Trauma Talks

Poster Sessions

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A review of the Literature

Nervous system regulation tools for self soothing, during and outside sessions

Trauma: The Strange Heirloom, based on my memoir, When Their Memories Became Mine.

The Association Between Implementing Trauma-Informed Care and Staff Satisfaction

Trauma-Informed Care:  The Use of the Podcast Series Trauma Talks: Rising from the Ashes to Promote Resiliency

What Body? Whose Body? Impacts of Trauma on Teaching/Learning, and Caring for Orselves/Others

A pilot randomized controlled trial in patients within 96 hours of acute physical trauma to test the feasibility and effectiveness of Abbreviated Early Prolonged Exposure Therapy (AEPET) plus Resilience Based Therapy (RBT) versus RBT alone for the Prevention of PTSD and Depression

Finding the Hero

Community Support for Survivors of Torture, War, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide

Dark Matter Passage

Trauma is Just Around the Corner: Clinical Implications of the Frequency and Effect of Diverse Trauma Experiences Across Cultures

Secondary Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Employees: The Case for Trauma-Informed Care at a Social Service Agency


Title:  Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A review of the Literature
Presenter: Lucy Church Barker, MD, Psychiatry Resident, University of Toronto
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: Intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) is extremely common worldwide, with regional global estimates ranging from 6% to 59% (García-Moreno, Jansen, Ellsberg, Heise, & Watts, 2005) and North American prevalence of 9.1% (Bagwell-Gray, Messing, & Baldwin-White, 2015). Despite the large bodies of research on both intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV), relatively little attention has been paid to IPSV specifically (McFarlane et al., 2009). This presentation will review the literature on IPSV against women relevant to the mental health practitioner. We will present definitions of IPSV, prevalence data, and the distinct risk factors for and consequences of IPSV with a focus on psychological impact. The goal will be to generate a discussion about clinical considerations for victims/survivors of IPSV. As there is very scant evidence on addressing IPSV within a clinical setting, we will discuss how the information on prevalence, risk factors, and consequences can guide clinical practice. Although this presentation would be suitable for all levels, we will not be presenting the general data on sexual violence and intimate partner violence, and therefore those with some background knowledge of these areas would likely derive more benefit.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Appreciate the prevalence of intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV) against women in North America and globally.
  2. Review the risk factors for IPSV.
  3. Describe the potential impact of IPSV and how this may differ from the impact of sexual violence or intimate partner violence.

Title: Nervous system regulation tools for self soothing, during and outside sessions
Presenter: Jane Clapp, Mindful Movement Coach, Holistic Personal Trainer, Yoga and Fascial Stretch Therapist
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: How nervous system regulation impacts treatment approach for the practitioner and therapist. Learn about cutting edge and easily accessible nervous system regulation tools that Jane Clapp has curated for movement coaches, psychotherapists, holistic health experts and anyone interested in the neurobiology of trauma. Walk away with new practical body-based interventions to improve nervous system regulation that will enhance psychotherapeutic and mindfulness interventions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Why sitting still in sessions can trigger emotional dysregulation.
  2. Releasing habitual patterns of somatic emotional tension in the body with self massage tools for the muscles that are activated during fight/flight/freeze response.
  3. Sensory motor strategies that will bring will clients into present moment awareness: Examples of mindful movement tools that down regulation interrupt fight/flight/freeze response.

Title: Trauma: The Strange Heirloom, based on my memoir, When Their Memories Became Mine.
Presenter: Pearl Goodman BA, BEd, Registered Psychotherapist
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: My interest in the idea that trauma can be passed down is both personal and professional. As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and as a psychotherapist, I discovered the phenomenon of the intergenerational transmission of trauma during my training when I read Judith Herman.  In 2007, I began to write about it from the perspective of the child, and how I experienced my parents’ trauma. In 2012 my memoir was published. Since then I have come across current research on the topic, the most recent by Rachel Yehuda. Before that was Natan Kellermann, and one of the original researchers was Helen Epstein.  In November of 2015, my memoir was reissued.

I draw on several aspects. One is to talk about trauma itself and why/how traumatic experience differs from other experience using Martin Heidegger as a reference. I also present Robert Stolorow’s  account of his own struggle with trauma. To make the case for the transmission of trauma, I cite Rachel Yehuda’s research, and use my memoir for empirical data. Finally, I talk about the challenges and hopes working with those who suffered first or second-hand trauma. This discussion has a timely application to the Syrian refugees.

Learning Objectives:

  1. A first-hand account of the impact when trauma is transmitted from one generation to the next.
  2. Useful as a case study for therapists or to recommend to clients/patients who are struggling with first- or second-hand trauma.  

Title: The Association Between Implementing Trauma-Informed Care and Staff Satisfaction
Presenters:  Hales, T., Kroening, L., & Nochajski, T.H.,  University at Buffalo, School of Social Work 
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: Given the prevalence of trauma in society (Resnick, Kilpatrick, Dansky, et al., 1993), it is beneficial for human service agencies to work from a trauma-informed perspective. This study examined the effects of implementing Harris and Fallot’s (2001 ) model of Trauma-Informed Care on the satisfaction of agency staff. Surveys were taken in January of 2014, a month prior to the agency's implementation of TIC, and again at twelve months. The surveys were conducted by an external agency, and included factors measuring staff satisfaction with various components of the workplace. Following implementation, staff reported higher scores on all but one of the survey’s factors. The most notable increases in terms of percentages were in the delivery of services (16%), relationship with management (13%), connection with workplace (11%), and satisfaction with workplace (9%). There is limited research on the effects of implementing TIC. Increases in staff satisfaction have been tied to increased staff retention and performance (Judge, Thoresen, Bono & Patton, 2001) and reductions in burnout (Van Den Broeck, Vansteenkiste, De Witte, & Lens, 2008). Therefore, implementing TIC approaches within social service agencies is associated with increased staff satisfaction, and may positively affect organizational characteristics of significance to social service agencies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the current state of evidential support for the effects of implementing Trauma-Informed Care on agency staff.
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the Trauma-Informed organizational approach outlined by Maxine Harris and Roger Fallot.
  3. Articulate the relationship between implementing Trauma-Informed Care and staff satisfaction.

Title: Trauma-Informed Care:  The Use of the Podcast Series Trauma Talks: Rising from the Ashes to Promote Resiliency
Presenters: Elyse Heagle, MSW Intern, Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, University at Buffalo,  Susan Green, LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor, Co-Director, Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, University at Buffalo and Susan Peek, MSW Intern, Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, University at Buffalo
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: This poster will highlight the use of the Institute on Trauma and Trauma Informed Care [ITTIC] podcast series, Trauma Talks: Rising from the Ashes, as a conduit for increasing trauma-informed care [TIC] literacy, and bearing witness to an individual’s experience within service systems (both consumer and provider). Trauma Talks captures stories of resiliency, while exploring how trauma-informed approaches have intersected with individual experiences. Podcast episodes include personal and professional accounts from those who have worked in the field of trauma, as well as those who have experienced trauma. Podcast interviews play an integral role in advocating for TIC by inviting critical analyses and ‘deep learning’ by way of exploring what may be signified in the social, emotional, and environmental consumer or provider ‘experience’ (Pegrum&Longnecker, 2015). By drawing parallels between subtle aspects of systemic experiences, potential for retraumatization, and the five principles of TIC, service systems may utilize the series to re-assess core values and move toward a culture that is trauma-informed (Fallot& Harris, 2001). Trauma Talks supports the innovative integration of information and communication technology in social work, while providing accessible tools to improve TIC service outcomes in micro, mezzo, and macro domains. (Berzin, Singern& Chan, 2015).

Learning Objectives:

  1. The participants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the potential for podcasting to increase trauma-informed care literacy through ‘deep learning’.
  2. The participants will be able to describe how Trauma Talks: Rising from the Ashes podcast interviews can inform practice contexts for service delivery systems.
  3. The participants will be involved in discussion related to innovative means of advocating for consumer and provider experiences with service systems, and will share ideas about ‘how’ integrating Trauma Talks: Rising from the Ashes podcast interviews within professional settings may improve trauma-informed care culture within organizational settings.

Title: What Body? Whose Body? Impacts of Trauma on Teaching/Learning, and Caring for Orselves/Others
Presenters:  Sheri Cohen, The Learning and Violence Collaborative,  Nadine Sookermany, The Learning and Violence Collaborative and Springtide Resources and Jenny Horsman The Learning and Violence Collaborative and Spiral Community Resource Group, The Sanctuary Space
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: Whatever your role or experience explore how impacts of violence, trauma, and neglect affect how you, and those you “help,” learn from each other. When you give information about illnesses/procedures and healthcare you ask people to learn and change. As they cope with illnesses and treatments they teach you about their struggles. But do we really understand each other?  Violence, trauma, and neglect shape both our connections with our body/mind and the conditions necessary for us to learn and change behaviour. When the learning we must do is about our bodies/minds the difficulties are compounded.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify teaching/learning involved in diverse interactions and recognize the complexity of health-related teaching in a context of trauma.
  2. Question how to enhance teaching/learning in each unique situation.
  3. Describe conditions to support teaching/learning.

Title: A pilot randomized controlled trial in patients within 96 hours of acute physical trauma to test the feasibility and effectiveness of Abbreviated Early Prolonged Exposure Therapy (AEPET) plus Resilience Based Therapy (RBT) versus RBT alone for the Prevention of PTSD and Depression
Presenter: Gaiathry Jeyarajan, H. BSc., MD, PGY- 4 Psychiatry Resident at the University of Toronto doing Research at Sunnybrook Health Science Center
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract:  Lower psychological well-being has been reported in trauma survivors who experienced severe or life-threatening injuries, horror and helplessness;  specifically symptoms related to Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  PTSD has a high morbidity that hold great impacts on quality of life and functioning. Prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is considered a first-line treatment for PTSD, with more than 20 years of research.  It is usually administered as  90 minute weekly sessions over 10-15 weeks. Rothbaum et al. studied PET in a shorter timeline as early intervention in order to prevent PTSD symptoms and onset by administering treatment for just 3 weeks, starting within 72 hours post acute physical trauma. The authors concluded that PET administered as an early intervention therapy for recently traumatized patients is a safe and feasible way of preventing PTSD and related onset of symptoms.  We proposed a more abbreviated version of PET, where  patients would be recruited within 96 hours of admission and receive three 30 minute session as close together as possible. The objective is to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of AEPET plus Resilience Based Therapy (RBT) versus RBT alone for the prevention of PTSD and depression in trauma patients. This study will have a total of 20 subjects. We hypothesize that the intervention group will have reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression at 4- 6 weeks as compared to the control group. Preliminary conclusions of this study will be ready at the time of the presentation with a goal to increased awareness about PET.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Introduction to Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) for PTSD.
  2.  Research on the feasibility and efficacy of Abbreviated Early PET (AEPET) for the prevention of PTSD in patients with acute physical trauma.
  3. Preliminary results of this research study and clinical implications.

Title: Finding the Hero
Presenter: Michel Jones MSW RSW
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: “A hero is an ordinary person who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming odds.”  Christopher Reeve (Superman actor and survivor of traumatic accident)
As a clinical social worker in a concurrent disorders men’s program, I was not surprised to find that a majority of clients had experienced trauma in their past. I was surprised to realize the effect that gender stress had on these men’s perception of their vulnerability. My challenge was to find a frame for their recovery that could counteract their self-identification of “I’m a failure as a man to feel this way.”  This poster presentation looks at the resultant intervention, “Hero’s Journey” and its implications in providing a gender-focused trauma intervention to support and advocate for positive meaning and growth in men’s lives.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss differences in men’s and women’s socio-culturally sanctioned response to trauma.
  2. Examine why a “Hero’s Journey” approach is different from current mainstream approaches to male trauma recovery.
  3. Develop advocacy strategies to expand current recovery models so as to include elements that support traumatized men in a way that is more meaningful for a wide range of men including underserved groups like male military veterans.

Title:  Community Support for Survivors of Torture, War, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide
Presenter: Mbalu Lumor, HBA.   Manager, Community Engagement at Canadian Centre For Victims of Torture
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract:  The United Nations 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5 states clearly that noone should be subjected to torture, however, despite such instruments torture continues to be practised till today. While each survivor has a unique journey of resiliency and coping strategies, the experience of torture not only has physical scars but also psychological trauma. Torture socially constructed and intended to not kill the individual but to isolate the individual, destroy community networks as well as support systems; then our challenge is how do we meaningfully engage, construct and implement approaches which establish connections between "survivors of torture" and "bystanders" in host countries. This presentation will highlight that it is imperative to move beyond intervention strategies that focus on individualized practices and treatment aimed at resolving the "problem" of survivors of torture thus, reinforce the perception that the problem is the survivor and not the practice of torture. The presentation will utilize the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture Community Engagement program to illustrate that Community based programmes, which involve and integrate care-givers, survivors and members of the community, break down systemic barriers which recreate separation, promote local integration and rehabilitation among survivors of torture.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To appreciate the role of community engagement and support in the rehabilitation of survivors of torture, victims of war, genocide and crimes against humanity
  2. To share the importance of social support and social inclusion to assist survivors move from victim to active community members
  3. To outline psycho-social approaches, help survivors and community move from Circles of Silence to Circles of Support.

Title: Dark Matter Passage
Presenters: Marilyn Rivers and Jenany Jeyarajan, Counsellors, Family Service Toronto, Violence Against Women Program
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract: We begin by suggesting that being trauma informed—or trauma-attuned or sensitive—means having a high degree of awareness about our own experiences with trauma and the type of effects these have had on us.  We believe that self-awareness encourages us to challenge the mandate that would separate us from our clients by insisting that we not disclose our trauma to them or anyone, thus reinforcing an existing stigma that supports the self-denial of clinicians. Citing disguised cases as support, we acknowledge that not all knowledge comes from academic research, and that wisdom can be gleaned from utilizing academic approaches in more personal forums.  For example, if we agree that our clients are the experts on their own trauma then it follows that we are the experts on how their trauma affects us both vicariously and through the triggering of our own traumatic memories.  We investigate the dual theory that knowing complex trauma intimately is both a helpful and risky proposition: helpful in that it can make us more sensitive to victims; risky because we may become less sensitive if we are triggered.  Finally, we propose that our job as clinicians is to be non-judgemental towards ourselves and our clients and to willingly accept where our limitations must be accommodated. We believe approaching our work this way offers us the chance to be more present in our work and to open a safe space for being fully who we are in our workplaces, thus allowing our trauma experiences to be utilized when it appears they may be helpful to clients. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Increasing awareness of the role of therapist trauma in the therapeutic relationship
  2. Investigating the dual facets of therapist experiences with trauma, i.e. potential for both helpfulness and risk
  3. Demonstrating potential benefits for reducing the stigma attached to openly acknowledging therapist experiences with trauma

Title: Trauma is Just Around the Corner: Clinical Implications of the Frequency and Effect of Diverse Trauma Experiences Across Cultures
Authors: Jala Rizeq, Justine Philteos & Doug McCann Affiliation: Psychology Department, York University
Presentation Format: Poster

Abstract:  Trauma exposure is more frequent and closer to home than was once thought. Trauma’s significance lies in its effect on people’s daily adaptive and coping mechanisms. Our study examined the frequency of different types of trauma across two samples, 101 Canadian students and 130 Middle Eastern residents. We tested the relations among frequency of trauma and trauma-related problems in participants’ daily lives. Our results show that only two participants reported never having been exposed to a traumatic experience in their life, and, depending on the different types of trauma experience probed for, distinct patterns of trauma frequency were seen across samples. Higher reported trauma frequency was related to higher self-reported negative effect and with higher trauma symptoms in both samples, including symptoms related to depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and dissociation.We discuss our results within the larger body of literature on trauma and present the implications of the frequency and effect of trauma on mental health, clinical practice, and cultural sensitivity. This study outlines the diversity of trauma experience, and provides insight on the extent of trauma’s influence as emergent in trauma-related problems.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The study aims to demonstrate the frequency of diverse types of trauma in the general population.
  2. The study illustrates the various trauma-related problems that individuals experience in their daily lives with increased trauma exposure.
  3. The study highlights the differences in the types of trauma experienced by different cultures and the way in which this influences potential assessment and therapeutic practices.

Title: Secondary Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Employees: The Case for Trauma-Informed Care at a Social Service Agency
Presenters: Molly R. Wolf, LMSW, PhD, Assistant Professor, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Elaine S. Rinfrette, RN, MSW, PhD, LCSW-R, LSW, Assistant Professor/MSW Program Director, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Presentation Format: Poster

Background and Purpose: This research was conducted to assess the level of trauma-informed care at a social service agency, as well as to assess for secondary traumatic stress (STS) of employees. In terms of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, STS presents almost identically to first-hand exposure to trauma (Bride & Jones, 2006).
Methods: Quantitative instruments included the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (STSS; Bride et al., 2004) and the Professional Quality of Life Measure (ProQol; Stamm, 2012) which were administered to all 40 personnel including administrators, direct care staff, and ancillary personnel. Linear regressions were used to analyze the data.
Results: Total scores on the STSS, as well as subscale scores on the Intrusion, Avoidance, and Arousal subscales had significant relationships with client compassion (p=.01) as well as employee burnout (p=.01).
Conclusions and Implications: Secondary traumatic stress symptoms predicted increased employee burnout, and also predicted decreased levels of compassion for client. Trauma informed care has been shown to reduce risk for secondary traumatic stress, which would protect staff and client well-being. Ongoing movement towards becoming a trauma-informed agency appears to be essential towards protecting staff and clients from burnout and its negative consequences.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress.
  2. Participants will be able to identify how the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress are related to compassion fatigue for clients, and burnout for the employee
  3. Participants will be able to understand how trauma-informed care might benefit agency employees.


Women's College Hospital