The Neuro-Physiology of “Talk”: Creating Transformative Interactions with Girls and Women Using Trauma and Resiliency Informed Communication

Alyssa Benedict & Dr. Marilyn Van Dieten

This session introduces a series of brief intervention strategies that we can use in the moment to support girls and women so they can access their strengths, reduce distress and stay present and regulated. Based on cutting-edge research on the neurophysiology of trauma and resilience, evidence-based practices and somatic principles, these strategies can be used to move through a variety of corrections practices (e.g., assessment, case management, supervision, individual and group interventions, discipline) more effectively. They create safer, more effective spaces within which we can do meaningful and effective justice work. This session will be highly interactive and include a brief didactic segment, case example, video demonstration of intervention strategies and short experiential activities. Participants will learn how to use these strategies to address immediate needs while also reducing the impact of trauma, bolstering self-efficacy and to building resilience.

Alyssa Benedict

Ms. Benedict is the Executive Director of CORE Associates and provides training and technical assistance to organizations regarding implementation of gender, culture and trauma responsive interventions. She is a thought leader and change agent regarding critical issues affecting girls/women and has extensive implementation experience, including multi-site statewide initiatives and specialized approaches for females in institutional and community corrections. She has developed several resources to assist organizations in a variety of areas such as program assessment, behavior motivation and staff communication. Ms. Benedict is a federal partner for the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women, has been a consultant for OJJDP and NIC, and serves as a consultant and faculty on various federal initiatives. She has a specialty in the neurobiology and ecology of trauma and has authored various publications and models designed to support girls/women and staff.

Marilyn Van Dieten

Marilyn Van Dieten is a registered clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in program implementation, training, and the design of evidence-based interventions. Her work is recognized internationally in both correctional and mental health settings and she has received awards from both Volunteers of America and the International Community Corrections Association for her contributions to the field. Over the last two decades, Dr. Van Dieten has focused primarily on justice involved women and girls and she has written and facilitated a number of internationally recognized curriculum and programs including- Collaborative Case Work; Moving On; Girls-Moving On; Living Safely and Without Violence, etc. At the present time, Dr. Van Dieten is the Vice President of Orbis Partner Inc. and she works with several partner-agencies at the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women.

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