Tarleton hosts ‘Treating Trauma’ workshop for more than 150 participants

Thursday, January 24, 2019

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Internationally renowned clinician and researcher in the field of traumatic stress and trauma-related disorders, Dr. Colin A. Ross, MD, founder and president of The Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, and Melissa Engle, clinical director and founder of Healing Springs Ranch, provided a free workshop on Jan. 11 for more than 150 participants on Tarleton State University’s Stephenville campus.

Sponsored by Tarleton’s Student Counseling Services Center and The Ross Institute for Trauma at University Behavioral Health-Denton, the half-day seminar, “Treating Trauma,” provided participants with the core principles and techniques of Trauma Model Therapy (TMT) for Addictions and Complex Comorbidity and the Integrated Addictions Model, as well as five hours of continuing education credits for those in the allied mental health and human services professions.

The workshop included presentations on treatment outcome data, principles of TMT and case examples as well as information on the integrated treatment for addictions, a discussion on the spectrum of emotions and a role-playing therapy session.

Attended by allied mental health professionals, including licensed professional counselors, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists, educators from both K-12 and higher education, and Tarleton students majoring in counseling and related fields, the workshop informed participants of the two specific treatment techniques and strategies.

“What makes this (integrated addictions) model so valuable is that there has been a division between mental health and addiction treatment,” Engle said. “Both of these worlds, for the most part, have operated independently of one another. Most individuals who struggle with chronic addictions have underlying mental health issues, and it’s unfortunate in this field that they’ve become two separate arenas.”

Engle and Ross agree, based on their professional research and strategies, that dual-diagnosis among professionals who treat chemical addiction have begun to look at underlying mental health issues as a key reason to adopt an integrated model. “It’s bridging the gap of trauma, addiction and mental health issues, and recognizing that beneath the mental health diagnoses is usually the presence of suppressed pain or unresolved trauma,” Engle said.

“There is so much overlap between the two realms, and we feel it’s a disservice to just treat one facet without the other because you must look at the combination of both for successful treatment,” she added.

“TMT is a very generic, across-the-board model that can be used everywhere and throughout all areas of mental health and addiction treatments,” Ross said.

According to Engle, those attending the workshop gained a specialized skill set to integrate trauma, addiction and mental health because of the overlap in their basis of treatment. “It’s an education on the clinical level and for just anybody to better understand themselves as an emotional human being, and to be more balanced so they don’t fall into addictive patterns or mental health issues.”

“My hope is that our students who attended gained a better understanding of what Tarleton’s Student Counseling Services is attempting to do with its programming, and to realize the underlying issues that may lead to addictions and chemical abuse among their peers,” said Dr. Brenda Faulkner, director of student counseling. “We opened the workshop to them because it is such a great opportunity to expose them to internationally renowned experts and explain the different levels of research and the data supporting these trauma therapy models.”

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.


Contact: Dr. Brenda Faulkner, Director of Student Counseling
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.