Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM EST
Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST

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Samm Winebrenner 
Traumatic Stress Institute 

Virtual RC Basic - March 7-9, 2023 

The Risking Connection (RC) Basic training is an 18-hour foundational trauma training. It is a centerpiece of the Traumatic Stress Institute's Whole System Change Model to Trauma-Informed Care that organizations and service systems can adopt to implement and sustain trauma-informed care.

Training Description

When a child depends on an adult for nurturance, safety, and love, he or she should not be taking a risk.  When betrayed by abuse, however, future relationships involve taking great risks – risks of continued disappointment and loss, shame, and further abuse. 

Studies reveal that two-thirds of the US population have experienced at least one traumatic event or adverse experience in childhood. Children and adults in human service organizations and systems have often suffered multiple childhood traumas, sometimes being hurt by parents, other caretakers, and by the system itself.

People with these experiences can become highly skilled at pushing away others via a wide range of challenging behaviors and symptoms that hurt themselves and others. Their perplexing symptoms can test the skills of even the most seasoned professional. 

Working with traumatized people also poses risks to professionals.  Opening our hearts means feeling their suffering and exposing ourselves to the darkest sides of humanity.  It means investing in people who often don’t want our help, who frequently return to abusive environments, or who are in and out of programs through “revolving doors.”  

In order to heal, traumatized people need to risk forming connections with caring professionals that are different (enough) from those of the past.  They need relationships that are RICH – Respectful, Informative, Connected, and Hopeful.  Forming such relationships is no easy task because of the extreme behaviors survivors display, the powerful feelings they evoke in us, and their ambivalence about getting close to us.

Risking Connection is a training program created to provide professionals serving trauma survivors with a philosophy and method for working with these challenging survivors.  The 3-Day Basic Training is adapted from the original curriculum, Risking Connection: A Training Curriculum for Working With Survivors of Childhood Abuse (Saakvitne, Gamble, Pearlman, & Lev, 2000).

Risking Connection is unique in that it maintains that respect for, and care of, BOTH the consumer and the professional are critical.  Therefore, it focuses on the impact of vicarious traumatization (VT) on the treater as well as the treater’s complex responses to working with trauma survivors. 

Each day of this active-learning course includes lively presentations, small and large group discussions, application exercises, and activities designed to address self-care and well-being of treaters.  All participants receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the training. 

Training Overview

 Day 1

  • The Lifelong Impact of Childhood Trauma
  • Traditional Model vs. Trauma-Informed Model
  • Working Within a Trauma Framework
  • Understanding Symptoms as Adaptations
  • How We Were Parented and How It Impacts Our Work
  • Introduction to Vicarious Traumatization

 Day 2

  • The Therapeutic Alliance: The Root of Healing
  • Managing Frame and Boundaries with Trauma Survivors
  • Strengthening Feelings Skills
  • Principles of Crisis Management
  • Responding to Crisis Behavior Before, During, and After the Crisis
  • Crisis Work and Vicarious Traumatization

Day 3

  • Understanding Our Strong Responses to Trauma Survivors
  • Implementing a Risking Connection Approach in Treatment Programs
  • Addressing and Transforming Vicarious Traumatization
  • Making Organizations Better Places to Do Trauma Work

Training Cost

Per Person Training Fee (with or without CE Credits):  $550


We will refund the registration fee minus a $30 processing fee for cancellations two weeks prior to the training.  No refunds will be made for cancellations inside two weeks. 

Space is limited to 40 registrants.

Continuing Education Credits and Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of Attendance

All attendees who attend all three days of training will receive a Certificate of Attendance. Certificates will be issued via email within a few weeks of training completion. Please provide a copy of your certificate to your agency and keep it for your records.

CE Credit Satisfactory Completion

CE Credits stands for Continuing Education Credits, which licensed staff (e.g. therapists) need in order to maintain their credential. The cost for CE Credits is included in your registration fee. If you need Continuing Education Credits, a link to the request form will be shared both prior to and during the training. 

Participants must have paid tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive CE Credits. Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. Partial credit is not available. No exceptions will be made. Requests for duplicate or replacement CE Certificates may result in additional fees.

Cosponsored by The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) - ivatcenters.org/continuing-education

The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT) maintains responsibility for this continuing education program and its content. Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT) provides American Psychological Association (APA) continuing education courses to social workers, marriage and family therapists, and counselors. APA approval satisfies requirements for different disciplines in many states; however, requirements vary. Please check with your state credentialing Board. Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses to offer continuing education for nurses (CEP #13737).