Self-Care Planning for Longevity in the Field
Self-care has become a buzzword in every corner of the Internet. How do we reclaim it and make it a meaningful and critical piece of our work? Studies are beginning to suggest that a stressful work life may be the fifth leading cause of death in the US. Yes, really. Combining research on the effects of burn-out, hands-on activities, and a whole lot of humor, seek&summon will ensure that your team members leave with an individualized self-care plan, and that your organization has the tools to steward this energy into the future. Many clients have chosen to pair this with a yoga class and a consultation. In the consultation, seek&summon will gather feedback from your staff regarding the culture around self-care, and bring it to your leadership team with strategies to maximize efficacy and longevity.
Trauma-Informed Self-Care Planning for Service Providers
Many healers and caretakers are drawn to our work because of our own history of needing to be cared for. We experience trauma and seek to use it for good, serving others in similar experiences. Counter-transference, or the effect of a client on the service provider, can hinder progress for the client, re-traumatize the provider, and lead to unethical behavior--and fast. But what if we can also use it to transform our care models and strengthen the therapeutic alliance? Attendees will learn to recognize counter-transference, burnout, vicarious trauma, and secondary trauma, map their own history and explore the effects on their current practice, and build a sustainable self-care plan for increase their own mental health and ability to serve their clients for the long haul.
*Program brochure available here
Sex Ed for Service Professionals
I’ll give away my opening line to this presentation: Raise your hand if you are a sex educator. Spoiler alert: everyone’s hands should be raised! If you are doing the work of walking alongside other people as a case manager, therapist, teacher, or other “helping” professional, the way you communicate about sexuality is teaching those with whom you work. This workshop examines our language around human sexuality, and approaches the topic from a trauma-sensitive perspective. You will learn the basic “101” information on sexual health: anatomy, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), local reproductive health laws, and a deep exploration of topics that impact your client population directly. Available as a two hour class or a four hour half-day workshop with more interactive learning and time for discussion, this is seek&summon’s most requested training. Many clients choose to pair this training with a consultation to evaluate the efficacy of current sexual health information their agency is relying on, health questionnaires being used by the agency, and other related concerns.
*Program brochure avaialble here
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study: What It Is, What it Isn’t, and How to Screen Your Clients
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study, or ACES, was developed in the 1990s, but many social service providers are still unaware of this game-changing research. Learn how the experiences of our youth affect the adults they become, what behaviors a person experiencing trauma may display, and how to screen your clients for ACEs. We will discuss the history of this screening tool, how to use it in a trauma-informed way, and also work together to discuss the cultural competency issues the screening brings up for your specific client population.
Sex Ed 101
According to the renowned Guttmacher Institute, only about half of teens received any kind of sex education before their first sexual encounter. And that’s an improvement over past generations! seek&summon understands that few people have a robust understanding of sexual health, and that a little knowledge can make all the difference, which is exactly why I got into this line of work. We will cover the basic “101” information on sexual health: anatomy, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and local reproductive health laws. Each training is tailored specifically to your group’s needs, taking into account culture, religion, and pressing community concerns. Examples of this include my work with refugees in Chicago who had experienced female genital cutting (FGC) and their unique anatomy and health care needs; refugee teens from Burma, Somalia, DRC, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Iraq with differing religious and cultural beliefs and practices; participants in a support group for domestic violence survivors where sexual trauma is a shared experience; and US Catholic and Christian congregations who are not having their needs met by the mainstream sexuality education field.
Teaching Trauma-Sensitive Yoga
"Trauma-informed" and "trauma-sensitive" are phrases that have begun to catch on in many circles as our cultural understanding grows around what trauma is and how common traumatic experiences really are. As a yoga teacher, chances are someone in your classes has experienced trauma, and the space you hold may allow them to explore that. So how do you do so safely? Mary-Margaret, who holds a Master of Social Work and is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) shares her extensive research from both professional angles to guide you through creating a yoga space that is inclusive of people experiencing trauma. Learn specific teaching techniques, signs of distress in a student and appropriate intervention, and work through case studies that illustrate some of the unique "triggers" that a regular yoga practice may elicit.
Looking for something else? Curious what else might be available? Connect with me and let’s develop something together! It’s one of my favorite ways to work.
What People Are Saying
Mary-Margaret is a favorite guest speaker in my classes. Whether teaching about sex and diversity, or sex and public policy, or sexual health and reproduction, Mary-Margaret illuminates complicated issues in an accessible, open, and highly engaging manner. She has a real gift for teaching and connecting to students, who describe her as brilliant, funny, and enlightening. My students have learned so much from Mary-Margaret, and I invite her to speak in my classes every chance I get.” --Dr. Marjorie Jolles, Roosevelt University, Chicago IL
My only complaint about the training today [Adverse Childhood Experiences Study] is that we should have hired her for a day-long training!”--Taken from anonymous evaluation survey
Mary-Margaret Sweeney served as my intern at NASW Illinois Chapter Graduate Student Intern in 2013. She is a passionate and thoughtful social worker. After her internship, she remained engaged as a dynamic social worker and activist in our community. She presented a continuing education workshop on social work with refugees that was very well received, relevant and timely. Mary-Margaret also served on our reconstituted Committee on Diversity and Cultural Competence in 2014, ensuring that Illinois social workers are prepared to serve all.” Joel Rubin, MSW, Executive Director of National Association of Social Workers, Illinois Chapter
Very interesting – I think it would be helpful to be a required training class across all social service professions. I really enjoyed the in-depth look at ACEs which is lacking in MSW programs and the awesome critique and thoughts of using ACEs as a blanket tool without knowledge or nuance."--Taken from anonymous evaluation survey
I met Mary-Margaret a couple years ago when she was conducting a training on domestic violence dynamics and how they impact youth in a rural community that I served while working for ITVAP [Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program]. I have also had the pleasure of collaborating on trainings with Mary-Margaret on the intersections of domestic violence and human trafficking. There are many wonderful things I could say about this woman, but please know she is a staunch supporter of social justice, brings integrated, intersectional approaches to all that she does and everyone she interacts with, and you will feel invigorated after a training with her. You will be inspired to share your unique skills with your Movement. Please support her if you are looking for an awesome trainer or facilitator!" --Kate Kimmer, MA. Statewide Anti-Trafficking Coordinator with Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault
We spent two days in trainings with Mary-Margaret as a way of preparing our amazing but brand new team to work together in an organizational culture that creates a trauma-informed environment at every level. We were so pleased with the experience! Mary-Margaret is funny, personable, and strikes a great rhythm in how she intersperses delivering information with stories and application activities. Our whole team said they loved how she facilitated, and we walked away having had good conversations around what it means to serve our clients as a high-functioning team that puts healing at the center of everything we do." --Alena Jones, Co-Founder and COO of Bellfound Farm