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2016 Alaskan Advanced Trauma Training Institute

April 18-21

Anchorage Alaska

Location: Embassy Suites, 600 East Benson, Anchorage Alaska

 The 2016 Alaskan Advanced Trauma Treatment  Institute is an opportunity to receive advanced training on traumatic stress and complex trauma treatment for children and adults.
Why: A growing number of organizations in Alaska are developing trauma-focused services to improve outcomes for behavioral health service recipients. With the support of the State of Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health, the Alaska Child Trauma Center at Anchorage Community Mental Health Services will be hosting a three and a half-day Trauma Institute in Anchorage.  This year’s Institute will focus on the science of traumatic stress, mobilizing communities and organizations to respond to traumatic stress, and complex trauma treatment.
Who: During a special Priority Registration period, organizations that are treatment grantees of the Division of Behavioral Health will have an opportunity to register to send 2 persons from their organization to the Institute.  After this Priority Registration period ends, any remaining seats will be filled on a first-come registration basis.
Registration Process: Registration for the Alaskan Advanced Trauma Training Institute is online only.  During the Priority Registration period from March 18th through March 25th organizations that are treatment grantees of the Division of Behavioral Health will be able to register 2 persons from their organization to attend the Institute.  Starting March 26th, any remaining seats will be filled on a first-come registration basis.


April 18th Martin Teicher, MD., Ph.D.

Impact of Childhood Maltreatment on Mental and Physical Wellbeing.  New Insights from Brain Science into Mechanisms, Treatments and Means of Fostering Resilience.

This day-long workshop will review the psychiatric and medical consequences of childhood maltreatment and review what we’ve learned regarding the influence of different types of maltreatment and importance of age at the time of exposure.  The impact of childhood maltreatment on the structure, function and organization of the developing brain will then be discussed in detail after providing sufficient background to make these findings meaningful to individuals without a neuroscience background.  A major emphasis of the presentation will be to understand what these maltreatment-related brain changes do to individuals.  This will be accomplished by interpreting these changes as adaptive alterations that in earlier times facilitated survival and reproductive success but are now associated with serious untoward consequences.  The workshop will also detail how childhood maltreatment has been an unrecognized confound in psychiatric studies and the impact of this oversight on diagnosis, treatment and etiology.  We will also explore factors associated with resilience and the implication of these findings for treatment.


April 19th  Christopher Blodgett, Ph.D., and Patrick Sidmore, MSW

Morning Session:  Dr. Blodgett

From ACEs to Action: How Treatment Systems Can Help Create a Community Resilience Revolution.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in adults has helped change the conversation about risk and what children need to succeed. But, while ACEs are a tremendous call to action, trauma-informed care principles provide the road map for real change. Dr. Blodgett will provide a framework for integrating ACEs and trauma informed practice in local community action. Using program experiences and concepts from work with K-12 and early learning education, Blodgett will discuss how to build different partnerships between providers and community systems that draw on the unique skills of service providers to support better child outcomes and more resilient communities.

Afternoon Session:  Pat Sidmore MSW

Is there Anything New We Can Learn from ACE Research: taking a deep dive into Alaska’s ACE numbers and how they might be used to inform practice and policy.

Beyond the rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences – taking a thorough look into the data for Alaskan adults’ and children’s trauma history – provides insights into how we may look differently at behavioral health in Alaska.  Using the ACE surveys of Alaskans from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and the National Survey of Children’s Health, this presentation will explore the links between ACEs and outcomes for a host of consequences the participants may not have considered.  Distinctive information from the data will be offered to participants and an exploration of its potential use will be conducted in the session through interactive activities.

April 20th-April 21st  Breakout Track

There will be two breakout tracks, one focusing on treating adults and one focusing on treating children.  Participants should plan on attending both days in the same track.

Adult Treatment Track  Joesph Spinazzola, Ph.D.

Components Based Psychotherapy for Adults with Complex Trauma Histories.  The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute’s Emerging Model for Adult Trauma Treatment.

Psychological trauma is pervasive in contemporary Western society, and the prototypical adult who presents for psychotherapeutic services comes with a history of exposure to trauma. For a minority of clients, trauma occurred in the form of a single, impersonal incident: a terrible accident, an unexpected injury, a natural disaster. For most, trauma was chronic or recurrent in nature, began in childhood, and involved episodic or chronic exposure to often-interconnected experiences of maltreatment, exploitation or neglect. The impact of these experiences on neurobiology, emotional development and identity is profound, and quintessentially requires complex adaptations that routinely result in enduring psychological disturbance and associated social and functional impairment. Moreover, when childhood emotional abuse and/or emotional neglect constitutes the primary form or “organizing thread” of an adult survivors’ trauma history, the consequences tend to be most global, the infiltration into self-appraisal and meaning systems most insidious, and the response to traditional psychotherapy most recalcitrant.

Component-based Psychotherapy (CBP; Hopper, Grossman, Spinazzola & Zucker, 2015) is an evidence-informed framework designed to guide clinical intervention with adult survivors of complex interpersonal trauma, and in particular adult survivors whose trauma histories include prominent exposure to childhood emotional abuse or neglect. Developed by senior faculty of the Trauma Center, CBP represents the outgrowth of four decades of extensive clinical practice, supervision, training and research at our Center. Development of CBP was predicated upon integration of perspectives and strategies from virtually all of our current and alumni senior clinicians and supervisory staff members through intensive focus groups, editorial review and multi-authored contributions to the forthcoming book introducing the CBP model: Treating Adult Survivors of Emotional Abuse & Neglect: Reaching Across the Abyss (Guilford Press). CBP is a relational intervention that offers what we regard as the next juncture in phase-oriented or sequential approaches to complex trauma intervention. A core-components treatment model, it provides intervention targets, strategies and techniques designed to address what we consider to be the four primary components of this work: relationships, regulation, dissociative parts and narrative. More than any other trauma treatment model, CBP bridges trauma-focused, psychoanalytic, feminist-relational/humanistic and mind-body theories of therapeutic action. Perhaps unique among contemporary approaches to psychotherapy–certainly among trauma treatment models– is the extent of its attention to the treating clinicians’ personal/internal as well as relational/interactive challenges, movement and growth within and across the four primary components of the model as work unfolds and evolves between client and therapist. As such, heavy emphases are placed on the supervisory role in conduct of CBP as well as on constructively working with and through the frequent enactments that inevitably emerge in the context of this work.

Child Treatment Track Kristin Mortenson, M.S., LPC

Treating Complex Childhood Trauma: Targeting the Building Blocks of Resiliency.  The ARC Treatment Framework.

A substantial percentage of children exposed to trauma have experienced multiple or prolonged exposures. The dual problem posed by complex exposures and outcomes demands a flexible model of practice, embedded in a framework that can be adapted to the social environment in which the child is being treated.  This workshop will introduce participants to the ARC Framework (Kinniburgh & Blaustein, 2004, 2010) a promising practice for working with children and youth who have experienced trauma. Interventions focus on building secure attachments, enhancing self-regulatory capacity, and increasing developmental competencies across multiple domains. ARC is a flexible framework rather than a protocolized intervention, and is designed for youth from early childhood to adolescence and their caregivers or caregiving systems.


Martin Teicher, MD., Ph.D.

The primary mission of Martin H. Teicher’s research programs is to improve the life of children, adolescents and adults by exploring the etiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders that arise during development. A major focus of his work is on the effects of childhood traumatic stress and he pioneered studies into the effects of abuse on brain development. Another focus has been on the use of technology to aid in objective psychiatric diagnosis. Dr. Teicher received a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine and residency training in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital / Harvard Medical School.  He is the Director of the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean Hospital and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard. Dr. Teicher has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology since its inception and he was the child and adolescent psychiatry section editor for BMC Psychiatry. He has received continuous funding from the National Institute of Health over the last 27 years.  He is currently funded by awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Teicher has been a Committee Member of the Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology Study Section, the Small Business Innovative Research Study Section, and Neuroscience Fellowship Review Committee at the National Institute of Health. He is the author of over 200 articles and holds 17 U.S. patents primarily for diagnostic technology and pharmaceutical agents.  His articles have been cited more than 17,000 times.


Christopher Blodgett, Ph.D.

Dr. Christopher Blodgett is a Washington State University faculty member and a licensed clinical psychologist. Chris has been the Principal Investigator for more than three dozen federal and national foundation grants addressing high-risk children and families. He is the Director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s CLEAR Trauma Center at WSU. Trauma informed schools work in the CLEAR model now includes multiple schools in Washington and California.

Chris and his team partner with communities and systems to adapt the science of resilience, brain development, and trauma treatment to better address trauma resulting from childhood adversity. Now funded by multiple federal and philanthropic grants, this work documents the profound and immediate consequences of ACEs and tests practical actions to improve child, family, and system outcomes.

Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D.

Dr. Spinazzola is the Executive Director of the Trauma Center and Vice President of Behavioral Health and Trauma Services at Justice Resource Institute. Dr. Spinazzola is a Research Professor of Clinical Practice in the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University, and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. He is also a member of and lead examiner for the Forensic Panel. In his 17th year with the Trauma Center, Dr. Spinazzola remains actively involved in all facets of the Center’s work and mission, serving as a clinician, clinical supervisor, senior trainer, and Director of JRI’s Institute of Research, Inquiry and Evaluation. Dr. Spinazzola is the Director of the Complex Trauma Treatment Network of the SAMHSA-funded National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a national initiative to transform large regional and statewide systems of care, and is Co-Principal Investigator of the Developmental Trauma Disorder National Field Trial. Dr. Spinazzola specializes in the assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of complex trauma in children and adults, and is the author of over three dozen peer-reviewed journal publications on traumatic stress and youth violence. Dr. Spinazzola holds particular interest in dissociative coping adaptations in survivors of chronic maltreatment and neglect and in the role of transformative action, play and improvisational theater in the recovery process. He is co-author of the forthcoming book: Reaching Across the Abyss: Treating Adult Survivors of Childhood Emotional Abuse & Neglect.

Patrick  Sidmore, MSW

Patrick Sidmore is a Health and Social Services Planner for the Alaska Mental Health Board & the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.  He holds degrees in Social Work and Economics/Management.  He has a focus on early childhood mental health while working for the Boards and previously has worked as a front line social worker, a YMCA professional and in Alaska Medicaid policy for the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services.  He bats and throws right handed.

Kristin Mortenson, MS, LPC

Kristin Mortenson, MS., LPC is a Clinician, Trainer and Consultant at the Alaska Child Trauma and the Clinical Manager of Little Tykes Therapeutic Services. Kristin provides mental health services to children who have experienced chronic interpersonal trauma.  She is a certified ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency) trainer and worked to apply the framework with children in the child protection system.  Kristin provides training and consultation services regarding trauma-focused services, early childhood mental health and trauma informed systems throughout the state.

Registration begins March 18th.

This Institute is made possible through the support of the

State of Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health.

For more information on Trauma Informed Care organizations are encouraged to review the Georgetown Series on Trauma Informed Care at


Registration is full.  To be added to the wait list, please email lpedro@acmhs.com