Upcoming Seminars

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Course Information

The Journey of Trauma in the LGBTQ+ Community

All mental health clinicians work with trauma as trauma is implicated in every mental health disorder. Thus, understanding what trauma is, how trauma occurs and symptoms and behaviors of when it does are essential to providing thorough assessments, accurate treatment planning and appropriate therapeutic interventions. This workshop will not only focus on these aspects but we will take a closer look at the effects of trauma on the LGBTQ+ community. When working with LGBTQ+ clients we need to know and understand the terminology (and historical context) of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as provide a trauma informed and sensitive environment in order to provide effective engagement and attunement with these clients. We will learn the chemistry of the brain and body along with the Polyvagal Theory, and the LGBTQ+ person’s unique impact from events, in order to effectively integrate these aspects for clients to help educate and normalize their experiences.

This program is for 6.5CE

There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.



Harmonyhearth Center for Wisdom

Kriss Jarecki, ACSW, LCSW-R, has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1987. She was a faculty member of Trauma Institute/Child Trauma Institute for 8 years and is a consultant and trainer for Progressive Counting and EMDR. Kriss currently serves on the EMDR International Association Board of Directors and was a member of the EMDRIA Standards and Training Committee for four years. She served as a co-regional coordinator for the WNY EMDR Regional Network for 10 years, worked for 7 years as a field instructor for the UB School of Social Work and has over ten years’ experience as a clinician and supervisor in the field of chemical dependency. Kriss currently has a private practice serving children through adults and treats challenges such as PTSD, self-injurious behaviors, depression, anxiety, phobias, and adjustment issues. She has published articles in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, Traumatology and Counseling and Psychotherapy Research. You can contact Kriss at harmonyhearth64@gmail.com

Will Koehler PhD, LCSW (pronouns: he/him) serves as Chair and Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Work at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and is President and Clinical Supervisor at Journey to a Trauma Informed Life, LLC.   His areas of research and expertise include traumatic stress related disorders, mental health concerns among LGBTQ+ individuals, treatment of children exposed to violence and abuse, and trauma-informed social work practice.  Since 2009, he has served the NW PA region as a Clinical Social Worker by empowering LGBTQ+ youth and adults with evidence-based, trauma-focused outpatient counseling. He currently provides training, supervision, and consulting services in the areas of LGBTQ+ competency, trauma-informed practices, and is an EMDRIA-approved Consultant. For more information you can connect with him at: www.aTraumaInformedLife.com , email him at WillKoehlerLCSW@aTraumaInformedLife.com or find him on Facebook: ATraumaInformedLife.me,  Twitter: @KoehlerWill or LinkedIn: WillKoehlerLCSW His work is also on Research Gate and Psychology Today.


Target Audience:

Psychologists, Psychoanalysts, Psychiatrists (←only partial credit for MDs via APA), Social Workers, MFTs, Counselors, Substance Abuse Counselors,LMHCs, LCATs, etc.


Course Objectives:

- Describe how we digest and process experiences                    
- List at least 5 factors that can contribute to an event being experienced as traumatic for an LGBTQ+ person                    
- Discover the terminology of sexual orientation gender identity/expression                    
- Identify stages of LGBTQ+ identity development                    
- Integrate at least 5 resource exercises into your practice



8:50 - 9:00 am - Log on to Zoom

9:00 - 10:30 am - Trauma 101- Defining trauma. How we digest experiences in the brain, how aspects can get stuck and symptoms of when they do. LGBTQ+ community impact of trauma and statistics

10:30 - 10:45 am -  Break

10:45 -12:15 am - LGB & Gender Expansive (GE) 101. Terminology of sexual orientation. Terminology of gender identity. Unique & historical experiences of trauma in the LGBTQ+ community

12:15 am - 1:15 pm - Lunch

1:15 - 2:45 pm - The brain on trauma- Chemical reactions throughout the brain and body as it experiences an event, Polyvagal Theory. Memory Reconsolidation. Practice several exercises that calm the VNS and heal the Hippocampus

2:45 - 3:00 pm - Break

3:00 - 5:00 pm - Sexual and gender identity in adolescents. GLSEN National survey results. Stages to understand LGBTQ+ identity development. Implications for the therapeutic relationship and how to work with LGBTQ+ youth / clients. Effective treatment modalities and mechanism of effect. Questions