Trauma-informed Teams

This workshop will be offered in Spring 2018. Stay tuned.

Unrelenting demands, constrained resources, ethical challenges, frequent crises, and cumulative toxic stress: these are the challenges of working with deeply vulnerable populations. They take a toll on workers in non-profit, health, and human services settings, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. The stresses can interfere with the quality of client care and decision-making. As agencies strive to create trauma-informed cultures, leaders, supervisors, lead workers, and “natural leaders” must re-examine how they can, with intention, build resilient teams, fostering authentic social connection and supporting collective wellness.

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Strong, resilient teams are the antidote to these occupational hazards. They are the indispensable foundation of a trauma-informed organizational culture. Sustaining trauma-informed teams in the workplace leads to improved morale, higher quality decision-making, and increased productivity.

Wayne Scott Favicon yellowThis workshop introduces concrete team-building tools and practices. Current research in trauma and interpersonal neurobiology yields important lessons about how teams can cope effectively, including: improving the capacity for self-regulation, both individually and collectively; interrupting interpersonal reactivity and reframing negative thought patterns such as blaming and scapegoating; and building authentic, trusting connections that honor vulnerability.

By the end of the day, participants will:

  1. Understand the ways toxic stress interferes with team functioning;
  2. Describe how mirror resonance systems operate within groups;
  3. Explore the benefits and hazards of the social brain and tribalism, including how to cultivate teams that maximize inclusion and minimize “othering;”
  4. Recognize and neutralize interpersonal threats that undermine a trauma-informed team;
  5. Practice specific, concrete activities, based on recent neuroscience, to increase team cohesion, well-being, and social harmony, including leading mindful team meetings.

This day-long workshop, “Sustaining Trauma-informed Teams: Tools to Create a Mindful Culture,” occurs June 27, 2017, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, at the Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211. Six continuing education units have been approved through the National Association of Social Workers.

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