Trauma Certification Achieved by Therapists at DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau and Hope Haven

Through collaboration, DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau (YSB) and Hope Haven received grants from the DeKalb County Community Foundation and The Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation to bring therapists through an intensive 70-hour course in Traumatic Stress Studies through the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute founded by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

“The opportunity to learn from national experts in the field of trauma focused therapy, strengthened our therapists skills and will help heal youth who have experienced childhood trauma,” expressed Hope Haven’s Executive Director Lesly Wicks.  Nine clinicians achieved certification in the course that included topics such as attachment and relationships, regulation, dissociation, traumatic experiences integration, internal family systems, trauma processing, and enhancing competency.

Research shows that more than 60% of children are exposed to some type of violence each year.  This can affect the sense of safety, diminish capacity to trust and attach to others, and can disrupt neurodevelopment.  According to the Center for Disease Control’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, adults who experienced trauma as a youth are 15 times more likely to commit suicide, 4 times more likely to become an alcoholic and/or inject drugs, and 3 times more likely to experience depression.  Early detection and intervention can provide healing and foster resilience, helping youth build healthy lives and relationships.

“Trauma does not resonate solely within an individual and I believe the systemic components that this program offered has also increased the skills of all our clinicians to provide the best form of counseling and care for our clients,” explains YSB’s Associate Director Claire Maschinski, “Working with children who have experienced trauma of any kind requires a high level of intentionality and the 2016-2017 Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies has increased my ability to be dedicated and purposeful in the therapeutic work that I do with my adolescent clients and their families.”

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