About the Program
The effects of trauma on childhood development are so profound because trauma negatively impacts the way in which children’s brains are hardwired. However, children are resilient, and even after a traumatic event, they can recover. Their bodies and brains are built for restoration and resiliency.
Utilizing the brain’s natural capacity for neuroplasticity, treatment for trauma consists of a combination of approaches. Too often, however, we rely solely on talk therapy and cognitive processing as our only interventions for trauma. This dismisses the library of memories catalogued among the sensory organs, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and musculoskeletal systems. In addition, trauma in early childhood often never reaches the part of the brain used in speech. All the systems of the body are impacted by trauma, and memories are stored in the body (not just the brain), making it difficult for children to recount traumatic memories.
Therefore, we cannot rely on talk therapy as the sole form of treatment. To capitalize on the body’s capacity for resiliency, we need to engage children in whole-brain, whole-body experiences that directly address the trauma and promote agency, and nature therapy is one such approach that provides these experiences.
Nature therapy promotes resiliency and, in turn, recovery from trauma in several ways. First, engaging with nature helps children make meaning out of the trauma by allowing them to construct and reconstruct the trauma narrative (belief). In addition, the ionic exchange that occurs when interacting with the natural elements helps promote a calm and alert state (affect). Finally, engaging with nature also provides children with a sense of support as they connect to the earth and its creatures (social).
Join Dr. Cheryl Fisher, counselor educator, trauma specialist and author of Mindfulness and Nature Based Therapeutic Techniques as she explores empirically based impact of engaging in natural settings and trauma recovery for children. This experiential workshop will provide numerous practical techniques to use immediately in your practice.
1. Explore the impact of trauma on neurological development of children.
2. Examine the resiliency of neuroplasticity.
3. Discuss the BASIC Ph Model as a whole-brain, whole body approach to resiliency.
4. Identify the impact of engaging in natural settings on the development of resilient coping skills.
5. Apply tools to a case study.
The effects of trauma on childhood development are profound as it negatively impacts the way in which children’s brains are hardwired. Children are resilient, and they can recover. Their bodies and brains are built for restoration and resiliency. Nature therapy promotes resiliency and assists in trauma recovery. Join Dr. Cheryl Fisher as she explores the impact of engaging in natural settings and trauma recovery for children. This workshop will provide numerous practical techniques to use immediately in your practice.
Dr. Cheryl Fisher
Dr. Cheryl Fisher is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC)and licensed clinical mental health counselor (LCMHC) with over 20 years of clinical experience. She is the director of the Online MA in Clinical Counseling program with Alliant International University. Certified in EcoPsychology, a trauma specialist and suburban back-yard forager, Dr. Fisher’s research includes the examination of the reciprocal relationship between nature and humans in overall wellness. She is an international speaker, columnist for Counseling Today Online, and author of Mindfulness and Nature-Based Therapeutic Techniques for Children (PESI, 2019).