Understanding the Body's Response to Traumatic Medical Experience (July 25, 2019)

Evanston, Illinois (9:00AM-11:00AM) 

Understanding the Body's Response to Traumatic Medical Experiences with Allison Levine, LCSW, Healing Space Therapy

It is unusual to think of medical care as being traumatic because it is typically associated with healing, expertise, and research. Yet, in the case of medical trauma, the treatment that physically heals a patient may profoundly negatively affect the psychological wellness of that same person. In the practice of medicine, trauma refers to a physical injury or wound. However, in mental health, trauma is defined as the result of a set of circumstances or an event, experienced as harmful or threatening, that has lasting negative effects on a person's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being (Robinson, Smith, and Segal, 2018; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019). Though medical trauma is not a new phenomenon, it has only been in recent years that healthcare professionals, social workers, and researchers have begun to study and understand it (Janssen, n.d.). Attendees will learn about what medical trauma is, how the body's stress response system activates during and after trauma, how frequent  stress response activation affects daily living for children and families, and how Theraplay can be effective at shifting this frequent stress response and the associated behaviors by providing opportunities for reestablishing safety, competence, integration, and mastery.

Learning Objectives
After attending this workshop, participants will be able to

  1. Define Medical Trauma
  2. Understand how the stress response system works
  3. Explain how frequent stress response activation affects children with medical trauma
  4. List 3 ways that Theraplay can help treat children with medical trauma

Allison is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 15 years of experience. Allison completed her graduate training at Children's Memorial Hospital. Following graduate school, Allison worked for several years as the social worker in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at The Theraplay Institute as the Clinic Manager, and now as a Child and Family Therapist at Healing Space Therapy in Chicago, IL.

Allison has a deep understanding of the unique aspects of caring for children and families. Allison is certified as a practitioner and supervisor in Theraplay, and trained in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Narrative Therapy, and Yoga-Informed Psychotherapy. Allison's areas of expertise and interests include anxiety, families with extensive medical care, physical and sexual trauma, family transition/separation/divorce, and grief and loss. Allison is passionate about helping families through crisis. Her calming, reassuring nature allows children and parents to feel comfortable and understood, and most of all, hopeful.

Allison earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Art in Social Work at the University of Chicago.

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$20     Standard Non-members
FREE Attachment Matters members
(Click here to join!

CEUs: 2.0

On the 4th Thursday of every month, The Theraplay® Institute (TTI) hosts a meeting of attachment-focused mental health professionals, educators, and healthcare providers. The group includes professionals who work in private practices, adoption agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, and schools.  Attachment Matters offers the opportunity to meet professionals with similar interests and gain valuable skills and information.  This meeting will be from 9-11AM at The Theraplay® Institute, 1840 Oak Ave, Suite 320, Evanston, IL, 60201.

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