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WAFCA-CE May 23, 2019 Sensory Integration: A Path to Address Trauma and Arousal Regulation for All Ages
Best Western Oshkosh Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center
1 North Main Street
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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Thursday, May 23, 2019, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT
Category: WAFCA CE Training

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Sensory Integration: A Path to Address Trauma and Arousal Regulation for All Ages

There is a growing understanding and accompanying clinical practice that addresses the connection between sensorimotor integration dysfunction and trauma. When an individual cannot adequately process and integrate sensory information and/or traumatic experiences, the body’s arousal and self-regulatory mechanisms become altered, thus impacting our ability to adequately cope with seemingly harmless day-to-day stressors. 


This workshop will explore the connections between trauma, sensory integrative difficulties, arousal, affect, and self-regulation. Participants will learn how sound and movement are critical in the development of body based, perceptual-motor, and social-emotional foundations for developing a “felt sense” of safety and stability in the world and in relationship to another. Treatment labs will explore a variety of easily accessible treatment activities, including both auditory and vestibular/somatosensory based techniques. These treatment techniques are appropriate for therapists to use in clinic, as well as, partnering with parents for home-based application. The scope of workshop content and therapeutic application will extend from childhood through adulthood. Video and case presentations will bring key concepts and treatment strategies to life in this theoretically-based, yet practical course.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of the auditory and vestibular systems in the development of
  • orientation in time and space, necessary for feeling safe in one’s body and relating to others.
  • Recognize when sensorimotor patterns of defense are interfering with function and daily life.
  • Identify when sensory integrative difficulties are interfering with arousal, attention, and behavior
  • Select the use of five sensory-based strategies to decrease tension patterns and regulating arousal/affect.


About the Presenters:

Sheila M. Frick, OTR/L, is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and founder of Vital Links. Since 1980, Sheila has worked internationally as a clinician, lecturer, and pioneer in Occupational Therapy. With well over 30 years of clinical experience, Sheila worked in psychiatry, rehabilitation, and home health before specializing in pediatrics. Her expertise includes sensory processing dysfunction, sensory integration, and auditory interventions.

Sheila has explored the links between Sensory Integration and developmental movement patterns through many avenues (See more on Sheila’s experience at Vitallinks.com). She created and continues to expand Therapeutic Listening®, which has been taught to over 14,000 therapists worldwide. She also lectures on topics such as clinical neurology, respiration, the vestibular/auditory system, and various auditory interventions.

In addition to co-authoring a number of works, Sheila is the author of Listening with the Whole Body: Clinical Concepts and Treatment Guidelines for Therapeutic Listening. Her interest in further exploration of the impact of traumatic experiences on sensory processing and overall participation in daily life led her to training and later teaching with the TRE® organization. Her recent work in TRE® has influenced Sheila’s interest in expanding techniques and activities appropriate for children and young adults aimed at reducing stress, tension, and anxiety through movement and auditory based tools (Quickshifts). Sheila lectures on clinical, practically oriented, treatment focused workshops worldwide along with seeing clients in her private practice in Madison, Wisconsin.

 Tracy Bjorling, M.S., OTR/L, began her occupational therapy career at Vital Links in 2010 after completing her Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to actively treating clients in the clinic, Tracy has been trained in the both the clinical practice and teaching of Therapeutic Listening and Quickshifts. Tracy currently enjoys joining Sheila in her efforts teaching these practical treatment tools with therapists across a variety of treatment settings. In her time with Vital Links, Tracy has had the privilege of being mentored by Sheila, but also has been influenced by a number of other therapists including Mary Kawar, Julia Wilbarger, Gail Ritchie and Brenda Lindsey.  Tracy’s interest in furthering her understanding of the connection between sensory integrative difficulties and the impact on function continues to drive her curiosity and passion for professional learning. She has completed continuing education courses in Interactive Metronome, Therapressure Technique (Wilbarger approach), and Astronaut Training.

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WAFCA has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider. ACEP No. 6778. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. WAFCA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Contact: Rachel Kruse: [email protected], 608.257.5939