Description of Certificate Course: ARC Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents
Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) ARC Trauma Treatment — a Transformative Approach to Changing Children’s Lives for Good…
When kids are faced with overwhelming stress and childhood adversity day-after-day, they adapt to their environment. Their behavior and attention problems may prompt their arrival in treatment, but when you start to dig deeper, you find they are simply stuck in survival mode — the hallmark of complex developmental trauma.
Where do you go from here?
Co-developed by Dr. Margaret Blaustein, ARC is a framework that is clinically-proven to enhance trauma treatment with children and adolescents, and has been hailed as, “a landmark for understanding and treating traumatized children” by world renowned trauma expert, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.
Now, you can get a comprehensive training on ARC, created by ARC co-developer, Dr. Blaustein, through this online certificate course and revolutionize your trauma treatment approach.
Enroll today and learn how to integrate ARC’s sequential, developmentally-appropriate framework to address trauma with both the child and caregiver system, and create a supportive environment for healthy development and healing of complex trauma.
You’ll gain customizable tools and strategies that build self-regulation and resilience, strengthen child and caregiver relationships, fill developmental gaps, and restore their capacity for curiosity, engagement and authentic response in the moment.
Earn your ARC certificate today!
Bring increased effectiveness and positive outcomes to your work with children, adolescents, and their caregivers.
ARC gives you a roadmap to cultivate attachment in traumatized kids, build the self-regulatory skills they need to identify and manage powerful emotions, and establish a positive sense of identity that will set the stage for a healthy and fulfilling life.
Upon completion of this online certificate course, you’ll be equipped to implement the ARC framework with kids and their caregivers to transform your treatment of childhood trauma and achieve sustainable positive outcomes for this most vulnerable population.
What you’ll learn in Certificate Course: ARC Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents
Through 8 powerful sessions, you will learn the ARC framework from the co-developer, Dr. Blaustein herself!
Session 1: Introduction to ARC — A Comprehensive Approach to Trauma Treatment for Kids and Caregivers
The ultimate-goal of ARC is healing complex trauma in a way that helps kids authentically engage in their lives in the present moment. It begins with the open-ended question — What about this child’s behavior makes sense? From that point forward, the ARC framework supports the goal of Trauma Experience Integration (TEI) — the progressive development of a child’s capacity to tolerate moments of distress, make meaning about those experiences, and integrate them in a way that positively informs present experience. This session introduces you to the building blocks of the ARC framework and their purpose in the context of treating children with a history of complex trauma. You’ll explore:
- The multi-layered nature of complex trauma in children and adolescents — an ongoing combination of abuse, neglect, loss, betrayal, and interference with normal developmental tasks
- The many presentations of complex trauma in children, how to recognize them, and the best ways to begin treatment
- Attachment, regulation and competency — the core domains for ARC’s progressive approach to healing trauma and why they matter
- How to strengthen the child’s environment and engage caregivers in support of healing and healthy child development
- The healing power of acknowledging a child’s survival strategies as “strengths” and re-focusing them on meaningful goal-oriented activities in the present
Session 2: Engagement, Education, Rhythm and Routine — ARC’s Unifying Strategies, How to Use Them and When
All healing progress requires engagement — that’s a core principle of ARC’s approach. And successful engagement requires awareness, pacing, and attunement to the client’s state. This session will enhance your understanding of how to intervene effectively when the client is triggered or in survival mode, recognize and tap into curiosity and reflection to make the most of readiness for present action. You’ll learn:
- Four key factors that ensure successful engagement
- Proven engagement strategies for youth and their caregivers
- Practices for fine-tuning therapist attunement
- How being curious about why, in addition to, what validates a child’s experience and emotion, de-stigmatizes behavior, and enhances engagement in the healing process
- How to empower through education and information — a playbook for children and their caregivers
- How to use routines and rhythms to support modulation and mastery — in therapy and at home
Session 3: Healing Wounds of Attachment — Key Strategies for Successfully Engaging Caregivers
Attachment is the first pillar in the ARC attachment, regulation, competency framework. No one is better placed to strengthen attachment bonds than a primary caregiver. That’s why engaging a child’s caregiving system,—parents and professionals,—is a primary focus of ARC’s trauma treatment framework. Once engaged, caregivers can be supported in understanding a child’s triggers and reactions, managing their own emotional responses, and practicing self-care. You’ll learn how to:
- Recognize and address common barriers to engagement for caregivers
- Normalize caregiver responses and de-stigmatize youth behaviors
- Increase caregiver’s understanding of the neurobiology of reactivity and the danger response in traumatized youth
- Help caregivers use a crisis as an opportunity for learning and growth
- Encourage the use of effective coping strategies and support systems for caregiver self-care
- Model and reinforce three key caregiver language skills — reflection, validation, and normalization
Session 4: A Step-by-Step Guide to Enhancing Attunement
It’s an ARC foundational principle that effective caregiver attunement is the key to youth self-regulation. But understanding a child’s difficult behaviors is seldom a straightforward proposition. Actions can mask unmet needs or unregulated affect and they can trigger an emotional response in others that further obscures what’s going on. This session zeroes in on everything you need to support primary caregivers and professionals in the effective practice of attunement to accurately and empathically understand and respond to a child’s actions, communications, needs, and feelings. It covers helping caregivers:
- Approach youth behavior with self-awareness and curiosity
- Identify and respond to the underlying function of a specific youth behavior
- Combine accurate perception with effective affect management and behavioral response
- Recognize and create opportunities to build pleasure in engagement
- Attune with the whole self — matching the child’s energy, affect, tone, and pace
- Co-modulate by cuing, supporting, and reinforcing self-regulation strategies
Session 5: Mastering Effective Response — the Key to Creating a Sense of Safety for Traumatized Children
Safety is a baseline requirement for making progress with children and adolescents who have a history of complex trauma. And that sense of safety needs to extend beyond therapy to the home and the classroom. The goal on all fronts is responding to a child’s behavior in a way that is regulated, predictable, and sensitive to the influence past experiences have on a child’s current behaviors. In this session, you’ll learn:
- A teachable four-step planning process that helps ensure the likelihood of an effective caregiver response — even in challenging situations
- How to overcome the most common caregiver barriers to responding effectively
- Common youth reactions that can undermine an effective response and strategies for neutralizing them proactively
- How to coach caregivers through attunement gaps, affect management blind spots, and other common barriers to effective response
- Proactive strategies for avoiding power struggles between child and caregiver
- Proven techniques for meeting a child’s underlying needs, while still addressing negative behaviors
Session 6: Regulation — the Ultimate Goal and an Ongoing Process for Traumatized Children
Regulation — the second pillar in the ARC attachment, regulation, competency framework is, by its very nature, complicated. It requires the capacity to identify and access feelings, the resources to manage the experience on many levels — emotional, physiological, cognitive, and behavioral — and the language to talk about what’s unfolding. When there’s a history of complex trauma, a child’s journey to self-regulation is one of many small steps. The first include awareness, naming, and understanding the context of inner experiences. In this session, you’ll discover:
- How to assess a child’s tolerance for different states of arousal and identify current strategies for managing what they experience
- A step-by-step process for helping children become aware of their own internal experiences — emotions, energy, or arousal — and using language to name what they feel
- Tools and approaches to help children make connections between their emotions and other aspects of their experience, including thoughts, body sensations, and behaviors
- Strategies that support children in exploring “what causes” feelings, identifying triggers, and understanding their body’s alarm system
Session 7: Modulation — the Second Milestone on the Road to Self-Regulation
Once a child has achieved basic awareness of internal states, ARC shifts focus to strengthening the ability to discern changes in feeling and make qualitative assessments of internal states such as comfortable, dangerous, and tolerable. As therapist and child experiment with different activities and track effects, the child experiences a sense of agency and control. In this resource-rich session, you’ll discover:
- A wide range of modulating strategies to explore with children, including sensory experiences, gross motor activities, and dedicated spaces for quiet, comfort, and safety
- How to build a concrete “feelings toolbox” of strategies that cue a child to use specific coping skills to shift emotional states
- A step-by-step process for engaging caregivers as active participants in support of a child’s increasing mastery of modulation strategies
- The most effective way to repair, reconnect, and reengage with a child after a meltdown or moment of crisis
Session 8: Bringing the Process Home — Supporting Competency, Connection and the Ability to Act in the Present Moment
How do you help children with a history of complex trauma build the skills and tolerance for sharing their internal experiences? How do you support their ability to connect effectively, to set goals, make active choices, and develop a resilient sense of self? All of these are possible as part of developing competency — the third pillar in the ARC attachment, regulation, competency framework. In this final session, you’ll learn:
- A step-by-step approach to building the foundation for healthy relationships — exploring the goals of connection, integrating connection with routine communications and check-ins, identifying resources, and facilitating the engagement of others
- Four key activities that help strengthen a children’s reliance on their executive functions
- How and when to use structures that support active decision-making and to engage evaluation of choices through play
- How to launch a comprehensive exploration of multiple “facets of identity” as part of building a child’s sense of unique self and personal identity
About Margaret Blaustein
Margaret E. Blaustein, PhD, is a practicing clinical psychologist whose career has focused on the understanding and treatment of complex childhood trauma and its sequelae. With an emphasis on the importance of understanding the child-, the family-, and the provider-in-context, her study has focused on identification and translation of key principles of intervention across treatment settings, building from the foundational theories of childhood development, attachment, and traumatic stress.
With Kristine Kinniburgh, Dr. Blaustein is co-developer of the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) treatment framework (Kinniburgh & Blaustein, 2005), and co-author of the text, Treating Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents: Fostering Resilience through Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competence (Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2010). She has provided extensive training and consultation to providers within the US and abroad. Dr. Blaustein is currently the Director of Training and Education at The Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, MA, and is actively involved in local, regional, and national collaborative groups dedicated to the empathic, respectful, and effective provision of services to this population.
Financial: Margaret Blaustein is the director of training and education at the Trauma Center in Boston. She is an author and receives royalties from Guilford Publications.
Nonfinancial: Margaret Blaustein has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.
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