Transforming Families. Improving Outcomes.
WHY IS TREATING INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA AND INCREASING FAMILY RESILIENCE IMPORTANT?
Intergenerational trauma can be complicated to treat and negatively impacts the family & child's well-being and healing. When intergenerational trauma is untreated & parents remain frustrated, there is an increased chance of harsh parenting, as well as child abuse. It can also be hard for parents to engage in therapy when their child has experience trauma because...they have too. Parents can be easily triggered and feel like a failure when their child or teen misbehaves or acts out...even when the child's reactivity is normal and expected due to the trauma history. Children who are expected to heal without the support of parents & family struggle with feeling like they are healing alone.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR AN AGENCY USING THIS APPROACH?
The graduated intensity of group sessions and program structure reduces risk of early drop out and missed appointments. When clients attend online or in-person workshops, it harnesses the power of learning from others with common experience. It also reduces isolation for parents in dealing with difficult behaviors in their children or teen. When the ITP is provided to the biological parents, extended family, social workers, and foster parents, there is a common language and approach to the child's needs. In addition, if done in a group format there is cost-savings to the referral source. Clients may have gained the necessary skills by the end of Phase 1 or 2 and can end participation after either of those phases which is further cost savings to the agency. We also provide a certificate of completion at the end of each phase. For social workers, there is an added bonus of continuing education credits included in their certificate!
WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA PROGRAM?
The ITP is based on the most current, up-to-date neurobiological research. Therefore, the interventions are rooted in science but easy to understand. Polyvagal interventions are deeply woven into the group sessions and activities and includes the cost of the Safe & Sound Protocol in Phase 2 or 3. Applied interpersonal neurobiology interventions support the parents understanding of emotional development and developing trauma informed understanding of the child's experience & behavior. Parents are taught developmental stages that support positive growth for their child or teen and attachment based strategies to build a strong parent-child/teen bond. In addition, family resilience strategies are used to further build positive relationships among family members and may include extended family when appropriate. The ITP fits with any other intervention for trauma & attachment (ie., EMDR, Brainspotting, Theraplay, Circle of Security, etc.) In more complex cases, the use of additional interventions may be necessary during Phases 2 or 3 or following completion of Phase 3.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM TREAT INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA?
The three phases of intervention creates a gentle, graduated progression from building understanding and capacity related to trauma & attachment disruptions to supporting the parents healing. By healing the parent's unresolved trauma, the child or teen is supported in the parent-child relationship and trauma related behaviors decrease and disappear!
The three phase model of intervention that combines group psychoeducation, group process, and family based interventions. Phase 1 is based on creating safety and stabilization. During this phase, interventions are aimed at increasing the parent's capacity to understand children's behavior from a trauma informed perspective and increase capacity for the parent to co-regulate the child's reactive or shutdown behaviors. Phase 2 is based on resolving and integrating the parent's unresolved trauma history to address impacts of intergenerational trauma in the parent. This phase also aims to reduce the parent's reactivity to the child's behavior and building further understanding of child development and effective therapeutic parenting strategies. Phase 3 is based on building family resilience with parent-child interventions and strengthening the parent-child bond.