We can’t leave it at the office: the need to institutionalize trauma integration

Professionals working in child health, welfare, and justice contexts support children and youth living through the impacts of challenging situations. These situations can occur within many contexts, including families, communities, and the institutions serving them. When faced with situations that cause harm, that harm can be communicated in the helping relationship, spreading its impact from the children and youth, their families and communities, to the professional in their service. Professionals can also experience distress when they lack the capacity to enact the best practices for the children and youth they are serving. Through original findings related to the well-being of youth and professionals, this symposium will trace the complex emergence of child and youth trauma as it echoes against, and sometimes permeates the professionals working with them. We will examine how the manner in which systems of care and control contextualize these harmful experiences can amplify or contain and integrate them within and among professionals engaged in helping relationships.

Denise Michelle Brend

Université Laval. Canada

Denise Michelle Brend, MSW, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Université Laval and a Canadian Consortium on Child and Youth Trauma co-researcher. Dr. Brend has over twenty years of experience as a psychotherapist, social worker, clinical supervisor, and educator. Currently funded by the Université Laval and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC), Dr. Brend’s research focusses on the potentially harmful impacts of human services work in systems of care and control, workplace social support, and the implementation of effective social responses to trauma through trauma-informed care.




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