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The Resilience Project

Author: Resilience Project

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Resilience Project is a Strong Families Safe Communities Project administered by Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services with funding support by Ohio DODD and Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
22 Episodes
How do we show up for those who have experienced trauma? One of the ways we have found to join people on their healing journey is by shifting from blame and shame and offering connection instead. Shifting to connection isn’t always easy. The Safety Script is a simple way to introduce this shift to connection into your vernacular. Listen to Mary Vicario's explanation on what The Safety Script is and how it can be used in everyday moments. To learn more go to To reach Mary go to
This show is all about storytelling from the perspective of a therapist who helps people process developmental and relational trauma. You’ll hear from LaShanda Sugg, who calls herself a “Sherpa” or a guide who empowers people down the path of healing through active listening. She gives tips on how to create space for people’s stories to be heard by engaging the five senses, using a mindfulness practice, and how she cues in on body language as a way of being curious.  But ultimately, LaShanda believes that the story that takes the most courage to pause and explore - is our own. She talks about the cyclical nature of intergenerational trauma, and why we should place people’s stories in their life experiences, like living in poverty, homelessness, and community violence or the-isms like racism and heterosexism.  You should listen if you are interested in learning how to hold space or foster more curiosity for others to share their story with you. There’s so much in this podcast for anyone curious about how storytelling can spark change in our lives and our communities.  #ComplicatingAdverseToxicStressors #CATS #Storytelling #ResilienceStories #DevelopmentalTrauma #RelationalTrauma
Learning new approaches or concepts can come with a jolt. This conversation with Rachel is about what has surprised her, her doubts along the way, and what has emerged from her work in trauma responsive care. Rachel talks about Trauma Informed Biographical Timelines - a facilitated way to hear the story of someone who has experienced trauma, and build empathy as a team. More resources about the timeline process here:  Trauma Informed Biographical Timelines: Approaches for Intervention by Beth Barol Rachel Perlstein is a Behavior Support Coordinator at Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities and is involved in the Resilience Project.
Julie talks about how harnessing the strengths of people, especially people in community has been an ah-ha moment for her. She believes that focusing on building a person's strengths and helping them tap into community can be the most important part of supporting people on a path to healing from trauma.  Julie Herrmann MS, LPCC-S, is the Assistant Director of Special Populations and Resilience Worker Supervisor.
What does self-care mean to you?  Ilea Scott's role is to offer self-care techniques to families with trauma histories as she walks alongside them      as they explore what their gifts are, connect to community.  Ilea Scott is a unique addition to the Peer Support Partners at Families Connected of Clermont County working in the Resilience Project. Her history with trauma provides her with a deep sense of empathy and compassion for the families she supports, as well as a firm belief that individuals and families can not only survive, but also thrive when given the appropriate support and interventions. Ilea is particularly passionate about the "why" of trauma and the deep insights that neuroscience is providing to these difficult questions. Although, Ilea has a background in business and contracts, she is pursuing higher education in psychology along with certification in Trauma Responsive Care through the Tri-State Trauma Network. She is currently exploring the trauma responsive application of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and prayer in her own life and those of the families she supports. 
When all seemed lost, how do people begin to heal from trauma? Are there times when support services like social workers and case managers have gotten in the way of healing? On this episode we talk with Maggie and Cindi, who remind us that the journey is not always a straight line.  Maggie Center has been the Resiliency Care Manager with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services for the past two years of the Resilience Project. Her professional background is  rooted in offering trauma responsive care, from her Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Human Development and Family Studies/Women’s Studies from Colorado State University to community based healing opportunities with Denver Colorado’s sexual assault prevention and care center, RAAP, and most recently with the Resilience Project, supporting underserved teens to  young adults with co-occurring diagnoses and complex trauma histories. With two of her great passions being creating art and the practice of yoga, Maggie’s work has impacted the Resilience Project by using movement and pictures to grow participant’s abilities to respond to what has happened to them without the pressure that can arise in traditional therapeutic settings. Cindi Crew is the Director of Integrated Counseling at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.  She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the Northern Kentucky University and her Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. 
The ways that we can be present with people on their healing journey is often determined by our mindset and approach. What happens when we shift our focus away from “fixing” a person, to recognizing and building their resilience? Rachel Sorg and Gretchen Behimer talk about the pitfalls of services, and how to steer away from doing the work of "fixing" to the work of connecting by growing a person's resilience. Gretchen Behimer,  LISW-S, has been working with children and families for over 25 years.  She earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Kalamazoo (MI) College with an emphasis in Business Management and Accounting. Prior to becoming Program Director of Clermont County Family & Children First (FCF) in March 2004, she was a counselor at the Sonja Shankman Orthogenic School (residential treatment facility) while she completed her Master's degree in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.  She also did a 9-month internship counseling those addicted to opiates while in Chicago. She then studied sport psychology at Miami University and moved to the Cincinnati area after graduating with a Master's in Sport Studies. She was a therapist in a day treatment program at St. Aloysius Orphanage, then the Director of Provider Relations for Magellan Behavioral Health's Hamilton County project prior to coming to Clermont County FCF.  She is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a Supervisor designation. Gretchen truly believes in collaboration among systems, family-driven care and having youth be active participants in their care.  Rachel Sorg is the Wraparound Coordinator for Clermont County Family and Children First. While working with Family and Children First for 6 years, Rachel has served as a Wraparound Coordinator in both rural and urban/suburban communities for multi system youth, including those with severe, complex trauma histories. She currently oversees the Clermont County Family and Children First Wraparound Program and coaches other Ohio counties in developing their Wraparound efforts and growing System of Care principles within their own communities as an Ohio Wraparound Coach/Trainer for the ENGAGE 2.0 project.
There is a growing urgency to address trauma in our society today. How do we as services and partners in healing do it in a way that honors a person's story and grows a person's resilience? What happens when the work put into grow resilience -- doesn’t stick? This conversation with Jo Krippenstapel gets to the heart of these questions, and offers a ton of wisdom and insight into the work of trauma informed care.  Jo Krippenstapel offers facilitation, consultation, and training focused on enhancing quality lives for individuals, more responsive organizations, and richer community life. She has worked as an independent consultant for over 25 years. She facilitates conversations among people served by human services, families, and staff in order to support teams of people to learn and take action together. She helps organizations engage in planning that strengthens capacity to identify and act on the vision and mission. Her life path has been strongly influenced by the experience of growing up as one of seven children, the oldest of whom has significant disabilities.  The commitment of her parents to create a full life of participation and belonging for her brother continue to inspire her to this day. Jo has lived and worked in five states – offering her the opportunity to learn from and work many leaders in disability services. She now lives in Bellevue, Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio where she works and is involved as a citizen in several community building efforts. Jo can be reached at
What does it look like/sound like to offer trauma-responsive and culturally-aware supports to people and families? What does it look like/sound like when we miss the boat on this? Why does it matter? T. Dean Swartz has worked in the disabilities field since 1985, in both the county and state systems.  He has experience in recreation; residential; educational and vocational/day habilitation settings.  During his time in the field, Dean co-developed the CORE values approach at the Clermont County Board of DD, as well as the SURE crisis de-escalation program.  Dean is an accomplished teacher/trainer on topics such as: ASD, Behavior, Trauma Responsive Care, Person-Centered Planning, Crisis Intervention, the Sanctuary Model, Direct Service Provision, and Disability Awareness.  He is certified as a Service and Support Administrator with DODD and has his Trauma Responsive Care certification through the Tristate Trauma Network. Dean presently works for the Clermont County Board of DD, as a Behavior Support Specialist, as well as a contractor with the Academy for Direct Support Professionals.  He participates in the Sanctuary Model of trauma informed care as a Steering Committee member, Core Team member and trainer/facilitator. Dean has been a participant in the Resilience Project for over five years, representing Clermont County Board of DD on interdisciplinary teams. He has completed a M.Ed. with a focus on Autism Education. 
Sarah talks about growing resilience - and how it happens in relationship. She calls it relational resilience and says that along her own learning journey she has found that the true entry point to the work - begins when we begin to notice in what shows up in our bodies, and cultivate a sense of safety in ourselves so that we can bring that to others. Sarah believes that this mind body connection work done in relationship with others is what's next in the work of trauma informed care. Sarah Buffie MSW, LSW, founding director of Soul Bird Consulting believes that nothing has the power to heal like supportive relationships. Specializing in trauma responsive care, she helps organizations and individuals disrupt current models of thinking by building empathy and understanding around the effects of trauma.  Sarah has worked in community organizing- specifically, Asset Based Community Development, for over a decade and has a deep passion for her work. Her focus is to spread awareness about how trauma affects the brain and body, and teach effective approaches for developing resilience within the people organizations strive to serve, and the people closest to the work: caregivers and direct providers.  Sarah received her Masters in Social Work from Northern Kentucky University with a focus in trauma, positive psychology, and mindfulness. With years working closely in her Cincinnati community through her Americorps service as well as abroad with her Peace Corps service in Namibia, Africa, Sarah brings a unique community building lens to her work.
All people need relationship.  To feel safe, loved, and connected. In this conversation, Matt talks about his work over the past 30 years to promote care in caregiving. You'll hear a lot about what he learned from one of his earliest mentors, John McGee, and how McGee's "Gentle Teaching" principles are still relevant in the work of trauma informed care today.  More on John McGee's work: Matt Briner has worked in the developmental disability services world since the late ‘80’s. He has worked in residential programs, day programs/vocational supports and provided direct behavioral supports. He has done this in private for profit organizations, faith based not for profit organizations and a county board. The common theme in all of his work has been trying to help people feel safe and engaged by focusing on what happened to the person rather than forcing someone to behave to try and fix the behavior. 
In the 1990s, Vincent Felitti, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Kaiser Permanente, conducted interviews with people who had left an obesity clinic. He discovered that a majority of the 286 people he interviewed had experienced childhood sexual abuse. The research went on to find that a person’s cumulative ACEs score, or traumatic experiences in childhood, had a direct adverse health outcome in adulthood. This conversation with Lori is for people providing support - interested in how the ACE study impacts the way we interact and support people, not by looking at someone to “fix,” but as someone to understand and identify their resilience.  Lori Watkins, LISW, is the Director Behavioral Health Services at the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities 
A Live Question and Answer Session with Mary Vicario, Founder of Finding Hope Consulting  Trauma informed care and people living with dementia  To learn more go to To reach Mary go to 
A Live Question and Answer Session with Mary Vicario, Founder of Finding Hope Consulting  How do you teach trauma treatment? To learn more go to To reach Mary go to 
A Live Question and Answer Session with Mary Vicario, Founder of Finding Hope Consulting  How do you define trauma?  To learn more go to To reach Mary go to 
A Live Question and Answer Session Sarah Buffie, Founder of Soul Bird Consulting.  What are ways I can self-sooth by activating the vagus nerve?  To learn more go to To reach Sarah go to
A Live Question and Answer Session Sarah Buffie, Founder of Soul Bird Consulting  How does prayer help a person be more resilient? To learn more go to To reach Sarah go to
Mary Vicario, Founder of Finding Hope Consulting, discusses the connection between storytelling and resilience. Storytelling is something that humans have done since the beginning of time. Mary shares how neuroscience helps to unlock why humans love stories, and how storytelling can support the growth of resilience. To learn more go to To reach Mary go to 
Mary Vicario, Founder of Finding Hope Consulting, talks about the Five Resilience Factors - a powerful way to organize our efforts and help a person build a big full life and thrive, not just survive. Family members, teachers, staff, and others who care about the person can help grow these resilience factors. Research shows that there are five things we can build up - five factors that can build resilience and help people bounce back and recover.  We can pay attention to these, and notice what we have to build on and build up. We can celebrate when we’ve made small and big gains in any of these. The Five Resilience Factors Voice Choice and Control Self-Esteem: Self-Worth: Self-Compassion External Supports Positive Connections with Safe Adults Belonging or Affiliation To learn more go to To reach Mary go to
Join in the moment with Sarah Buffie as she guides you through the practice: Notice, Accept, Invite. 
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