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Trauma Informed Approach to Sensory Processing Disorder and Arousal Regulation With Sheila Frick

September 29, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Therapists and other professionals who work with individuals with sensory and developmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum, attention deficit, learning disabilities) often encounter clients with difficulties related to developmental trauma. Traumatic events may be overt, such as early loss of a primary caregiver; sexual, physical or emotional abuse; or domestic, community and school violence. Trauma may also be innocent, such as early hospitalization and necessary life saving medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Exposure to adverse life experiences has been shown to increase the likelihood of social emotional and developmental delays. Furthermore, children with developmental delays have a higher risk of being subjected to experiences involving physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
There is a growing understanding and accompanying clinical practice that addresses the connection between sensory processing dysfunction and trauma. When an individual cannot adequately process sensory information or traumatic experiences, the body’s natural defense mechanisms become heightened further impacting sensory processing disorder.
This two-day, hands-on course will explore, from a trauma informed perspective, the connections between sensory processing and sensory integrative difficulties. We will also provide a brief introduction to the tension reducing technique known as TRE®, as a means of demonstrating how the body retains stress in core muscular tension patterns. This course will investigate the hardwired action systems that underlie sensory modulation, arousal, affect regulation, and play. A clinical reasoning model for tracking dynamic shifts in state and levels of integration will be presented. Interactive hands-on labs, video and case presentations will bring key concepts and treatment strategies to life in this theoretically based, yet practical course.
About the presenter: Sheila M. Frick, OTR, is an internationally esteemed clinician, lecturer, and pioneer in Occupational Therapy. She has over 30 years of clinical experience, having worked in psychiatry, rehabilitation, and home health before specializing in paediatrics. Her expertise includes sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration, and auditory interventions. She created and continues to expand Therapeutic Listening, which she has taught to over 10,000 therapists worldwide. Sheila has explored the links between Sensory Integration and developmental movement patterns through many avenues including the teaching of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen at Body Mind Centering, Marcia Monroe and Donna Farhi on developmental yoga training, and Peggy Hackney on Bartenieff Fundamentals.
Sheila’s interest in the impact of traumatic experiences on sensory processing and participation in daily life has led her to training and later teaching with the TRE® (Tension and Trauma Release Exercise) organization. Her recent work in TRE® has influenced Sheila’s interest in expanding techniques and activities appropriate for children and young adults aimed at reducing stress, tension, and anxiety through movement and auditory based tools.
She is the creator and author of Listening With the Whole Body, and co-author of Core Concepts in Action, Astronaut Training, and Out of the Mouths of Babes.
Disclosure: Financial – Sheila Frick is the president of Therapeutic Resources, Inc of which Vital Links is a subsidiary. Nonfinancial – Sheila Frick is married to Ronald Frick, president of Vital Sounds, Inc.

Who Should Attend: Pediatric therapists, mental health workers, social workers, counsellors, and other professionals who work with individuals with sensory and developmental disorders (e.g. behavior problems, emotional disorders, autism spectrum, attention deficit, learning disabilities, mental illness). Many of the clients we work with often encounter difficulties related to developmental trauma.


September 29, 2017
September 30, 2017


The Winston Golf Club Calgary (Previously Elks Lodge & Golf Club)
2502 6 St NE
Calgary, T2E 3Z3
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Carol Vickery & Krista Plosz
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