National Mental Health Service Provider


Trauma Informed Practice


Facilitator: Alex Sterling, MA RCC    Duration: 4hrs


Alex Sterling, MA RCC   

Duration: 4hrs

Learning outcomes:

1. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of how trauma is defined clinically, what constitutes a traumatic event, and how individuals become traumatized in the first place.

2. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the ways that trauma effects the whole person and their relationships using the BETR (Body, Emotions, Thoughts and Relationships) Model as a framework. They will also learn a tool for assessing their own impacts from stress (BETR check).

3. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of how trauma effects the brain and nervous system, and how these effects manifest in behaviour and everyday functioning.

4. Participants will learn about common myths surrounding trauma treatment and receive research-based information on the basics of trauma treatment and processes to increase their understanding of trauma recovery expectations.

5. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the significance of post-trauma responses and how they can aid trauma recovery and improve outcomes in the scope of their role.

6. Participants will learn the core tenets of trauma informed practice: choice, voice and control, and have an opportunity to explore how these can be applied in their roles.

7. Participants will learn simple but effective tools to help them and the people they work with regulate stress and trauma symptoms.


1. Introductions
2. Defining Trauma

Defining a traumatic event
The “Trauma Formula”
How is trauma defined clinically
– Signs and symptoms

3. The BETR Model

The BETR Check 

4. Trauma & the Brain

Limbic system &  the “lizard brain” 

5. Trauma treatment myths & mysteries

The basics of effective practice 

6. The impact of post-trauma social responses

The power of your role in trauma recovery
“What should I say?”
“What should I do?”

7. Core tenets of trauma informed practice

Choice, voice, control 

8. Simple but effective tools

The FORGE process 

Breathing strategies 

5-4-3-2-1 grounding 

9. Closing


Alex Sterling MA, RCC holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria and she recognizes that people are highly interconnected, both internally (body, mind, emotions and spirit) and externally (to our families, history, culture, and systems). Alex has worked extensively in promoting trauma informed work environments and is a senior facilitator for the Wounded Warriors Canada COPE Program. 

Her passion for working with children, and supporting them understand this often-challenging concept of invisible injuries, led her to complete a Masters of Clinical Social Work through the University of Calgary. Alex has furthered her understanding of current evidence-based research regarding the impact of trauma on members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. 

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