A Running PersonBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2014

Strand J

The Impact of Psychological Trauma on Development and Learning

Margaret Joyal



This strand will focus on the impact of psychological trauma on development and learning; strategies for identifying children who have experienced trauma; how to access services when needed; and achieving success in education with individuals so affected.

The trauma informed practices presented in this strand align with a MTSS framework. Trauma informed practices support all students to be available for learning. Strategies and interventions can also be utilized in a group or individualized for children who need more targeted or intensive level supports.

Day one: The impact of psychological trauma on the developing brain. This will include an overview of the research on brain development and the ways in which trauma impacts the developmental process. We will discuss the implications for education and society as a whole. We will focus on strategies for identification and early intervention with this population in order to improve their potential for success. The first day will focus on the importance of having a trauma informed school system that will adequately screen for trauma and support families and children. The initiative to have trauma informed trainings offered in the school system will be discussed. This training is part of the SAMHSA grant to develop a statewide system of trauma informed services and treatment, the Vermont Child Trauma Collaborative (VCTC)

Day Two: Cultural Competency: Cross-cultural issues and trauma. We will explore the effects of cultural influences including, socio-economic status, rural environment, and war and refugee status on children as it relates to trauma. We will gain an increased understanding for the complex issues facing these students and the variety of coping strategies we may observe in these populations.

Day Three: Assessment/Treatment: We will provide training on assessment of the impact of psychological trauma and the outcome of trauma informed treatment and interventions. We will discuss the current treatment model being adopted by the Designated Agency system and how it interfaces with educational settings.

Day Four: Application: Participants will provide case material to apply the material learned in Days 1-3. Cases will be written and presented prior to the conference in order to allow for a full and informed discussion.



Getting Teachers in on the Act: Evaluation of a Theater- and Classroom-Based Youth
Violence Prevention Program
Treatment of Complex Trauma in Young Children: Developmental and Cultural Considerations in ARC The Trauma Center at JRI (pdf)
ARC Intervention Framework article (pdf)
The Body Keeps The Score: Memory & the Evolving Psychobiology of Post Traumatic Stress (doc)


Margaret Joyal Margaret Joyal, MA is the current Director for Washington County Mental Health Services Counseling and Psychological Services, and co-founder of LINCS adult trauma treatment program.  She has held leadership roles in a number of mental health clinical settings in Vermont.  In addition to her clinical leadership she is a member of the Vermont Association for Mental Health, the National Association for Rural Mental Health and has been held key positions with the Vermont Psychological Association, the North American Masters Psychologists, for which she served as President and is the current Past President, and is Chair of the Adult Outpatients Director’s Group, a committee of the Council for Developmental and Mental Health Services.  Ms. Joyal is a major resource for training and informing trauma related services in the state and has provided trainings and workshops on recent advances in trauma treatment, effects of psychological trauma, treatment of PTSD, and treating survivors of childhood abuse.  She is a current Consultant Trainer for the Center for Crime Victim Services and the Agency of Human Services.  Ms. Joyal has served on the State of Vermont, Agency of Human Services Trauma Workgroup which was charged with transforming state-based services to become more trauma informed across Agency programs.  She currently serves on the Child and Family Trauma Workgroup, focused on providing trauma informed services to children and families.