Consulting & Training

The Family Center staff provides consultation services to a wide range of professionals and organizations including:

  • Schools: Both Educators and Administrators
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Child Welfare Workers and Supervisors
  • Physicians and Nurses
  • Community and Restorative Justice Centers
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Attorney and Judges
  • Parent-Child Centers

Consultation is a collaborative problem-solving and skill enhancing process with the following goals:

  1. Increase the skill and confidence level of the consultee
  2. Develop and sustain appropriate internal resources to address identified challenges and struggles
  3. Address both individual and systemic change


Trainings Topics:

The Family Center staff offers a number of trainings designed to meet the needs of our community. These include: in-service training, workshops, conferences, and keynotes addresses. Our staff has worked with training groups of all sizes. Most of these trainings can be presented in blocks of time from 2-6 hours.

The topics we are able to present include:


  • The Enigma of Adolescence: Revealing the mysteries of today’s youth

This training focuses on the many aspects of raising and working with adolescence. With a focus on the teen brain, development (social-emotional, cognitive, behavior, psycho-sexual), risk-taking, media use, and practical strategies, attendees will learn ways to more effectively communicate and interact with adolescents.

  • The Adolescent Brain: What today’s science tells us about the art of raising teens?

Various fields of study have contributed to emerging information about unique aspects of the adolescent brain. Central to this new knowledge is the integration of interpersonal neurobiology, neurodevelopment, psychology, anthropology, sociology and social work. This training is designed to help caregivers and professionals gain an understanding of the developing brain in order to help improve relationships and interactions. Armed with some basic knowledge about the brain, adults can expect to better understand, and to contextualize, the sometimes perplexing and challenging behaviors.

  • Risk Taking: What is reckless, rewarding and reasonable?

Adolescence poses dilemmas; it is a period of great overall health yet also one of the most dangerous times of our lives. Automobile crashes, accidents, suicide, substance use and interpersonal violence impact many lives. There is explosive cognitive growth yet impulsive decision making. Adolescents can be deeply serious and contemplative as well as witty, silly and imaginative. This workshop explains the many developmental (and evolutionary) reasons that teens take the risks they do, and offers some practical guidelines for caregivers and professionals.


  • The Privatization of Adolescence: How today’s ‘Digital Natives’ are raising themselves

Gone are the days when teens could be overheard talking delightfully, intensely or passionately on the phone with their friends. Teens of all ages were once called away from outdoor activities of playing sports, riding bikes and hanging in parks. Today’s parents often cannot get their teens outside, and find media use a constant battle. More and more, both parents and teens report feeling alienated and disconnected from one another. The singular focus on cellphones, internet and videogames has disrupted family relationships, and while “media addiction” was almost unheard of 20 years ago, overuse of today’s electronics is a leading reason that many parents seek counseling for their teens. Privacy is a critical component of adolescence, yet today’s youth have unprecedented distance from the adult world.   This workshop focuses on the many ways that adolescents have been shaped and defined by technology, with ideas how to address the chasm between adults and youth.  

Attachment, Attachment Disorders, and Treatment:

  • Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorders


This training is designed to provide information about how youth exposed to early trauma often feel insecure and unsteady. Designed for caregiver and professionals, this workshop offers a global view of challenges and home, school and therapeutic interventions.

A sample outline for this training includes:

  1. Healthy Attachment: The ABC’s of Normative Development
  2. How trauma interrupts normative processes of attachment
  3. Types of attachment challenges
  4. Strategies for home and school
  5. Strategies for Clinicians/Caregivers/Educators


  • Advanced Training in Treating Attachment Disorders


This training is individualized based on the request of the host agency or program. We will expand on the concepts above with a more intensive focus on strategies and interventions.

Developmental Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Introduction to Developmental Trauma This is an introductory training designed to be taught from 3-6 hours; it is appropriate for anyone who lives or works with youth exposed to chronic trauma. This training has been taught to caregivers, social workers, clinicians, school staff, attorneys, judges, pre-schools, doctors, police officers and correction officers. The Family Center staff use a combination of didactic teaching, videos, role-plays, clinical scenarios and small group activities to present the material. While core concepts are taught at all of these trainings, each workshop is tailored to the needs of the audience. A sample outline for this training includes:
    • The social context of chronic trauma
    • Defining trauma, PTSD and Developmental Trauma
    • The Impact of trauma on youth, including:
    • Neurodevelopmental, attachment, emotion regulation etc.
    • Strategies and Intervention:
    • Why traumatized youth require specialized care
    • Adult Assets
    • Treatment and care at home, school and in the community
    • Becoming Trauma-informed    
  • Developmental Trauma: Advanced Clinical Skills Training

This training is designed for mental health and other professionals who have had introductory training in Developmental Trauma. In this training we build upon the concepts taught in our ‘Introduction to Developmental Trauma’ with a more advanced focus on the impact areas and treatment.

A sample outline for this training includes:

  • Developmental Trauma: Review of core concepts
  • Neurodevelopment Concepts: Lateralization, Memory and the Body
  • Advanced Treatment Skills


  • Developmental Trauma: Advanced Caregiving Skills

This training is designed for caregivers who have received introductory training in Developmental Trauma. In this training we provide more in-depth information about trauma and help caregivers practice important skills. This training focuses on practical and advanced child-rearing skills, as well as tools to improve self-awareness, and self-regulation.

A sample outline for this training includes:

  • Developmental Trauma: Review of core concepts
  • “Self-Skills”: Mindfulness, Perspective Taking and Proximity, Parallel Process, and PACE
  • Role Plays and Scenarios
  • Self-awareness and Self-Care Plans


  • Trauma-Informed Schools: Please visit our Trauma-informed Schools page
  • The Trauma-informed Milieu: Residential Treatment for youth with Developmental Trauma:

The Family Center staff has over 35 years of collective experience working in and running residential treatment programs for youth. Additionally, we continue to consult with programs throughout the state. This training is designed to help residential treatment programs become more trauma informed, with an ability to integrate innovative strategies into their clinical program.

  • Assessing Trauma:

The process of accurate assessment is critical to responsible treatment planning. While there are many resources available to accurately evaluate the impact of trauma, and a growing consensus exists regarding the protocols necessary, many practitioners are still unaware of best practice tools. Integrating and interpreting information from standardized measures, clinical interviews and professional experience is necessary to capture the complexity of trauma.

The Family Center staff offer trainings to help professionals with clinical planning and diagnosis. Since trauma can express itself in complex ways, having the tools to accurately provide differential diagnosis and treatment planning is critical.


Phone: (802) 951-0450
Fax: (802) 652-2008
45 San Remo Drive, South Burlington, VT, 05403