We are 85% sensations and 15% emotions – – both of which are called feelings.  When we fail to recognize this, we fail to address the foundations of psychological trauma.  The first indication of tension or upset is our sensations (breathing, heart-rate, etc.).  Our body lets us know whether we are calm or upset.  Our body notifies our brain of its sensations, and our brain creates a matching emotion – which we have to interpret and deal with using our thinking part of our brain.  Our brain follows our body’s lead.  

When we are upset the thinking part of our brain, our pre-frontal cortex (PFC), does not work as intended. We have to achieve some level of calm before the PFC can return to rational thought – – or even learn to – think rationally. If we use our body to achieve a state of calm, and then we use our PFC to practice coping/calming skills until they become habits – we can achieve homeostasis – balance – regardless of the situation.

Self-regulation is only possible in a state of homeostasis (chemical balance), and the result of practice of coping and stress-management skills until they become habits allows us to find homeostasis at will.  Only habits can be more powerful than our prewired automatic behaviors, but we must build the habits – starting with our body.


Participants will be able to name/explain/use:

  • How the brain and the rest of the body work
  • The role of “The Fabulous Five” and the “CIA”
  • At least one calming strategy they will use personally and practice professionally


  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, CDC,1998
  • The Trauma Academy, Houston, Texas, Dr. Bruce Perry
  • Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, research & videos.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Center of Biotechnical Information (NCBI) – longitudinal brain scan study, research on neuroplasticity, mirror neurons, temperament, chemical homeostasis, the vagal nervous system
  • How the Brain Learns, Fifth Edition, David A. Sousa, 2017.
  • The National Research Council (NRC) – Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Youth, 2009.
  • The Developing Mind, Second Edition: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. Daniel Siegel, M.D. 2012.
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

Format:  PowerPoint and Videos, with Q&A


  • 1 to 1.5 hrs. (Conferences only)
  • 3 hr. Workshop (1.0 hrs. ATOD Specific)