Research Briefings: Trauma and Violence-Informed Approaches

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Sole Expression: Trauma-Informed Dance Intervention

Presented by: Lindsay Jolie, Director of Operations, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre; and Shannon Brown, Research Coordinator, Ryerson University

Date & Time: June 17, 2021 | 1:00 – 1:20 PM EASTERN TIME

To Register:

Simultaneous interpretation in French will be available!

Des services d’interprétation en français seront offerts pendant la présentation, et les diapositives seront disponibles en français.

Sole Expression is a trauma-informed dance intervention that utilizes Hip-Hop as a way to address trauma in youth who have experienced abuse and/or have been exposed to violence.

Participants will learn about:

  • The Sole Expression program and preliminary research findings from the qualitative research that was conducted throughout the 5 years of the study.
  • Policy and practice implications as a result of this project.


Lindsay Jolie

LJolie-headshot-002.jpgLindsay Jolie is the Director of Operations at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC), a multi-service agency that works to prevent child abuse through awareness and education and responds to child abuse cases with a holistic, child-centered approach. Joining the organization in 2001, Lindsay spent ten years providing trauma related and court preparation services to children and youth who had experience abuse and/or had been exposed to violence. Lindsay has also supported Boost CYAC through the execution of special events and fundraising efforts and through her role as Director of Communications & Community Relations which she held for eight years. Additionally, Lindsay was a part-time instructor for two academic years in the Child & Youth Worker Program at George Brown College, teaching Child Abuse & Neglect, Professional Writing, and Field Placement Preparation courses.

Shannon Brown, MA CYC, B.A., CYW

shannon-bio-pic-002.jpegShannon Brown is the Research Coordinator of the Sole Expression project.  She has spent many years as a front-line practitioner working with young people who have experienced trauma and abuse. Shannon has coordinated several research projects including "Gap Analysis for Victims and Survivors of Internet Child Sexual Exploitation" and is currently coordinating a research project titled "Understanding the Impact of the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Progam in Ontario".    Shannon will begin her Ph.D. studies at the University of Toronto's Factor-Iwentash School of Social Work in September.


English Presentation Slides

French Presentation Slides 


STEP Program: Intervening During Pregnancy with Women who Experienced Childhood Trauma to Support Wellbeing and Mitigate the Intergenerational Repercussions of Trauma 

Date & Time: July 15, 2021 | 1:00 - 1:20 PM EASTERN TIME 

To Register:

Please note: This presentation will be presented in English from 1:00 - 1:20 PM ET followed by French from 1:20 to 1:40 PM ET

Childhood trauma is frequent in pregnant women from the community and may complexify the experience of pregnancy and motherhood. In addition, children born to a mother exposed to childhood trauma would be three times more likely than offspring of non-exposed mothers to be maltreated themselves, and would be more at-risk of presenting early developmental problems. However, there is few empirically-supported prenatal intervention designed for pregnant women who experienced childhood maltreatment. STEP (Supporting the Transition to and Engagement in Parenthood) is a prenatal group program specifically designed for pregnant women who experienced childhood maltreatment or other types of complex trauma. STEP aims to support mentalization about self and parenthood, and mentalization of trauma order to (a) sustain maternal wellbeing during pregnancy and the years following delivery, (b) support maternal bonding and healthy development in offspring, and (c) contribute to interrupt intergenerational cycles of childhood maltreatment. The presentation will provide an overview of the program STEP and will present data regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of this new novel prenatal intervention.  

Learning Objectives

  • Have a better understanding of the effect of trauma on pregnant women and their offspring.
  • Learn about the program STEP, its acceptability and effectiveness. 




Dr Berthelot, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He holds the Canada Research Chair on Developmental Trauma and his research mainly focuses on the developmental and neurobiological mechanisms of risk, resilience and psychopathology in the context of childhood maltreatment. He is particularly interested in the impacts of traumas on parenthood and aims to identify the mechanisms involved in the intergenerational trajectories of childhood maltreatment. He recently developed the STEP (Supporting the Transition to and Engagement in Parenthood) program, one of the very first manualized prenatal interventions for pregnant women and expecting men who have experienced childhood trauma. This program aims to support the adaptation of parents who have lived through difficult life experiences, to promote the development of their children and to avoid the reoccurrence of abusive behavior through the generations.  He also developed the concept of Trauma-Specific Reflective Functioning, which appeared to be highly predictive of adjustment in survivors of trauma and to the quality of the relationship they develop with their own children.


Inunnguiniq (childrearing): Developing and piloting an evidence-based intervention to support high-risk families who experience family violence in Nunavut

Date & Time: September 9, 2021  | 1:00 - 1:20 PM EASTERN TIME 

To Register:

Simultaneous interpretation in French will be available!

Des services d’interprétation en français seront offerts pendant la présentation, et les diapositives seront disponibles en français.

The goal of this project is to adapt, pilot, and evaluate the evidence-based Inunnguiniq Parenting Program with ‘high-risk’ parents/caregivers in Nunavut. 'Inunnguiniq' is an Inuktitut word which means to 'create a capable human being' and is the Inuit philosophy of childrearing and life-long learning

We have 3 goals with this project that we will speak about in our presentation: 1) To address key determinants of family violence in Nunavut including trauma and disrupted attachments, through an evidence-based, trauma-informed intervention; 2) to build capacity in Nunavut communities to deliver parenting support programs to Nunavut parents; and 3) to revitalize the role of Inunnguiniq (Inuit child-rearing and family philosophy) in the lives of Nunavummiut today, to foster supportive, loving homes for children.

Learning Objectives:

  • To develop an understanding of the concept of 'Inunnguiniq'
  • To improve understanding of the Nunavut context for the 'Inunnguiniq' Program
  • To increase awareness of Inuit pathways to wellbeing and relevance to family violence in Nunavut



gwen.jpgDr. Gwen Healey Akearok was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and it is in this community that she continues to live, work and raise her family. Gwen is co-founder and Executive and Scientific Director of the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre (AHRN-NU) in Iqaluit, NU. She holds a Master’s degree in Epidemiology & Community Health Sciences from the University of Calgary and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Toronto. Dr. Healey Akearok co-founded the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in 2006 with the late Andrew Tagak Sr. 


nancy_mike.jpgNancy Mike is originally from Panniqtuuq, Nunavut. She currently calls Apex-Iqaluit her home and lives with her three children. Nancy went to Nunavut Arctic College/Dalhousie University and completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Arctic Nursing degree. Her passion has always been to be able to work with other Inuit for the betterment of our well-being holistically, while utilizing our strong Inuit culture and language.