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Becoming a Resilient Practitioner with a Trauma-Sensitive Practice

November 12, 19, 26 & December 3, 2024, from 5-9pm ET (Toronto).

Do you find yourself overwhelmed? Experiencing vicarious trauma or caregiver burnout? Do you often feel disconnected or apathetic towards the people you interact with?

Do you feel like you can never know enough to help people?

Do you find yourself getting frustrated or annoyed with certain types of client interactions?

Do you find yourself getting stuck in a diagnosis and wanting to find a more global holistic way of viewing the people we interact with?

Previously, it was thought that the mind and body were very separate entities. Our healthcare system has been very slow to move away from this model. The biopsychosocial-spiritual model is certainly an attempt to bring the mind and body back into connection, but what does this look like for ourselves, our practice, and our clients, especially when the majority of our clients aren’t yet aware of this connection? How do we manage this when clients come in seeking treatment for only the physical, or only the mental?

This course will help you to make the connection between mind, body, and spirit, for yourself and for your clients. It will help you understand how we can use the body to impact the mind and connect to our spirit and gut instinct. You’ll learn how to ensure you are trauma-sensitive and your practice is trauma-informed. These techniques will help you to understand and connect with your clients more compassionately, and to connect with yourself with kindness and self-compassion. Ultimately, understanding the body and mind connection and how it relates to trauma will impact your resilience and prevent burnout.

This course is evidence-based and will include theory (Polyvagal Theory and biopsychosocial-spiritual framework) as well as a variety of practical techniques including yoga, breath work, mindfulness, body awareness exercises, meditations, embodied emotions, and manual treatment techniques. You will become aware of how this understanding can connect and augment many of the different theories, treatments, and modalities that you already know.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand how our nervous system reacts to stress and trauma according to the polyvagal theory, and how this impacts our mind and body.

  • Understand what trauma is and how it shows up differently in all of us. Learn how to recognize this in the people that you interact with.

  • Understand what triggers are, how to recognize them, what to do when you find yourself triggered, and how to help others when they are triggered

  • Make connections between trauma and many common client experiences like chronic disease, persistent pain, pelvic health, and lack of motivation to make change.

  • Understand why attachment in childhood and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have such an impact on our overall health and wellbeing, throughout our lifespan

  • Learn how to move from judgement into compassion, first for yourself and then for others.

  • Understand what co-regulation is and how this relates to the client-practitioner relationship, shame, body image, motivational interviewing, and coaching. This can also be helpful in our personal lives. Learn techniques to use this in your practice.

  • Experience practical techniques in manual treatments, mindfulness, and movement to improve the resiliency and regulation of clients’ nervous systems

  • Experience mindfulness-based ways to connect with our gut instinct and our authentic selves and understand what that means to the nervous system

  • Experience how to move yourself and others through different nervous system states in a safe way that helps “embody” stress and trauma

  • Understand and experience how emotions have a “felt sense” in our body and apply this to your own life and to the experience of our clients

Supplies required:

  • Two balloons (we will blow them up during session)

  • Yoga mat

Audience: This course is open to physiotherapists, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, psychotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, lactation consultants, counsellors, nurses, midwives, medical doctors, yoga teachers, personal trainers, and anyone else in a caregiving field.

Prerequisites: None

Please note: This course involves lecture and practical lab experiences.

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