The Importance of Place in Trauma-Informed Care: A Wellness Approach
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern
Event Description


 The Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) are pleased to announce the Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series, which offers presentations focused on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) and mental health needs. The selected presenters share their expertise on best and promising practices as well as provide general knowledge. Session topics, which focus on increasing capacity to serve individuals with dual diagnosis in the community, are chosen based on identified needs and with input from the field of professional stakeholders. 

  • The invited audience of all professional stakeholders, including direct and clinical supporters for individuals with ID/A are encouraged to attend. 
  • Registration is required and at no charge to attendees. 
  • Three (3) hours of training credit and a certificate of achievement is provided. 

This presentation focuses on the connection between trauma-informed care and positive support, framed in a wellness perspective. Critical to this effort was the creation of a safe place, the wellness center, specifically selected and modified to reduce the possible re-traumatization of individuals with ID/A or a dual diagnosis. Trauma-informed care emphasizes creating healing environments, while positive supports focus on strengths and resilience. By merging these approaches, practitioners can bolster interventions for trauma-affected individuals. Key principles and strategies for implementing a wellness-oriented approach to trauma-informed care are discussed, emphasizing collaboration, empowerment, and self-care for both providers and recipients. 



  • John Thvedt - Psychologist/CEO, Shared Support South:  With over 40 years as a licensed psychologist in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) field, John Thvedt has served as clinical director, behavior specialist, therapist, consultant, and CEO for nonprofit organizations across the US. He is one of the original co-founders of Shared Support Concepts, subsequently, Shared Support Inc., and currently, Shared Support South. In his career John directed group homes for the Jay Nolan Center for Autism as part of the deinstitutionalization movement in California in the early 80’s; provided behavior specialist services throughout southern California; consulted on the Southern Poverty law center’s review of state hospitals in Florida; and conducted mandated annual reviews of Pennhurst individual’s services following their return to community living after the closure of the institution.  Currently, John is dedicated to trauma informed program design that supports the clinical and everyday life needs of people with complex behavioral health needs and IDD through Shared Support South. 
  • Christine Martin - President, Shared Support South :  With 38 years of experience in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) field, Chris Martin has held various roles spanning Direct Support, Management, and Executive positions. She is one of the original co-founders of Shared Support Concepts, subsequently establishing Shared Support Inc., and currently presides over Shared Support South. Throughout her career, Chris has directed Supports Coordination units and served as the Executive Director for the Arc of Bucks County, where she spearheaded grant initiatives aimed at enhancing mental health services for individuals with IDD.  In her role as a consultant, Chris has coordinated and led Self-Determination initiatives across several Pennsylvania counties and Maryland. Chris has also supported teams to plan for individuals with a dual diagnosis transitioning from institutional settings into community living. 
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