Brain Speak: Provider and Organization Training for Working with Survivors

Survivors coming out of commercial sex trafficking and/or exploitation exit with a multitude of complex medical and emotional needs, including chronic PTSD, dissociation, and having been victimized by multiple perpetrators, including networks of organized crime.  Some survivors also come out with addictions, untreated mental illnesses, untreated broken bones, and basically live in, what Survivor Speak calls “survivor mode”.  Survivor mode can look different with each survivor; running the gamut from existing in a dream-like state to being hyper vigilant. Each woman’s story and post-traumatic reactions are different. Many survivors coming out of trafficking continue to live in survivor mode for a long time.

Service providers and others who assist survivors are often not equipped with the tools needed for the level of complex needs their survivor clients are experiencing. This leaves well-intentioned providers and clients frustrated and unable to move forward effectively, losing time and risking the survivor client leaving services. Survival mode blocks the ability for effective communication and follow through.

Brain Speak enables providers to readily recognize and address clients who show up in survival mode. In this workshop, professionals will learn the basic neurobiology of psychological trauma which will give valuable knowledge about when information can be received in the brain, and when other techniques, such as Survivor Speak "tools", are more useful in the moment for safety, stabilization and for planning next steps with their client.

Participants will learn how to apply these Survivor Speak tools within a group setting, or in a one-on-one session with clients. Survivor Speak tools enable providers to create moments for their client to be present, enabling opportunities to effectively exchange information, increasing follow through, enhancing the provider-client relationship, and ultimately creating a path to recovery.  Each tool is used for a specific self-growth goal and ultimately aids in moving the client towards a future of stability and independence.

The workshop is facilitated by Brain Speak Co-authors Dee Clarke and Debbe Davis, LCSW, PA, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, International Association (EMDRIA) trainer and approved consultant. The training ideally takes place over the course of a half-day but may be expanded or reduced depending on the organization’s needs.  CEUs are available.