Risking Connection®

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Organizations with professionals and paraprofessionals, and others who work with survivors (children, adolescents, and adults) of traumatic life events, especially those with histories of childhood trauma

Brief Description

Risking Connection® is a foundational trauma training program that grew out of a consumer trauma survivor lawsuit. It is based on constructivist self-development theory (CSDT), an integrative theory drawing on attachment theory, relational psychoanalytic theory, developmental psychopathology, and theory of cognitive schemas. Risking Connection provides a way for organizations and systems to change their culture to one that is trauma-informed and trauma-responsive. It uses a train-the-trainer model of dissemination whereby organizations gain the internal capacity to conduct Risking Connection trainings and sustain a trauma-informed culture.

This model emphasizes:

  • A framework for understanding common trauma symptoms
  • A common inclusive language
  • Relationships as the primary agent of change
  • Respect for, and care of, both the client and the service provider (vicarious traumatization) as critical to healing
  • Strategies and tools to support adoption of the model in clinical, social, and organizational processes

Program Goals:

The goals of Risking Connection® are:

  • Train organizations to:
    • Utilize the Risking Connection framework to respond to the impact of traumatic life events
    • Frame common symptoms and behaviors as adaptations to traumatic life events
    • Respond to survivors of traumatic experiences from a strengths-based approach
    • Demonstrate collaborative crisis management that reduces the risk of re-traumatization
    • Demonstrate increased self-awareness of their reactions to individual clients
    • Integrate knowledge of the impact of vicarious traumatization in the formulation of organizational and individual self-care plans
    • Create trauma-responsive cultures including policies, processes, and people systems
  • Expected organizational outcomes include:
    • Knowledge of content and models essential to Risking Connection
    • Shift in beliefs favorable to trauma-informed care
    • Demonstration of behaviors aligned with trauma-informed care
    • Changes in professional quality of life including an increase in compassion satisfaction, decrease in burn out, and a decrease in secondary (or vicarious) traumatic stress
    • Responses that reduce the use of restraints and seclusion at organizations
    • Decreases in staff turnover, staff injuries from client management, increase in staff satisfaction with job
    • Increases in foster parent retention and decrease in foster placement disruptions

Contact Information

Elizabeth Power, M.Ed.
Agency/Affiliation: Trauma Informed Response/EPower & Associates, inc.
Website: www.traumarecoveryconnection.com/trc_riskingconnection.html
Phone: (615) 714-6389
Steven Brown, PsyD
Agency/Affiliation: Klingberg Family Centers
Website: traumaticstressinstitute.org/services/risking-connection-training
Phone: (413) 218-3293
Agency/Affiliation: Sidran Corporation
Website: www.riskingconnection.com
Phone: (410) 825-8888

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2015

Last CEBC Contact Date: May 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: November 2012