REGULATE, RELATE, REASON – A Developmental Approach to Healing Trauma

Harmony Family Center and The Child Trauma Academy invite you to join us for our two-day professional conference October 2 and 3, 2018.

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Published on June 11, 2018 by .
Posted in Training


Shea Watts

Shea Watts, ASAP Family Therapist

Since coming to Harmony in 2006, I have been fortunate to work with some of the best Resource Parents in the country. These parents are committed to making a difference in the lives of children across the state of Tennessee, and always going above and beyond the call of duty for these children. Harmony recognizes the tremendous, personal sacrifices of these parents and is dedicated to helping these caregivers receive the services they need in order to continue the healing work of parenting adoptive and foster children. This being said, I often ask the parents I work with what they need in order to be the best parent they can be for these precious children and I always receive the same type of answers:

“Time to recharge my batteries so that I am better able to help my children”.
“The opportunity to meet with other parents to share ideas and be a support to one another”.
“New information regarding parenting adoptive/resource children”.
“New tips and techniques that I can learn quickly and will make a difference in my home”.

Based on these above needs, Harmony recently hosted the first R.E.S.T. Initiative at Buckberry Lodge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, located within the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. True to its name, this unique and innovative retreat provided a weekend of Respite, Education, Support, and Training to sixteen adoptive/ resource families in the East Tennessee region. This retreat provided a weekend of rejuvenation, relaxation, and shared learning for these couples who have created forever families for approximately fifty children in East Tennessee. Buckberry Lodge provided the ideal location not only for caregivers to relax and spend time focusing on replenishing their depleted energies, but also for meeting and interacting with other resource parents and expanding their support circles. In addition to supplying respite, Harmony provided three trainings: the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, Circle of Security, and Respite Development over the two-day period. Each couple reported of tremendously enjoying their experience and had the following comments to say about the R.E.S.T. Initiative:

• This has been the BEST respite we’ve had
• This was a much-needed, perfectly-timed opportunity
• Great way to recharge & reconnect with spouse
• Nice balance of REST with training
• Very relaxing, one of the best places we have ever stayed
• Taking time for each other & yourself enables you to be better for your family
• Very relaxing
• Education is a cornerstone for successful fostering and adoption
• Presenters & information was relevant and not drawn out
• Critical time to focus on each other & to get great training, too!
• Thank you so much for this opportunity. This has really benefited our family & I have learned about some great resources that I will implement in my family
• Had a wonderful time, met wonderful people, gained lots of helpful info for the future

Published on May 10, 2012 by .
Posted in Advocacy and Support, Training


Shea Watts

Shea Watts, ASAP Family Therapist

A little over a year ago, I gathered together a group of Harmony’s clinicians in order to decide which professional we would like to ask to be our speaker for our annual Cycles of Healing conference. At Harmony, we pride ourselves for bringing the best of the best to our families we serve, and we strive to always remain up to date on the leading research and interventions being developed by the top professionals in the fields of adoption and foster care. So, several of us got together for lunch and I asked the question, “If we could invite anyone to be our guest presenter, who would it be? Let’s dream BIG- if we could have ANYONE come, who would we ask?” To my surprise, each and every clinician at that table had the same answer: Dr. Karyn Purvis.

Dr. Purvis is the Director of the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University and is known worldwide for her work with children who have come from ‘hard places’; children who have experienced trauma, such as abuse and neglect. We were fortunate to have her colleague, Dr. David Cross, present at our Cycles of Healing conference a few years ago, and it was then that we became familiar with TCU’s work and the unprecedented impact their interventions were having on families across the globe. What drew our clinicians to the work of Cross and Purvis is that it was not only intervention-based, but that it promoted attachment and healing within the context of the family. Through Harmony’s relationship with Dr. Cross, my colleague Pam Frye and myself were afforded the incredible opportunity to be one of the first clinicians in the country to receive training in Purvis’ and Cross’ newest treatment modality, Trust-Based Relational Intervention © or TBRI. Working alongside Dr. Purvis is an indescribable honor. Both Pam and myself were not only amazed by her knowledge of the impact and experience of trauma, but also the treatment model she and Dr. Cross had developed. We knew that Dr. Purvis was, without a doubt, the speaker our families deserved, and that each and every participant would leave that conference armed with the skills necessary to parent these precious children who come from the ‘hard places’.

This past Tuesday, I joined over 150 parents and professionals gathered at Cokesbury Center for our 2012 Cycles of Healing conference. From the moment Dr. Purvis walked on stage, she captivated the audience’s attention to the very end. During breaks, numerous families came up to me and commented on how “magnetic”, “energizing”, “remarkable”, “enlightening”, and “refreshing” they found Dr. Purvis to be. Two families said to me, “This is exactly what we needed”, and one parent commented on how she was “so grateful that Harmony brought this angel to us”. Colleagues spoke of how concise the material was and how they could see why we chose Dr. Purvis to be our guest speaker, calling her “the total package”. Innumerable participants asked to have her back and wanted to know where they could purchase her materials and find out more information regarding TBRI. The praise for Dr. Purvis, TBRI, and the conference was amazing.

Cycles of Healing 2012 was a tremendous experience with profound impacts on all participants who attended. As I sit here and type this, I have no doubt in my mind that each and every participant left better parents or professionals because of ‘Cycles’. I know that I am better at both because of it and Dr. Karyn Purvis.

Published on April 27, 2012 by .
Posted in Advocacy and Support, Training