Center for Children and Families Inc., a United Way of Norman partner agency, is excited to announce a one-day training session Aug. 7 with world-renowned trauma expert Dr. Joseph Spinazzola and the Trauma Drama All-Stars.

This intensive, one-day workshop will be led by the Trauma Drama All-Stars, an international training troupe of accomplished actors, musicians, educators and therapists that include the model's developer, founding members and lead evaluator. Participants will be immersed in an experiential introduction to Trauma Drama, the acclaimed youth violence prevention and tertiary complex trauma intervention model.

In the first portion of this training, participants will learn a medley of improvisational theater exercises and cooperative play activities that can be integrated into psychotherapy groups with children, youth and adults, as well as into classroom, afterschool and camp programming. Presenters will briefly discuss the therapeutic objectives associated with demonstrated techniques.

Every component of the Trauma Drama intervention was explicitly created or intentionally adapted to cultivate developmental competencies that become derailed by chronic trauma and life adversity. Competencies addressed include emotion regulation, impulse control, relational connection, attunement to self and others, conflict resolution, decision-making, facing challenges, self-expression and future planning.

To help introduce the training model to the community, CCFI has partnered with Sooner Theatre, Norman Public Schools and the OU School of Social Work to launch a Trauma Drama pilot program in August. This new program will offer a 22-week curriculum at two different pilot sites in Norman: Norman High School (school day pilot for high school students) and the Studio of Sooner Theatre (afterschool pilot for middle school students).

The team is currently seeking mental health professionals, educators and actors to become troupe members. Those interested in auditioning for the troupe must attend Aug. 7 training and a two-day troupe training Aug. 8 and 9. To learn more, contact Deanna Wilkinson at or 364-1420.

Trauma Drama will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at CCFI. The cost is $100 per participant and 6.0 CEUs will be awarded. The training is free for potential troupe members and Norman High School educators. To learn more or register, visit or call 364-1420.

Since 1969, CCFI has sought to end the generational cycles of poverty, child abuse and neglect for local children and families by providing services that heal the wounds of childhood trauma and strengthen family relationships. Boys & Girls Club of Norman at CCFI provides mentorship and enrichment opportunities to kick-start great futures for youth from low-resource neighborhoods.

CCFI's mission is to heal children, empower youth and strengthen families because every child deserves to grow up safe, nurtured and loved. Visit for more information.

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