Trauma and the Brain


This professional development program is for school teachers, administrators, and staff.

It's designed to give you a fundamental understanding of the impact that traumatic stress has on your students' availability for academic success.  After learning about the effects of traumatic stress on the developing brain, and why this is absolutely vital to teaching students today, you'll learn the basics of trauma-informed care for schools.

You'll leave this 2-hour training with practical tools and strategies for helping your students overcome traumatic stressors, including the current COVID crisis.  Especially in these uncertain times, you and your students will benefit from this evidence-based approach that can help us all "relax and refocus" on what matters most.


Module 1: How Traumatic Stress Impacts the Brain

  • Stress
  • Your Brain
  • Your Brain on Stress
  • Your Brain on Traumatic Stress

Module 2: Why It Matters (Implications for Teaching Highly-Stressed Students)

  • Causes of Child Traumatic Stress
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Effects of Traumatic Stress on Students and Staff
  • Why Understanding Child Trauma is Critical for Academic Success

Module 3: What Can We Do About It?

  • Trauma-Informed Care in Our Schools
  • Improving Self-Regulation in Stressed-Out Students (and Staff)
  • Practicing the "5 S's" - Trauma-Informed Strategies for Social-Emotional and Academic Success

SLIDES (Downloadable Notes):

Trauma and the Brain - 2020


Module 1 : How Traumatic Stress Impacts the Brain

Module 1 (a) (15 minutes)

Gain a basic understanding of the relationship between stress and your brain (and your student's brain).

Module 1 (b) (13 minutes)

Understand the impact of traumatic stress on the developing brain.


Module 2: Why It Matters

Module 2 (a) (25 minutes)

Recognize the causes of traumatic stress, including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and the effects that this stress has on students' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Module 2 (b) (12 minutes)

Understand the adverse effects of traumatic stress on students' (and staff's) ability to self-regulate - and why this is a critical challenge for schools today.


Module 3: What We Can Do About It

Module 3 (a) (23 minutes)

Learn the basics of Trauma-Informed Care, including how to realistically practice Self-Care and how to establish a sense of Safety and Security in your classrooms.

Module 3 (b) (22 minutes)

Learn trauma-informed strategies for social-emotional and academic success - including how to help distressed students feel Seen, Soothed, and Strengthened.