Sensory Integration and Mental Health: How to Develop a Trauma Informed Practice



A conversation with Rachel Ashcraft, MS, OTR/L, TBRI® Practitioner

moderated by Erin Flynn, MS, OTR/L

Live: Thursday January 20, 2021. 7 – 8 pm EST  Recording available: January 25, 2021

This discussion is part of the 2022 LiveTalk Series Sensory Integration and Mental Health: Exploring and Expanding Our Role. The series is available is included in all SPIRAL Memberships.

Description:  For our inaugural talk in our 2022 Live Talk Series, we will explore how to develop a trauma informed practice. Rachel Ashcraft, co-editor of the recently released AOTA textbook “Trauma, Occupation, and Participation: Foundations and Population Considerations in Occupational Therapy” will join us to discuss how she has initiated the development of a trauma informed practice at the clinic where she practices using the Trauma Informed Oregon model. This talk will provide you with the resources to enable you to initiate, or advocate for, a trauma informed practice in your area of practice. We will also discuss the importance of therapeutic use of self and the risk factors of working with individuals with trauma.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the 2022 LiveTalk Series participants will be able to:

  1. Identify how to increase mental health knowledge for occupational therapy professionals across settings
  2. Recognize relationship and developmental based mental health models that compliment Sensory Integration intervention
  3. Select intervention modalities and models that support mental health while utilizing Sensory Integration principles

By the end of this discussion, part 1 of 10 in the 2022 LiveTalk Series, participants will be able to:

  1. List 3 AOTA resources available for further learning and support regarding trauma and trauma responsive care
  2. Identify the 4 steps toward trauma informed care according to the Trauma Informed Oregon model
  3. Recognize foundational risk factors for experiencing secondary and/or vicarious trauma in the workplace

About the Speaker:  Rachel Ashcraft (she/her) is a licensed and registered occupational therapist. She currently serves as President for the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association. She has been at the forefront of the national OT movement towards more trauma informed care across the profession. She has received recognition from both State and National Occupational Therapy Associations for her work with vulnerable children, including receiving the 2018 Emerging & Innovative Practice Award from The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. and the 2017 OTR of excellence award from the Alabama Occupational Therapy Association.

Rachel is a Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) Practitioner as well as a provider for the Safe and Sound Protocol® . Rachel is passionate about trauma informed OT services and has co-authored several textbook chapters on various topics related to trauma.  She also served as co-editor for the recently published AOTA textbook, “Trauma, Occupation, and Participation: Foundations and Population Considerations in Occupational Therapy”.  Rachel currently serves as the Clinical Lead for Trauma Informed Practice with Child’sPlay Therapy Center and Cicero Therapies.  Rachel founded and runs a non-profit Foster the Future Alabama which serves children in Alabama’s foster care system.

DISCLOSURE: Ms. Ashcraft receives royalties for published materials. She has no financial relationships to disclose.

Course Level: Introductory. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Audience:  OT/ OTA, PT /PTA, psychologists, educators, parents

AOTA Areas:  Occupational Therapy Service Delivery: Evaluation, Intervention and Outcomes. Professional Issues: Administration and Management. Foundational Knowledge: Social Determinants of Health

Contact Hours: This conversation is worth 1 contact hour or 0.1 AOTA CEUs. The full series is approved for 10 contact hours or 1.0 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the discussion in its entirety and complete the accompanying assessment.

ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969-4410 ext. 267.

Continuing Education: Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


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