Transforming Trauma: How Schools Become Healing Places

Transforming Trauma: How Schools Become Healing Places

Friday, October 15, 2021


As we return to school next fall, and as schools reckon with the reality that trauma is a public health crisis, we begin to carefully examine the ways that our school communities are impacted by stress, adversity, and suffering. 

When we understand the impact of stress and traumatic stress and recognize how it affects our performance across multiple domains, we begin to transform trauma. 

When resilience and well-being are seen largely as relational skills and not individual enterprises, then we begin to transform trauma. 

And when we purpose our knowledge of equity, neurobiology, attachment and recovery, for action and social justice, we transform trauma. 

Trauma work, whether in schools, mental health agencies or families is relational work which requires intensity, intimacy and the capacity to embrace complexity thinking (e.g., the contradictions that exist in serving youth exposed to trauma). 

Trauma-informed school communities are at the epicenter of innovation and best practice. They strive to meet the needs of their students, families, staff, and leadership by embracing equitable, just, and trauma-informed practices. 

Participants in Transforming Trauma professional development sessions study the harmful effects of trauma on students and on the workforce, the premises for trauma-informed practices, and the “5 Key Practices” necessary to successfully address post-traumatic stress. 


  1. Increase knowledge about the impact of traumatic stress on children and adolescents.
  2. Understand the events, experiences and effects of Developmental Trauma, and what it means to be trauma-informed.
  3. Examine the “5 Key Practices” in order to help with trauma transformation and improve student outcomes.
  4. Learn to identify the ways in which adults and youth respond to heightened levels of stress.
  5. Examine ways to increase workforce and student resilience. 

Dave Melnick, LICSW is the Co-Director of Outpatient Services at NFI Vermont and for the past 35 years he has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient, residential treatment, and in public and day treatment schools. Along with his focus on Developmental Trauma, Dave has expertise in family therapy, adolescence, attachment, and Trauma-Informed Schools. He is trained in EMDR, DDP, and a variety of family systems models. In 2015, the ChildTrauma Academy (CTA) acknowledged that Dave had completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase II level, and in April 2017, he was selected as a Fellow at the CTA. 

Dave received his master’s in social welfare from UC Berkeley in 1988 and is licensed in both the state of Vermont and New York as a clinical social worker. Dave teaches graduate classes for the Vermont Higher Education Collaboration, and is a much in-demand presenter and consultant in Vermont, New York and Canada. 

*Pricing for this event will be published later this spring. We thank you for your patience.


*Pricing for this event will be published later this spring. We thank you for your patience.

Event Contact
Terri Fischer
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Friday, October 15, 2021
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