The newsletter of the
International Trauma Training Institute (ITTI)
Mike Dubi, Ed.D., LMHC, Editor
Jeanne Thomas, MBA, Associate Editor
Summer 2021, Vol. 4, No. 3
Beginning with the upcoming session starting July 26, 2021, for courses leading to certification with, you can pre-pay the reduced certification fee of just $40 when you register for one of the following ITTI courses:
Once you register and pay all fees, you will receive an Evergreen Certification instruction sheet with a promo code that will allow you to apply for certification at no additional cost after successful completion of the course. We are pleased to collaborate with Evergreen to bring you this offer. Check certification eligibility at

Stay safe and well.
Mike Dubi, Ed.D., LMHC

Permission to Grieve:
Addressing Disenfranchised Grief and Loss
Angela Brinton, MSCP, LMHC, NCC 
The COVID-19 pandemic came in like a tsunami and with it washed away hopes, dreams, opportunities, and life as we knew it. Unlike so many who found themselves without a job, my work as a psychotherapist became increasingly important. Thankfully, I was able to quickly transition to an online platform and provide support to my clients and interns. I immediately witnessed the impact of incredible loss. I began asking people to name their losses. Make a list with two columns, losses and gains. A common theme sprung from the voices of so many who did not feel as though they had the right to grieve. I would often hear “this is nothing compared to what others are facing” or “I can’t complain” or “so many people have it much worse than me.” Unable to acknowledge their own loss because they were comparing it to the loss of another. Grief is as unique as a fingerprint. The impact of a loss, the emotional response following a loss, and the ritual for healing after a loss is idiosyncratic in nature and should not be defined, denied or compared. However, millions of people were trying to stuff their losses into someone else’s box and finding that nothing was fitting.  
The media supplied an endless stream of daily losses. People were dying alone without the comfort of a family member by their side. Healthcare workers were helplessly watching death after death without an end in sight. Human suffering became the norm. By comparison, a canceled wedding, prom, bat mitzvah, vacation, or event did not feel significant. However, those losses continue to pile up. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2020) experiencing multiple losses following a disaster can complicate the grief response. Complicated grief, or unresolved grief is extremely disruptive and can prolong the healing process. What further compounds the responses to loss is when the grieving process is withheld altogether.    
There is a name for grief that is not commonly witnessed or recognized by societal standards (i.e., suicide, divorce, death of a pet). The term is disenfranchised grief and refers to grief that is not validated, minimized, or misunderstood. The lack of social or cultural recognition impedes the support resources available to the individual and often interrupts the grieving process.   
Mourning the loss of a loved one (primary loss), a missed opportunity, disrupted daily routine (secondary losses) requires healthy coping. Beyond basic coping, which is task-oriented, developing adaptation skills is helpful in integrating the loss. This is especially true for adolescents who often lack the ability to adjust to the loss and need additional tools.  
A child or adolescent’s process of grief and loss is very different than that of an adult. This can be seen when there is a rupture in the family unit, after a move or lifestyle change, and as they transition in and out of relationships. Their grief can have a ripple effect and negatively impact many areas of functioning. Due to the unexpected changes caused by COVID-19, many parents and caregivers were feeling lost. I developed a series titled "Parenting in a Pandemic” where parents and caregivers gathered, virtually, to discuss ways to combat the fear, uncertainty, loneliness, and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis. I encouraged a willingness to adjust parenting styles, develop new rules and routines, and be open to embracing vulnerability.  
This pandemic served as a reminder that loss is an inherent part of life. With that heavy reminder came the awareness that we need time and space to mourn.  Experiencing multiple losses, primary and secondary, can be detrimental to physical and mental health if not addressed. Zhai and Du (2020) referred to this phase of complicated grief as bereavement overload which I now call bereavement burnout, the outcome of someone who feels deprived of the grieving process. So many individuals have been hit by wave after wave of loss and the pain that follows. When the pain and difficult emotions are suppressed, the unresolved grief has a way of manifesting in maladaptive ways.    
Mental health professionals play a crucial role in facilitating healthy grieving. Helping the griever acknowledge and name their grief is one of the best ways to begin the process. Recognizing even ambiguous or stigmatized loss can help validate the cognitive, emotional, or behavioral response. Individualized support, consistent with the developmental level of the griever is another important component in assisting the griever. This may be accomplished by helping them make meaning out of their loss or increasing adaptation skills as they continuously adjust to their loss. Going back to the columns I would help my clients arrange, I would always ask for a third column, strengths. Helping them harness and identify their own strengths helps them begin to reconstruct hope from what appeared to be a hopeless situation. Empowering a grieving client allows them to dig down deep and tap into their own reservoir of resiliency. It is often in the face of tragedy and suffering that we uncover our innate ability to face our fears, handle difficult emotions, take a deep breath, and put one foot in front of the other. Pre pandemic grief was complex but the multidimensional, simultaneous grieving during the pandemic requires a new lens and permission to honor every loss regardless of how small. As healthcare workers, we must consider tailoring strategies to address the profound impact of losses that continue to emerge in the wake of COVID-19.  Perhaps reconsidering predetermined markers for grief and eliminate criteria which can be restrictive. Instead, honor the pain and sadness that follows a loss of any magnitude.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 11). Grief and Loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
Angela Brinton earned her Doctorate in Counselor Education & Supervision (CES) from National Louis University. She has been functioning in the capacity of a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 2012 and has worked with a wide age-range and socio-economic level of children throughout her career. Her current specialization is in adolescent mental health in the Tampa area private school sector and private practice settings. She launched SCOPE-LLC in 2015 with the vision of bridging the gap between community and school by integrating services with a holistic body, mind, emotion, and spirit approach that focuses on developing an overall wellness. Angela committed over twenty years to early childhood and elementary education. She expanded her teaching experience in 2018 to include higher education where she serves as an adjunct professor in counselor education programs. Her current research interests include grief and loss, mindfulness-based clinical interventions, and trauma informed counseling. 
Digital Online Training Mentoring Learning Education Browsing Concept
beginning on
July 26, 2021

To see course descriptions and to register, click this link:


Cheryl Paulhus, Ed.D. and Mike Dubi, Ed.D.
The new Certification course “Child & Adolescent Anger Management(CAAM), designed by Dr. Cheryl Paulhus and Dr. Mike Dubi offers a comprehensive look at anger in children and adolescents, how to best evaluate, understand and deal effectively with the behaviors of the explosive child and adolescent.
This certification coursework draws from many perspectives, including sociology, psychology, biology, attachment theory, traumatology, psychopathology, epidemiology, polyvagal theory, and neuroscience. This course addresses the major perspectives and principal findings on anger management on children and adolescents by examining factors contributing to aggression, through the comprehensive lens of the biopsychosocial framework.
Many labels have been used to describe children and adolescents who are the focus of this presentation: defiant, aggressive, angry, raging, resistant, willful, noncompliant, challenging, to name but a few. They have also been given disparate diagnoses, including oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), “conduct problems,” and intermittent explosive disorder.
Regardless of label, these youth present the most common (and among the most challenging) of referral problems to outpatient, inpatient, residential, juvenile detention, and school-based clinicians, teachers, parents, and caregivers.
Paradoxically, they are among the most poorly understood child and adolescent clinical populations. In fact, many of these children and adolescents are suffering with trauma, including the impact of bullying, teasing, harassment, and hidden types of relational aggression. Additional issues can compound the challenges or confuse the clinical picture including, ADHD, learning problems, anxiety, depression, attachment related issues, and substance abuse.
In this course we are going to strategically present information that will provide you with invaluable information in making distinctions between similar symptoms that require different approaches therapeutically, educationally, relationally, and developmentally. This knowledge will increase Mental Health Professionals and Educators understanding in how to turn resistance into recovery, increase skill levels and expand knowledge related to working with explosive children and adolescents. 
This course will provide a roadmap to strategies and interventions that are effective, holistic and trauma informed.  The concepts presented in this course are current to the research and the information provides a broad base of theory without having to spend an inordinate amount of time researching and studying a prolific body of work. There are few topics of greater importance than this one, in view of the extraordinary social costs associated with aggression. 
Main Objectives of the Course
  • Learn how anger is experienced and processed differently in the child and teen brain.
  • Describe the internal and societal parts of the anger cycle.
  • Define Anger & Aggression.
  • Recognize Adaptive vs. Maladaptive Anger and the Clinical Implications.
  • Prevalence of Youth Violence & Suicide
  • Understand the role of anger as a secondary emotion to fear, guilt, resentment & shame.
  • Describe connections between anger, learning differences, ADHD, ODD, Conduct Disorder & Trauma
  • Summarize individual difference variables related to aggression.
  • Gender differences, Relational Aggression. Explain how males and females differ, on average, in terms of aggression.
  • Describe the profound clinical implications of being bullied, teased & harassed.
  • Understand cultural differences in aggression.
  • Learn how to create emotional safety to engage children and teens about sensitive subjects.
  • Describe major components of the Polyvagal Theory & it’s relation to felt sense of safety and emotional regulation.
  • Teaching children and teens to tune into anger triggers.
  • Learn Mindfulness and Relaxation techniques to let go of anger.
  • Cognitive approaches to identify, challenge and reduce negative self-talk.
  • Identify effective models of treatment for working with angry children.
  • Positive psychology approaches to open children and teens to optimism.
  • Assertiveness and communication training techniques
  • Assist youth in considering the concerns of others, moral development.
  • Coaching parents, caregivers, & educators to support anger management.
  • Self-harm and other harm considerations.
CTSW & SOTPSW are also approved by NASW
(#886782500-1939); SUD, MI, & NA are also approved by NAADAC (#193785 expires 5/1/2022)

July 26 - September 6, 2021 for 6-week courses
July 26 - September 20, 2021 for 8-week courses*

(For additional certification and recert requirements go to:

July 26 - September 6, 2021


These two courses are designed to provide a brief overview for all mental health workers and agency staff.

NASW #886782500-1939
NAADAC #193785 Exp. 5/1/22