react personally to these behaviors. Useful strategies such as mindfulness, resiliency practices, and social comfort are presented within the workshop environment to maximize audience participation and comprehension.
This material has been presented and well received in school districts throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, county agencies, colleges and universities, and featured at numerous professional conferences.
"Paul and Polly’s presentation on Informed Trauma Care was engaging and informative while delivering some very difficult material. Their ability to maintain a sense of humor in the face of some of the darkest situations is a great reminder for us to do the same when we come up against hard circumstances in the classroom—and unfortunately, we all will. Their humor, and the support system that was clearly evident in their school, was also a testimony as to how they have been able to stay in such a stressful career for so long."
"I found the talk very valuable and the speakers very personable. As a teacher, it's very easy to become frustrated with students especially when their behavior takes time away from the teacher and their peers. It's also very hard to remember that there is an underlying cause to every issue in a student's life. That being said, part of our job involves doing our best to mold model citizens."