Private practice can seem isolating at times. While in school and other clinical settings, we were often surrounded by a community of other like-minded individuals allowing us to feel part of something bigger, a broader mission to create change and healing. Our personal and professional resilience depends on knowing that we are not alone in that mission. To that goal, we wanted to share a few of the movements NCA members have been able to participate in as they have been developing within our community over the last 10 years.
The Children’s Health Alliance (CHA), a not‐for‐profit association of private practice pediatricians, is training its members in Compassion Informed Care (CIC) and interventions to build resilience, a model they developed in response to research on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on physical and mental health. As behavioral healthcare providers, we at NW Counseling Associates (NCA) have been encouraged by the work CHA is doing to bring knowledge about trauma to our medical community. Their innovative approach is improving not only physical but mental wellness and resilience for children and families in our community. When coordinating care with CHA providers on our shared clients, we speak the same language regarding trauma, compassion, and resilience. Thus, contributing to and expanding the broader mission of change and healing. Visit CHA’s website to learn more about their Targeting ACEs initiative (Aces and Resiliency) or visit http://www.ch-alliance.org/ to see a list of current CHA pediatric clinic members.
NCA members have also had the opportunity to participate with The Washington County ACEs Initiative. The Washington County ACEs Initiative holds quarterly meetings with the purpose of “reducing the burden of childhood trauma and the development of chronic disease in individuals who work, live, and play in Washington County by supporting the efforts to build resilience and create safe, stable nurturing relationships and environments for children and families in Washington County.” The meetings are hosted by Amy Baker, LCSW, Policy and Prevention Coordinator (www.co.washington.or.us/hhs). They are open to the community and attended by school district representatives, police, mental and behavioral health organizations, Pacific University, and Community Action Organization, just to name a few. The meetings provide a chance to network, learn, and brainstorm about how to continue to broaden the scope of reducing the burden of childhood trauma.
Through the initiative, a training for helping professionals was brought to fruition, educational resources were developed, and a short ACEs presentation that can be downloaded was created. Further, Washington County ACEs initiative teamed up with the Hillsboro Police Department and Pacific University, to provide mindfulness training in the community to police officers and others in the helping professions. Additionally, Lt. Richard Goerling and Brant Rogers provide collaborative trainings with opportunities to “learn evidence-based skills to enhance resiliency” and resources for building a “healthier relationship to occupational and personal stressors.” “This unique, preventative training strives to teach police officers proven methods of cultivating resiliency as a preventative well-being strategy.” If you are interested in becoming involved with the Washington County Initiative, please contact Amy Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting to community and actively contributing while growing competence fosters resilience not only in our clients, but also within ourselves and our practices. At NW Counseling Associates, we have the opportunity to benefit from the best of all worlds: private practice, support of like-minded people, and work in a collaborative model. The model, which includes administrative support, allows clinicians time to engage within the community in order to work towards the broader mission. As clinicians, we know that change does not happen in isolation. Growth occurs in the presence of “other.” By becoming connected with our community, we increase the web of support for our clients and ourselves. Our hope is to bridge the gap between private practice and public awareness by sharing our experiences with you.