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The tour is presented by:
Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN)
American Adoption Congress (AAC)
Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh)
In collaboration with:
What is the campaign to heal childhood trauma?
The purpose of this five-city tour is to raise awareness of how childhood trauma impacts the development of 1 in 4 children in the U.S. and how these often-overlooked experiences can adversely impact children’s development, physical and emotional health. November is National Adoption Month, an important time to recognize that adoptive children and those in foster care are at significant risk for Developmental Trauma. All proceeds from this campaign go to three non-profits who serve this population: ATTACh, Attachment & Trauma Network, and American Adoption Congress.
Where to find us:
Boston - SOLD OUT
Educational sessions include:
Exploring the Life Long Impact of Adoption
Canine Therapy in Healing Childhood Trauma
Learn how canine therapy assists in restoring lasting relationships.
Attachment, Trauma, and Adoption Competent Therapy
Discover therapies designed for adopted and traumatized youth.
Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools
Create a safe environment to help students learn.
Shifting families from consequences to connection.
Rewiring the Traumatized Brain
Neuroplasticity in action.
Developmental Trauma Disorder?
Guiding effective treatment for complexly traumatized children & adolescents through accurate diagnosis.
About our presenters:
Rob Gent, LPC is one of the founding members of Calo. Mr. Rob Gent has lead the Calo organization in clinical development and growth of numerous programs and is the lead developer of the proprietary CASA Developmental Trauma Treatment Model. Through his dedication to the advancement of clinical practice in treating Developmental Trauma and Attachment issues, he has become a nationally recognized expert in the field. Rob remains passionate about neurological, psychological, and physiological development and continues to focus on the advancement of research and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. He resides in Gilbert AZ with his wife and two boys.
Julie Beem is the Executive Director of Attachment and Trauma Network and is responsible for the daily operations of the organization, coordinating the efforts of all the other directors, and acting as spokesperson for the organization. Prior to ATN, Julie was the president of a marketing and communications consultancy, The Epiphany Group, and has over two decades of experience in professional services marketing, strategic planning and communication strategies. As a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and through personal experience, Julie has garnered a great deal of experience in the areas of special education, school issues, and disabilities advocacy. A published author, Julie wrote a chapter in the EMK Press Adoption Parenting book and was the special needs blogger at Adoptionblogs.com for two years. She frequently presents workshops on attachment and trauma to adoptive and foster groups.
Mary McGowan is the Executive Director of the Association Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh). She comes to us with years of personal and professional experience. She has worked with the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) doing successful grass roots recruitment for foster and adoptive families and as a post-adoption specialist. She has earned accolades as the National Education Manager for the Professional Association of Treatment Homes (PATH) and is an experienced trainer who teaches and consults locally and nationally. Mary has fostered many children over 26 years and is a single adoptive parent of 5 youth ranging from 11-20 years old. She was a Guardian ad Litem (CASA) for 5 years and has experience with advocacy and success in obtaining services necessary for children.
Amy Winn is the President of the American Adoption Congress (AAC) and a licensed therapist specializing on the complex aspects of adoption. As an adoptee, Amy is passionate about educating others on the lifelong effects of adoption. When not working with her clients or guiding the AAC, Amy can be found puttering in her flower and herb garden, reading murder mysteries or if it’s the best time of year—college basketball season—cheering on her Jayhawks.
Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Trauma Center and Vice President of Behavioral Health and Trauma Services at Justice Resource Institute. Dr. Spinazzola is a Research Professor of Clinical Practice in the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University, and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. In his 18th year with the Trauma Center, Dr. Spinazzola remains actively involved in all facets of the Center’s work and mission, serving as a clinician, clinical supervisor, senior trainer, and Director of JRI’s Institute of Research, Inquiry and Evaluation. Dr. Spinazzola is the Director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a national initiative to transform large regional and statewide systems of care, and is Co-Principal Investigator of the Developmental Trauma Disorder National Field Trial. Dr. Spinazzola specializes in the assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of complex trauma in children and adults, and is the author of over 60 scholarly journal articles and book chapters on traumatic stress and youth violence. He is co-author of the forthcoming book: Reaching Across the Abyss: Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse & Neglect.
Thomas Ahern, MA is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Calo Programs and an Adoptee. Mr. Ahern is a former School Psychologist with 30 years of behavioral health and education industry experience. Thomas is an outspoken advocate for adoptees and improvements in the treatment and understanding of development trauma and is a sought after lecturer on the local, state, and national levels. He is a proud parent of five grown children and resides in Arizona with his wife Belinda and their therapy dog, Nando.
Jeanna Osborn is the Canine Therapy Director for Calo Programs. Jeanna is a Certified Canine Instructor and Therapy Dog Instructor. She has trained canines for the US Military and Law Enforcement. Her experience has offered her the opportunity to work with wolves and exotic cats, like cougars, panthers and bobcats.
Steve Sawyer is a licensed psychotherapist filled with passion and knowledge surrounding the intervention and change process. His experience comes from over a decade of intervention with tough-to-reach client populations in therapy settings ranging from residential, community-based, outpatient and wilderness therapy. Steve is trained in several unique therapeutic models including somatic trigger release, traumatic memory reprocessing, and HeartMath. He is also recognized internationally as a Brainspotting trainer and consultant who trains outpatient therapist and treatment programs. Through his experience he has authored two books, co-founded Wisconsin’s only wilderness therapy program, New Vision Wilderness, and works as a core therapeutic training development staff with the Institute of HeartMath. He was an author in the innovative and comprehensive HeartMath Interventions Establishing a New Baseline for Sustained Behavioral Change therapist training Module that revolutionizes modern therapy interventions through an emotional physiology approach. Steve’s largest project has been the development of NVW’s Trauma Informed Care model in the wilderness setting that has challenged the entire wilderness therapy industry on making healthier interventions with their clients. Steve’s trainings are recognized nationwide for cutting-edge therapeutic techniques and inspiration.
Janice Goldwater, MSW, LCSW-C Founder and Executive Director has been with AT since she founded the agency in 1990. Today, Janice’s leadership, vision, and direction guide the future of Adoptions Together in our community. With more than 30 years experience in child welfare and mental health advocacy, as well as raising 4 children who joined her family through birth and adoption, Janice is uniquely qualified to lead the agency as we move into the next 25 years serving families. Janice enjoys taking long walks with her 3 dogs and spending time with her husband and family.
Tif Junker is an award-winning filmmaker and leads ATN’s Parenting Programs. Tif mentors and advocates for a “connection before correction” approach to parenting, especially children whose early trauma has impacted their neurology. Her documentary, My Name is Faith, captures the Junkers’ early journey, coming to terms with the impact their daughter’s difficult beginning would have on their entire family. Tif was recently named a 2017 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) for her work in the field of therapeutic parenting.
Stephanie Garde is ATN’s Support Director and the mother to two sons. She’s volunteered with ATN for 8 years working with support groups, membership and administrative tasks. Stephanie also volunteers with local post-adoption support organizations in Massachusetts, frequently serving as a speaker or mentor to parent groups. A former disabilities attorney, Stephanie left practicing law to pour her energies into attachment-focused, trauma-informed therapeutic parenting of her older son who was adopted through foster care.
Melissa Sadin, M.Ed., M.A.T. directs ATN’s Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools program. Melissa is a mother to two sons (one adopted and one bio), a wife, and a lifelong educator who has taught special education, been a school administrator and was a behavior modification specialist who provided workshops across the state on meeting the needs of students with challenging behaviors.
In 2001, Melissa and her husband adopted a three-year-old boy from a Bulgarian orphanage. It was this brave, hurting boy who taught Melissa the value of relationships and the limitations inherent in behavior modification. In searching for ways to heal her son, she began a journey that continues today as she works on her doctoral degree with dissertation about trauma-informed school climates, as well as teaching educators in schools across the nation trauma-informed education strategies.
Jen Alexander,MA, SB-RPT is an elementary school counselor, author (trauma-sensitive schools textbook arriving in early 2018) and trauma-informed educator who is a part of ATN’s Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools team. Jen was instrumental in the creation of ATN’s schools training program and was the developer of ATN’s Educator Cards, which present the components of being a trauma-sensitive schools in visual form. Each year, Jen, an adoptive mom, trains both teachers and students in her own school about the impact of trauma on the brain.
Natalie Montfort, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with children and young adults on the autism spectrum at The Steward Center of the Westview School in Houston, TX. She is trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and trust-based relationship intervention (TBRI). Her personal and professional worlds melded when she and her husband adopted their first son at the age of 9 from a disrupted adoption and are in process of adopting another son through foster care who is 13 years old, and her academic knowledge of early childhood trauma has been put into practice both at home and in the classroom. Natalie is a member of ATN’s Creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools training team and advocates for trauma-informed education approaches in all school settings.
What Is Developmental Trauma
Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) is a proposed diagnosis focusing on prolonged interpersonal trauma in adolescents and children which can lead to development delays. Children experiencing DTD can have impaired attachment, lack impulse control, have delayed cognitive development and maladaptive behaviors. According to Mary McGowan, Executive Director of the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) and parent of five adopted foster children, “The challenge has been that no one diagnosis adequately captures the plight of these young people, who are overrepresented in IEPs, juvenile justice and treatment facilities. And that is why a new diagnosis for them is needed. As it stands now, these children are often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated.”
Although tour organizers are not suggesting that every adopted or foster child has DTD, they are advocating for better assessment and treatment protocols for this population. Amy Winn, President of the American Adoption Congress (AAC), an adoptee and psychotherapist specializing in adoption issues said, “Unfortunately not enough professionals or caregivers are trauma-informed and don’t necessarily make the connection or offer the specialized care that these young people need.”
The tour launches from ATTACh headquarters in Minneapolis, MN on November 10th and includes stops in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and ends in Washington DC on November 15th where the tour will join Voice for Adoption and their Adoptive Family Portrait Project on Capitol Hill for a rally. “Not only are we advocating for this population, but we are also offering hope for healing as the tour includes informing both parents and professionals on new interventions and strategies geared specifically to work with these youngsters,” expressed Thomas Ahern of Calo Programs and tour organizer.
Any proceeds from this tour will be shared equally between the three nonprofit organizations dedicated to working with this population.