Thursday, July 9, 2020

PrairieCare Education Series – July 2020 Resources

Title: “Getting to the Heart of it. Engaging the “Push-Pull” in Teens with Developmental Trauma to Build Attachment”

Presenter: Krista Nelson, M.A., LICSW, LMFT, Approved Consultant-EMDR

Description: It is a typical teen who only shows vulnerabily through starting a verbal power struggle with a friend or parent.  Teens who  chronically engage then reject peers and adults in their world have longstanding relational wounds that often carry the label Reactive Attachment Disorder.   These are teens who  have early overwhelming experiences of loss, neglect and or abuse by caregiving adults which have shaped their developing stress regulatory  and social/emotional capacities.  It can be a humbling, exhausting dance to engage in a therapy process with these youth or be their primary caregiver.  This workshop seeks to name this challenge with humor and grace and get right to practicing the skills of working through these push pull dynamics with compassion and accountability.

Integrating knowledge from  EMDR, Internal Family Systems, Sensorimotor and DBT interventions,  participants will be guided through steps to help youth build their  stress regulation systems  so they can be in  vs. sabotoge supportive relationships.    In order to playfully engage youth while they are pushing back, therapists and caregivers can challenge youth to experience features of their own emerging nurturing, protective and inner wisdom resources in present time.  Participants will then practice methods to  challenge youths’ ways of staying out of relationship through addressing trauma losses  and choreographicing new relational steps with key adults, respectful of differences in culture.   This workshop aims to enhance tools and empower those  who work with youth in residential and day treatment, foster care, as well as in outpatient pscyhotherapy.


Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will have a working familiarly of how Reactive Attachment Disorder or Developmental Trauma differs from PTSD in children and adolescents and what constitutes positive treatment outcomes for this population.
  • Attendees will have sensory, somatic and experiential strategies to engage youth with RAD and DTD in a treatment process, specifically drawing from EMDR, IFS and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.
  • Attendees will increase their methods to enhance protective, nurturing and wisdom resources and neural pathways within youth with RAD and DTD.
  • Attendees will increase skills in moving through a teen’s push-pull relational dynamics through practice exercise.
  • Attendees will increase their confidence in how to engage youth’s family in teen treatment to facilitate relational connection through practice role play.


You guys are amazing to work with and were a light in a time of sadness, devastation, and darkness for both my daughter and I. Everyone has both been so kind and understanding to my daughter and I during this process and I can’t thank PrairieCare enough. I feel like I’m getting my little girl back and feel as though we both have the resources and coping skills to get through this. I can tell the staff at PrarieCare really cares about their patients and their families! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

Anonymous , Parent

I am very grateful that I was respected. Being called my preferred name and pronouns made my time in Prariecare much more bearable

Anonymous, Patient