Conversations About Ethics

Trauma Informed Care (Part 1): Cultivating Trauma-informed Approaches and Organizations: An Ethical Imperative (Workshop @ The Ecumenical Center)

Gabriela Zapata-Alma

Research has uncovered trauma as a core public health concern facing our nation, linking experiences of trauma to mental health conditions, substance use concerns, and chronic physical health problems. A growing body of evidence has found that experiencing the trauma of intimate partner violence (IPV) often poses additional challenges to safely accessing care, without fear or threats to personal wellbeing, and can cause as well as exacerbate physical and behavioral health conditions. At the same time, many of our organizations are unprepared to meet the unique needs of survivors of trauma and/or IPV, creating unnecessary barriers to effective care. Ethical practice requires providers and organizations to recognize the effects of traumatic stress in clients as well as institutions, while cultivating multi-dimensional responses to address trauma and prevent re-traumatization. 

Gabriela Zapata-Alma will lead this interactive session that will provide foundational information on trauma and IPV-informed approaches to care, including practice-level and system-level strategies for improving access to effective services for survivors.


About Our Speaker:

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Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC, is the Director of Policy and Practice for Domestic Violence and Substance Use at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, as well as faculty at The University of Chicago, where they coordinate the Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor certification program at the School of Social Service Administration. 

Gabriela brings over 15 years of experience supporting people impacted by abuse, violence, trauma, substance use disorders, mental health conditions, housing instability, and HIV/AIDS; providing counseling, training, advocacy, and policy consultation; and leading programs using trauma-informed approaches, Motivational Interviewing, harm reduction, gender-responsive care, Housing First, and third-wave behavioral interventions. Gabriela has been recognized with numerous awards, including Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s 2018 Health Award, and the 2017 Rising Star Award from the Illinois chapter of the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC).  Gabriela also provides consultation on trauma-informed policy at the national level, as well as training and technical assistance related to serving marginalized communities impacted by trauma and other social determinants of health nationally and internationally.

 Also join us for the Breakfast Keynote with Dr. Vincent Felitti, MD on Trauma Informed Care: Adverse Childhood Experiences: An Unrecognized Cause of Adult Social and Emotional Malfunction, Biomedical Disease, and Premature DeathRegister for Breakfast Keynote Here

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify at least five signs and/or effects of trauma.
  • Contextualize symptoms and/or risk behaviors as coping responses that aid in self-protection and survival for survivors of IPV and other trauma.
  • Describe at least four core components of trauma-informed approaches to care.
  • Identify at least four strategies to reduce the risk of client re-traumatization and staff secondary trauma.
  • Create a plan for increasing trauma-informed and IPV-informed practice, including areas of strength as well as areas of growth within clinical care and program environments.


Continuing Education:

For both the Educational Workshop and Breakfast Keynote:

CEUThe Ecumenical Center is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of Texas for the following: LPC, LMFT, LSW, LCSW AND LMSW

The Educational Workshop on 1/31/2020 provides 6.0 Ethics Continuing Education Units, and the Breakfast Keynote on 2/1/2020 provides 1.25 Ethics Continuing Education Unit. 




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Resource List

This resource list brings together websites, videos, audio recordings, books, and articles to supplement the workshop and lecture.

By Our Speaker : Unfortunately this section has no resources.

Dipping Your Toe (Introductory Information) : Unfortunately this section has no resources.

Wading Waist High (Intermediate Resources) : Unfortunately this section has no resources.

Taking a Deep Dive (Advanced Materials) : Unfortunately this section has no resources.

Access to Materials

Freely available Online
Available through the San Antonio Public Library
For information about how to obtain a San Antonio Public Library card, click here:
Available through the Briscoe Library at the UTHSCSA Faculty
Faculty, students, and staff may access these materials remotely using their Health Science Center log-in. Non-affiliated individuals and members of the general public may access these materials in-person by visiting the library and registering for guest access. Off-site access is not available for non-affiliated individuals and members of the general public due to licensing restrictions.