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Resilience in an Uncertain Time: Supporting Students and Families During the Pandemic and Beyond

Dr. Rappaport will give two talks for the Lincoln-Sudbury schools – one for parents on 5/26 and one for educators on 6/9.

During the pandemic, parents and adults who work with children and families have risen to the challenge of finding new ways to connect, offering practical strategies for coping and thriving, and providing comfort and consistency – all while trying to care for themselves and others. Dr. Rappaport will share practical concepts and tools that participants can use to continue this work: maintaining connections, finding contributory activities, communicating in age-appropriate ways, validating questions and worries, balancing structure and rigidity, and supporting those with a history of trauma and challenging home lives. Her suggestions will be based on her many years of clinical experience and experience translating psychiatric concepts into easy actionable steps for educators and families. She will also discuss how taking care of ourselves and building our own resilience allows us to better continue to support children and families and allows us to boost our, and their, capacity to endure and perhaps even thrive during uncertain and challenging times.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe strategies for connecting with and supporting children, including those with trauma histories and those who are neurodiverse, during the pandemic
  • List strategies for building long-term resilience
  • Describe techniques for addressing children’s worries and anxieties and communicating in age-appropriate ways
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Nurturing Resilience in Children, Through the Pandemic and Beyond

During the pandemic, adults who work with children and families have risen to the challenge of finding new ways to connect, cope, and provide comfort and consistency – all while trying to care for themselves and their own families. Dr. Rappaport will discuss how we can nurture resilience in ourselves and in the children in our lives, boosting our, and their, capacity to endure and perhaps even thrive in uncertain and challenging situations. Based on her many years of clinical experience, she will share practical ways to build resilience: maintaining connections, building a meaningful narrative, finding contributory activities, communicating in age-appropriate ways, validating questions and worries, balancing structure and rigidity, and supporting others, particularly those with a history of trauma.

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Resilience in an Uncertain Time: Supporting Students and Families During the Pandemic and Beyond

During the pandemic, adults who work with children and families have risen to the challenge of finding new ways to connect, offering practical strategies for coping and thriving, and providing comfort and consistency – all while trying to care for themselves and their own families. Dr. Rappaport will share practical concepts and tools that participants can use to continue this work: maintaining connections, finding contributory activities, communicating in age-appropriate ways, validating questions and worries, balancing structure and rigidity, and supporting those with a history of trauma and challenging home lives. Her suggestions will be based on her many years of clinical experience and experience translating psychiatric concepts into easy actionable steps for educators and families. She will also discuss how taking care of ourselves and building our own resilience allows us to better continue to support children and families and allows us to boost our, and their, capacity to endure and perhaps even thrive during uncertain and challenging times.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe strategies for connecting with and supporting students, including those with trauma histories and those who are neurodiverse, during the pandemic
  2. List strategies for building long-term resilience
  3. Describe techniques for addressing children’s worries and anxieties and communicating in age-appropriate ways
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Kids Count in Our Community: The Pandemic Hits Home

The events of the past year have had varying effects on the physical, emotional, social, and mental health of all family members and those who interact with them. Too many families are feeling the strain of toxic stress which has compounded their daily struggles.

This program is designed to inform the community-at-large, especially parents, families, caregivers and teachers, about the impact the pandemic has had on all of us.

On April 7th our expert panelists will discuss the ongoing disruptions, stressors, and anxieties that kids, parents, and teachers are experiencing during this pandemic. Each speaker will offer answers to pressing questions, suggest tools and techniques to mitigate dysfunction and teach positive responses to stress in the home and academic settings.

Panelists include: Dr. Nancy Rappaport, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Harvard Medical School, speaking on toxic stress; District Attorney Marian Ryan, Middlesex County, reporting on the effects of the pandemic from her justice enforcement perspective and providing support resources; Tammy Bernardi, Prevention Training Specialist at the Children’s Trust, Boston, focusing on child sexual abuse prevention; Koa Goode, LSW Supervisor with Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, addressing effective tools for parenting during stressful times; and Fiona Jensen, Executive Director of Calmer Choice, providing easy meditation tools to promote well-being.

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School Mental Health: Treating Students K-12 – 1/29-30/21

Registration now open!

Given the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, schools are forced to adapt the ways in which they meet the educational needs as well as to support the emotional wellbeing of students. The course is designed to provide the learner with the evolving understanding of how to recognize the gaps in learning and design appropriate educational interventions. The emphasis is on practical and timely clinical information and skills based on research, including evidence-based practices, and innovative learning strategies. We will use live streaming, electronic Q & A, and other remote learning technologies.

Excelsior! Virtual Wisdom for Medical Students and Residents: Advancing Your Career as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Trainees interact with prominent child and adolescent psychiatrists, Drs. Rebecca Klisz-Hulbert, Nancy Rappaport, and Andres S. Martin, as they share their journeys and career paths to leadership in the field.

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Webinar: Resilience in an Uncertain Time: Supporting Students and Families During the Pandemic

Registration now open!

During this time of uncertainty and change, adults who work with children and families are rising to the challenge of finding new ways to connect with them, offering practical strategies for coping and thriving, and providing comfort and consistency – all while trying to care for themselves and their own families. Dr. Rappaport will share more practical concepts and tools that educators and social workers can use: maintaining connections, finding contributory activities, communicating in age-appropriate ways, validating questions and worries, balancing structure and rigidity, and supporting those with a history of trauma and challenging home lives. Her suggestions will be based on her many years of clinical experience and experience translating psychiatric concepts into easy actionable steps for educators and families. She will also discuss how taking care of ourselves and building our own resilience allows us to better continue to support children and families and allows us to boost our, and their, capacity to endure and perhaps even thrive.

Webinar series: Beyond the threat: How to tip the balance toward safety in schools while considering the needs and challenges of individual students

October 2 and 16, November 6 and 13, and December 4, 2020

In this 10-hour webinar series, Dr. Nancy Rappaport (and several guest experts) will deepen our understanding of how to respond to students with threatening behavior in substantial ways. She’ll also help us explore the necessary cultural changes we need to make in order to effectively support students and keep our communities safe and connected.

Questions to be considered:

  • How do we as educators/clinicians build relationships with dysregulated kids?
  • How do we teach schools about the impact of structural racism and implicit bias which impact student achievement?
  • How do we support the patterns of kids on the spectrum who are perseverative on violent themes or who express themselves in provocative ways?
  • How do we appropriately implement safety assessments and build a culture of safety?
Special Guests:
Session 2, October 16: Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D.
Dr. Goodrum is Research Associate with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sarah is a sociologist with an emphasis in criminology, and she conducts research on domestic violence, homicide and school violence. In 2016, Sarah co-authored a report on a 2013 school shooting, and the findings from that report are currently being used to develop lessons learned on information sharing and threat assessment for three federally funded projects on school safety.
Session 3, November 6: Dr. Deborah M. Weisbrot
Dr. Weisbrot is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook University and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Weisbrot’s current clinical work is focused on her full-time role as a consulting child and adolescent psychiatrist for several therapeutic schools for children and adolescents. She is active on a national level in school consultation issues and has extensive expertise in clinical and research interest in threat assessment in youth.
Session 4, November 13: Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP
Michelle specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping individuals from four through adulthood develop their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. Michelle coined the term “Social Thinking” in the mid-1990s and since that time has created numerous unique treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally.
Session 5, December 4: Dr. Meredith Gansner
Dr. Gansner is an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and attending psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance. Her research focuses on problematic digital media use in adolescents and has been awarded the Dupont Warren Fellowship Grant, Livingston and Shore Faculty Development Awards through Harvard Medical School.

Clinical Consultation Breakfast: Engaging Students and Supporting Educators in Schools: Learning through Case Discussion

To best determine appropriate accommodations for dysregulated students, child and adolescent psychiatrists need to be familiar with systemic interventions that schools implement, how those may impact their patients, and how to assess students who have made threats. Participants learn strategies for engaging families in a collaboration with schools to best support their students; and understand how evidence-based, systemic interventions can improve school climate, prevent bullying, assess safety threats, recognize school avoidance, and support students returning to school after hospitalization. Participants are more prepared to assist with systemic interventions, realize the importance of relationship building between students and school adults, and acquire strategies to support collaborative planning.

Clinical Consultation Breakfast: Family is the Best Medicine: Strengthening Family Therapy Skills to Support Children in Crisis

Presented by Nancy Rappaport and John Sargent.

As participants discuss the challenges they face when working with families, they gain the ability to address clinical problems as “tasks” for the family to resolve in the clinical setting and develop skills that enable this family-therapist collaboration. There is a focus on encouraging interactions within and with families that promote effective family function, build hope, enhance flexibility, and leverage the family’s capacity to heal. Participants become familiar with common themes for families that are “stuck” and learn both approaches and interventions that enhance closeness, encourage effective limits, and build understanding and support in the family.