J. Eric Gentry

The newsletter of the
International Association of Trauma Professionals

Mike Dubi, Editor
Jennifer Bass,
Associate Editor
MAY 2013       
In This Issue
Upcoming Training Events!
Bullying: Let's Talk
Linda Curran Book Review
Trauma: Boston and Cleveland
Amanda Berry with her sister and daughter. 


The next level of IATP training!

Certified Expert Trauma Professional (CETP)
Coming July 2013 
Read about it in the President's Letter 


SO Training Sarasota
Sex Offender Treatment Professional Training in Sarasota, May 2013


Sex Offender Treatment Professional Certification

Presented by Mike Dubi

When: June 24 - 25, 2013

Where: Kean University, Union NJ

Time: 8:30 - 5 PM

Cost $160.

Contact: mdubi@comcast.net


Clinical Trauma Professional Training

 Presented by Mike Dubi

When: August 22 - 23, 2013

Where: Child Protection Center

720 South Orange Ave

Sarasota, FL 34236

Time: 8:30 - 5 PM

Cost: $160.

Contact: Mike Dubi 





International Association of Trauma Professionals is now on Facebook! Connect to stay in touch with our training opportunities and current events





Lee Norton, Ph.D.


 ~ Educating  clients about the causes and effects of trauma demystifies symptoms and creates "space" within which the client-therapist relationship to grow


~ Trauma clients have over-active sympathetic nervous systems, which means their minds or bodies chronically "kindle". The first goal is to cool the embers of kindling and establish parasympathetic dominance. For this reason, activating methods such as holotropic breath work and psychodrama should be avoided in the early stages of trauma work. Instead, adequate time should be spent learning to self-soothe, re-establish parasympathetic function, and reverse dissociation.

~ The amygdala develops much sooner than the hippocampus and results in powerful memories being formed before there is language to describe our experiences. This is why resolving preverbal trauma - generally with non-verbal techniques - is critical to effective therapy.

~ Over 80% of serotonin is in the gut, which is one of the reasons that so many clients have G.I. problems.

~ PTSD is primarily a disorder of physiological dysregulation. Effective trauma treatment starts with addressing primary biological symptoms such as problems with sleep, eating, and self care.


Image of Boston bombings
Quick Links
Trauma Practice: Tools for Stablization and Recovery
Anna Baranowsky, Ph.D.
J. Eric Gentry, Ph.D.
Franklin D. Schultz, Ph.D.
ISBN: 9780889373808
Second Edition
(2010) Hogrefe & Huber, NY
101 Trauma-Informed Interventions (2013)
Linda Curran, BCPC, LPC, CACD, CCDP-D
 Mike Dubi, Ed.D, LMHC, President
Best Eric Photo 
J. Eric Gentry, Ph.D, LMHC.
Vice President
 Lee Norton, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW,
Vice President


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International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
5104 N. Lockwood Ridge Rd. 
Suite 207-E
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941) 724-1026




IATP continues to grow with more than 500 certified members. These certified trauma professionals provide therapy to clients experiencing the negative effects of traumatic stress.


To continue with our mission to provide the highest quality of trauma training, IATP is launching its Certified Expert Trauma Professional (CETP) training in July. This new credential is a 24-week web-based experiential learning opportunity that features study with some of the foremost trauma practitioners in the world. Participants will engage in a 24-week long user friendly program that provides both didactic training and clinical supervision with IATP faculty.


The first 15 weeks will be totally online. You will read books and articles, view videos, listen to recorded PowerPoint lectures, submit written assignments and respond to online discussions. In addition, there will be phone and/or internet access to the IATP faculty. The last 9 weeks involves live supervision using Skype, Adobe Connect or a similar system. Again, you will have access to IATP faculty.


Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your skills by learning from the very best teachers in the field and from other students. To request information and registration details contact me at mdubi@comcast.net  


Mike Dubi, President


If you would like to submit an article for this newsletter for our consideration, please contact

mdubi@comcast.netPlease include your complete contact information. Of course, we reserve editorial license. 




Bullying:  What it is, What it Does, 

and How to Treat It

Lee Norton, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 
Center for Trauma Therapy

stereotypical notion of the lone schoolyard bully is a myth. The problem is much more complex, and it is on the rise.  
Between 15% and 30% of students are either regularly bullied or bully others. Bullying is now one of the most prevalent forms of mental and physical abuse in our schools.

What is Bullying?   
Bullying is defined as verbal, physical or psychological aggression, or harassment, intended to gain power over or dominate others. There are three general forms of bullying.
The most notorious type involves physical abuse, which includes hitting, slapping, pinching, shoving, tripping, punching, damaging belongings or clothing, or any other form of physical assault.
bullying comprises insults, name-calling, humiliation, degradation, cruel and persistent "teasing," defamation, and threats. This may be done in person, or in the increasingly common form of Facebook and other internet forums. Cyber bullying intensifies the problem exponentially because private or slanderous information is disseminated to an infinite number of  individuals and  the victim is powerless to stop it or to defend himself. The central feature of relational bullying is isolation. Victims are separated from their peers  and excluded from their peer group by focusing on mental, emotional, racial, socioeconomic, gender, religious or physical differences.     

What is a Bully?

Bullies come in all forms. Some appear strong and confident, and are popular. Others are anxious; they tend to have lower grades, poor concentration, and to be reactive. Their bullying may be a manifestation of their own trauma, which keeps them highly aroused, fearful, and unable to interpret social signals. Still others oscillate between being bullies and victims, which is an indicator that they have been exposed to sustained confusion, conflict, and lack of emotional guidance. They do not think the world is safe and do not know if they need to try to fight or flee.

Who are the Victims?   
Photo found on www.tsa-usa.org

There are two types of victims. The first category is comprised of those who appear to be insecure, cautious, shy, or sensitive, or who have low self esteem (passive type). The second group consists of those who appear anxious, hyperactive, and are easily provoked (provocative type). Likely victims of bullying are those who are noticeably above or below the norm, or who stand out from their peers. They tend to be more sensitive, lacking in social skills, unable to accurately assess social cues, and without an identifiable peer support group. They often have "over-protective" or "helicopter" parents, fail to defend themselves, and lack effective coping mechanisms. In other words, they do not know how to negotiate their social environment with skill and confidence, and do not have a strong peer network upon which to draw strength and guidance.


When is Bullying Most Prevalent?

It begins in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school. Grades six through nine see the highest incident of bullying.

What Causes Bullying?        
Factors in the home, school and community. All bullying is   learned behavior, a result of traumatic conditions, or both. Family factors include lack of socialization and supervision, witnessing bullying, abuse or intimidation in the home, or being a victim of mental, physical, or emotional abuse. School-related variables include tolerating bullying (looking the other way, failing to stop it instantly, and address it comprehensively), and failing to educate youth and adults alike about the nature and prevalence of bullying and how it can be prevented.  Peer factors include being exposed to bullying that is either ignored or reinforced as a means of "fitting in," or reacting to victimization.

What are the Results of Bullying?
Bullying is a form of psychological trauma. Some children and adolescents have sufficient coping skills that bullying is short-lived and the effects mild. Others may have significant and enduring symptoms. Acute symptoms may include fear, anxiety, problems sleeping and eating, nightmares and night terrors, hyper-startle response, "school phobia," problems concentrating, avoidance of people, places and activities, and changes in mood. Victims report feeling sad, lonely, nervous, and "on guard." They do not see the school as a safe place. They often fail to  report the abuse for fear of retaliation. It is not unusual for victims to deny the abuse. Untreated trauma can result in depression, changes in personality and self-concept, a sense of helplessness or hopelessness, isolating behavior, phobias, panic attacks, self-medication through drugs and alcohol. In the extreme, bullying can result in suicidal thoughts and attempts, or, alternatively, aggressive or impulsive retaliation.

Responses and Intervention.
As much as two-thirds of students believe that schools are unresponsive to bullying, and are not a dependable source of help. Almost 25% of teachers did not recognize bullying, and intervened only 4% of the time. Thus, bullying is still very much a problem in our schools and elsewhere.

What Can Parents and Teachers Do?
Prevention is the best medicine. There should be systematic education for teachers, administrators, parents and students, in which all participants are encouraged to share their experiences and solutions. Every school should have a team of mental health professionals specifically trained to identify and treat psychological trauma, as well as how to redirect bullying behavior. In addition, schools should address bullying directly and clearly, with relevant rewards for good social skills, and consequences for any form of intimidation or abuse. The Alternatives to Violence Program offers a free workshop for adults and adolescents to develop skills for effective communication and the prevention of all forms of violence. They also provide workshops specific to addressing trauma. Parent-teacher organizations should include recurrent programs for the prevention and treatment of bullying.
For information about free lectures and workshops about bullying, child and adolescent trauma, childhood depression, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, and other mental health topics, please contact:


Lee Norton, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Founder/Owner, Center for Trauma Therapy

Board Member, International Association of Trauma Professionals 




by Patrick Powell, Ed.D., NCC, LPC, LMHC 



The casual reader may read the word "trauma" in the title of Linda Curran's book, 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions (2013), and assume that the book is irrelevant to a clinician treating clients not dealing with trauma.  The reader would be incorrect. In the introduction to the book, Linda Curran emphasizes that trauma is not just a word in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but a core attribute in all psychological disorders catalogued in the

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

(American Psychological Association, 2000).    

 The book contains over 190 interventions (101 is just a catchy number) designed to be applied by clinicians. The strength of these interventions is in the flexibility of their application; the exercises can be used for treatment in a wide variety of behavior health settings with clients reporting a variety of symptoms. These interventions range over a large subject matter, from developing insight into oneself to coping with past events and daily stressors. 


Curran's 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions illustrates the complexity of trauma as a concept.  The book begins with a personal recounting of Curran's encounters as a budding therapist, in which she narrates a story that will resonate with any experienced clinician.  She recounts her own realization that no matter how prepared one may feel fresh out of college, there comes a crucial moment that requires the clinician to go beyond the role-playing done in class and to truly understand and connect with the client.  To do this, one must understand the nuances and severity of trauma that the client has experienced and is still enduring.  This realization impelled Curran to delve into researching the complexities of trauma, and through this journey, she became the therapist she felt her clients deserved. 


Curran's interventions reference important concepts from numerous authors in the field of trauma.  However, readers should not think that Curran merely borrows techniques from others. As shown both through the adaptations and thoroughness of the interventions in 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions, and in Curran's previous work, Trauma Competency: A Clinician's Guide (2009), Curran proves herself to be an authority in the field of trauma. 


The interventions of the book are organized into 75 chapters. Curran has organized the interventions in a progressive manner similar to clinical practice.  Initial interventions are comprised of guided imagery and other calming techniques.  The middle section of the book consists of interventions that may increase the client's awareness of trauma impact and symptoms.  The latter section of the book contains interventions utilized to resolve trauma.  A clinician with minimal training in the field of trauma can easily utilize the manual to develop treatment plans for his or her clients.      


Curran does not devote these interventions to just one theoretical approach; she has included interventions that are useful for clinicians practicing from a variety of theoretical perspectives.  For example, one chapter encompasses gestalt interventions, while another chapter utilizes interventions that focus on family dynamics. Some interventions can be utilized to treat individuals, and others Curran recommends utilizing with groups and couples.  Curran also includes many physical exercises that can help calm and focus clients, such as Yoga, Qigong, and Dö-In exercises.  Clinicians from any background can find interventions applicable and useful to their method of practice.


There are many aspects of Curran's work which make it a useful, if not required, manual for practicing clinicians. The organization of the book, the variety of interventions, and the accessibility to readers makes 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions invaluable. Curran's instructions for exercises are simple and easy to follow. Curran distinguishes her work from other intervention manuals by explaining the rationale of each exercise. For example, she introduces an exercise designed to regulate the dysregulated autonomic nervous system by explaining the biology of the system. She notes:The body's autonomic nervous system (ANS) governs many of the body's internal functions, through its two branches: the sympathetic branch (SNS) ("fight-or-flight") of this ANS activates or increases the heart's action, while the parasympathetic branch (PNS) ("rest" and "digest") acts as a brake slowing the action of the heart. The vagus nerve plays a role in parasympathetic braking action. (See The Polyvagal Theory, which follows.) The balance between this acceleration and braking system produces an ongoing oscillation, a systematic increase and decrease in heart rate.


Curran also provides a clear pedigree for many interventions, including quotes from published works of distinguished authors in the field of trauma.  For example, Curran references important concepts from Judith Lewis Herman's Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror (1992), Bessel Van Der Kolk's Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experiences on Mind, body, and Society (1996), and Peter Levine's Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Intimate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming eEperiences (1997). By providing the origins of each intervention's concept, Curran provides a roadmap for readers who may be interested in studying foundation and research behind an intervention. 


Finally, Curran and the publishers have included a CD which contains printable copies of the interventions.  This provides easy access to exercises and allows the clinician to quickly reference and supply the client with needed interventions and take home exercises.


Curran's purpose for 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions is to share a collection of effective, easy to use interventions that can be applied in all manners of therapy.  Curran states that she hopes that book will serve "not only as a concrete collection of trauma-informed interventions, but an inspiration to become good at what you do."  The quality of information and usefulness of the book, which serves as a workbook and intervention manual for clinicians treating clients with traumas, is a strong first step towards affirming Curran's hopes.




Boston and Cleveland 
by Jennifer Bass, Associate Editor
Taken the day of Boston bombings.

We have all been riveted to media coverage of two national stories of extraordinary traumatic events: the Boston bombings, and the three women who managed to escape from captivity in Cleveland. These two events represent the two primary types of traumatic stress - a one-time event, and prolonged or chronic exposure to trauma.


Imagine standing on a sidewalk on a sunny spring day innocently watching family, friends in a sporting event and then a sudden explosion, limbs blown away and bloody carnage everywhere. Police, fire, ambulances, stretchers, wheelchairs, sirens; running, screaming, trying to revive a young woman, an 8-year-old boy dead, and more - all in the wake of a catastrophic event that took a mere few seconds to perpetrate.


Imagine being a young adolescent enjoying friends, family, school, maybe in love for the first time, loving your birthday, Christmas, and anticipating all the joy that life is bringing you now and in the future. Suddenly you are taken away. Away from your family, your school friends, your first love, your life, your innocence. You are trapped. There is no way for you to call your mom, no way to explain your absence. You are terrified for your life, scared for your family, tied up, bound, helpless, raped, violated in every conceivable way. Every day for ten years. Surviving it all and waiting for the day of release.


This is why we as therapists are continually seeking to learn new skills in order to help in as types of situations. And, it is events such as these that helped frame the IATP mission.