Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.

Schools have an important role in decreasing the impact of a traumatic event on a child. Children spend the majority of their day in school where caring adults are available to help them. Educators can help children by providing the structure of a usual routine, providing a safe place to share concerns, being sensitive to cues in the environment that may trigger a traumatic response, and providing additional supports.


  • Trauma can have a lasting impact. Childhood trauma can increase the risk for psychological, behavioral or emotional problems (depression or PTSD), substance abuse, low occupational attainment or academic failure, social maladjustment and poor medical health.
  • If a child perceives the event as threatening, there is an increased likelihood that the child will be traumatized. These threat perceptions are influenced by (1) the nature of the crisis event itself, (2) crisis exposure, (3) relationships with crisis victims, (4) adult reactions to the trauma, and (5) a variety of individual/personal vulnerability factors.


  • (CounselorTalk, May 2023): THE RIPPLE EFFECT: THE IMPACT OF A TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOL – BUILDING A TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOL – Blog by Trudi Wolfe, School Social Worker at Loper Elementary School
  • (CounselorTalk, March 2023): Trudi Wolfe, School Social Worker at Loper Elementary School is pleased to announce that she is preparing for the second year of her TRAUMA INFORMED SCHOOLS TRAINING. The program is a train-the-trainer model and is called Heartbeats and Mind RhythmsThis training provides you with an experience that goes beyond just learning facts, information, and interventions. It will help you connect with the information at an emotional level where real understanding takes place, making complex concepts easy to understand and apply to the population with whom you work. This train-the-trainer trauma-informed schools model will provide participants with up-to-date research, resources, and practices and will equip the participants to do their own professional development presentations that their staff will truly connect with since “one of their own” is the presenter. This training is truly a blend of reaching both the mind and the heart of participants.The training program offers these services:
    • The training sessions
    • Access to the PowerPoints,
    • Access to community circles plans and other resources
    • Access to an editable trauma-informed schools newsletter.

          These additional services could also be offered:

    • The development of customized PowerPoints and newsletters
    • Individual or small group consultation for implementation.

If you are interested in learning more about this PD experience, please complete the Google form:–2nlb5WxJkbpsxdBws3DaP5bQ_RgAciGbKkw/viewform?usp=sf_link To find out more about the Indianapolis Trauma Therapy Center, please look at the website: Click on Our Team to find out more about my background and click on Professional Development to find out more about the training program for school professionals. .

  • Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools – Free training (March 2020)
  • Trauma Resources (from Counselor Talk, November 2018)
  • Trauma Screening Using ACES (from Counselor Talk, November 2018)
  • Training for Trauma Informed classrooms (from Counselor Talk, January 2018):
    • Our school is currently using the Lilly grant to become a trauma-certified school. We have been working with Starr Global’s National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. They are located in Michigan but will travel to your school to do on-site trainings. They also have online-trainings that our staff have done and enjoyed as well. Erin Good-Whiteford, Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence, Indianapolis,
    • Lori Desautels at Butler did a great training:
  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (featured in the this YouTube video) wrote a book, The Deepest Well. The Kindle edition is currently on sale for $1.99.  I read it as soon as it came out. I LOVE the book!
  • Trauma Informed Schools and ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences): Counselor Talk FB responses  and additional Counselor Talk responses from April 2018
  • Susan Sherman, school counselor from Kalispell, MT, shares the steps that her school took to become trauma-informed:
    • We started off with Nadine Burke’s TEDtalk on ACEs study; We did a district wide book study of Stuart Ablon’s book, The School Discipline Fix; counselor/psych book study of Dr. VanderKolk’s book, The Body Keeps the Score and Dr. Bruce Perry’s The Boy Who Was Raised By The Dog; purchased and held staff and public viewings of Paper Tigers and Resilient; we have a viewing of Broken Places today; use videos from Stacy York; and 7 of us attended the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and Education (NMT/E) in Banff, Alberta, CA; Admin has attended week long conferences on restorative practice.
    • Other resources specific to schools include Dave Melnick, Sandy Taylor-Tran, Margaret Casey.



  • The Iceberg of Children’s Behavior
    How to Work with Students with Challenging Behaviors
    What Anxiety Looks Like
    What Students Need when They Become Dysregulated
    Physical Effects of Trauma
    Trauma Zone
    How Children Learn to Self-Regulate
    What Children Need at Most Difficult Moments
    Your Words Matter

  • Components of a Trauma-Informed Approach
    Knowing Students Is Important
    Behavior Is Communication
    The Words that We Speak
    Trauma-Informed Care

    IN Child Abuse Rate 2017


    Connection and Regulation

    Relationships and Achievement
  • Relationships Are More Important than Rules
    Relationship & the Right Teacher
    Relationship Questions
    Trauma Language

    Window of Tolerance

  • Trauma needs



4 Rs of Trauma Informed Care


Trauma Informed Care

Missouri TIS Model



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