Newsletter - Spring 2016

We have been busy with a number of efforts, including our training series, which we started in January 2015. Whether the subject has been early childhood trauma, eating disorders and trauma, the power of shame, or trauma systems therapy, we have enjoyed having engaged audiences and knowledgeable presenters. Our last training was our most attended one yet with 120 participants. Thank you to everyone who has registered for these events as you have helped make them successful.


Our next training is "Emotional Freedom Technique: An Introduction to Basic Concepts and Clinical Applications," which will be held on June 10. Please see below for more information.


We are also in the process of planning for our annual fall conference and are targeting September 22 as the event date. We will be able to share more details shortly, so stay tuned.


Hoping you are enjoying  the lengthening days and the warming weather.



Larry Berkowitz, EdD
Director, Riverside Trauma Center

Register for this Upcoming Training 

"Emotional Freedom Technique: An Introduction to Basic Concepts and Clinical Applications"
Friday, June 10, 2016, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Saint Michael Parish 
90 Concord Road, Bedford, MA
Registration Deadline: June 8, 2016 
Register Today!

Training Description:
This training will focus on the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is an energy-based technique that uses the body's natural stress-reduction points to produce rapid change. EFT can be applied to a variety of common conditions, including trauma, pain, phobias, addictions, cravings, weight issues, insomnia, anxiety, guilt, etc. This training will introduce participants to the basic principles of EFT and its varied uses with clinical and non-clinical populations.  

Laurie Costigan, PsyD , is the Assistant Director of Behavioral Health/Director of Internships and Training at Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Worcester, MA. She has been providing direct client care, supervision, and training within the field for more than 23 years.
Cost: The registration cost is $50 per person or $35 per Riverside Community Care employee.
Continuing Education:
Applications for 3 hours of continuing education credits have been submitted for Social Workers, LMHCs, LMFTs, and Nurses. Please contact Jenny Huynh ( for the status of the CE accreditation. This training is approved for 3 hours of continuing education for Psychologists.  

Registration: Pre-registration is required. Complete the registration online at to pay by credit card or, if you prefer, visit to print out and complete a hard copy of the registration form to pay by check or credit card. Pre-registration is required. 
Registration starts at 9 am. Refunds will not be available for this training. Please share this information with others who are interested in these topics.    

Riverside Community Care is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor education for Psychologists. Riverside Community Care maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Focus Group Research
Suicide Prevention Among Culturally Varied Populations
In 2015, the Greater Boston Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition (GBRSPC) and the Connection Lab teamed up with several organizations and agencies in the Boston area, including Riverside Trauma Center, to conduct focus group research with various cultural groups. The goals were to: 1) learn more about the perceptions of suicide across different cultural groups, 2) learn more about the cultural supports available in communities, 3) better understand the prevention needs of particular communities, 4) learn about the similarities/differences across cultures in terms of help-seeking, and 5) learn how to better serve diverse communities.

Six focus groups were conducted with community members from and professionals serving Asian (including both Asian-born and Asian-American), Haitian (including both Haitian-born and Haitian-American), and Latino (born in Spanish-speaking countries or identifying as Latino or Hispanic) communities. Focus group findings that were common across the three cultural groups include:

New Workshop 
"Talking to Your Kids About Islamophobia"
Last October, Waheeda Saif, Program Coordinator of Riverside Trauma Center, began offering a workshop entitled "Talking to Your Child about the Current Climate and Islamophobia," which is designed to support Muslim families who have been assailed by Islamophobia. In the aftermath of the San Bernardino attack, a crying and shaking Muslim mother told workshop attendees she was afraid to leave her home:
"I haven't left the house since this happened. I get the kids to school and make sure to pick them up right away. While they are at school, I just watch the news over and over again. Someone said something to my kid at school about being a terrorist. I don't know what to do. I just think we need to hide for a while."
Pervasive fears of the United States being attacked by radical groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda have resulted in members of the Muslim community being exposed to threats, bullying, harassment, and demands for increased surveillance of all Muslim communities. Also, in this highly charged election season, American Muslims have found themselves and their children increasingly exposed to political portrayals and comments of being a threat to the security of the United States. According to the FBI Hate Crime Statistics, there was a 14% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2014. The number of reported crimes is expected to increase further during this year
Our Training Series 
"Trauma Systems Therapy" Training was Sold Out
As part of our ongoing training series, 120 mental
Left to right: Molly A. Benson, PhD, and
Saida Abdi, LICSW, MSW, MA
health professionals attended our training "Trauma  Systems Therapy: An Evidence-Based Approach to Address the Mental Health Needs of Refugee and Immigrant Children and Adolescents" in Bedford, MA in March. The training focused on the skills and strategies that can enhance clinical services for refugee and immigrant children and their families.

Presenters included two esteemed members of the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children's Hospital: Saida Abdi, LICSW, MSW, MA, the Director of Community Relations, and Molly A. Benson, PhD, the Associate Director for Refugee Treatment and Services. They discussed the importance of cultural competence and cultural humility when working with this population, and how cultural brokers can help overcome cultural and linguistic barriers. They used Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R) to illustrate how trauma intervention can be adapted to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee populations.

Feedback from attendees included such comments as:
"Absolutely loved the presentation. Both presenters were so knowledgeable and engaging. I'm excited to put some of these ideas into practice!"

"Very helpful in regards to dealing with different groups from different cultural backgrounds. Knowledge of subject matter was phenomenal...gave useful examples that would be feasible to present into practice."