Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters (TABS) hosts online conversation for siblings of people with disabilities
Register today for a Zoom meeting and open conversation with fellow brothers and sisters of people with disabilities on Dec. 14, 5:30-7 p.m. CST. Click here to register for Zoom connection info.
“Trauma informed care” is a bit of a buzz word in mental health circles. Essentially, it acknowledges that many people have experienced significant adversities and outright trauma such as neglect or abuse, and they need specialized care so they can heal. Persons with disabilities have exponentially higher rates of both childhood and adult trauma, sometimes within the very systems that are “caring” for them. Their family members may experience adversity or trauma related to their loved one’s experiences, feeling at a loss for how to manage trauma symptoms or find them the best care.
As importantly, family members of people with disabilities may experience their own personal adversity or trauma (e.g., from bullying, unintentional neglect from parents, aggression in the family, traumatic separations or loss, shame, helplessness) as a result of being in a family and community struggling with how best to care for the loved one.
This two-part discussion, specifically targeted to siblings of people with disabilities, will explore important concepts within trauma-informed care. Attendees will learn about:
- The effects of trauma, the potential for strength to grow out of trauma and adversity, and the importance of bringing issues of trauma and loss into the light for support;
- How trauma-informed services differ from others; and
- The power of using a “trauma lens” for ourselves, our siblings and others by asking, “what happened to you”? - rather than - “what’s wrong with you?”
Patti van Eys, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with a newly formed private business concentrating on the complexities of the intersection of traumatic experience and mental health challenges. She offers consultation, supervision, legal expertise, training, and evaluation services that draw on her extensive experience serving clients with complex needs. Before the onset of van Eys Mental Health, as Chief Clinical Officer of Omni Visions, Inc., she oversaw the clinical integrity of therapeutic practice with foster children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Omni Visions homes and residential treatment centers.
Formerly, she was the Clinical Manager of Behavioral Health Programs at BlueCare Tennessee (2012-2015) and before that, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University from 1995 to 2012. She served as the clinical director of the Vanderbilt University Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, a center that specializes in comprehensive psychological assessments and consultations for high risk, complex children and provides intensive training to behavioral health providers. She has trained extensively at the local, regional, and national level on trauma informed care and mental health issues.
Dr. van Eys is a state leader in advocating for and serving high risk persons. She was contracted to the State of Tennessee in 2001-2003 to facilitate progress in children's mental health policy through the Tennessee Children’s Health Initiative, and has continued to lead initiatives in collaboration with the Bureau of TennCare and other stakeholders to improve services for TennCare members. Dr. van Eys received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and completed her Clinical Internship/Fellowship at Harvard Medical School (Boston Children’s Hospital/Judge Baker Children’s Center).
This event is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Sibling relationships are often the longest-lasting relationships that a person has in their lifetime. For siblings of people with disabilities, these relationships have a lifelong impact and many siblings eventually take on some level of caregiving role for their brother or sister. Some siblings find themselves providing support to aging parents, siblings with disabilities and their own children at once. TABS is a statewide network that aims to empower and educate siblings of individuals with all types of disabilities by providing information and peer support. TABS welcomes the participation of anyone interested in sibling issues, including but not limited to “siblings-in-law”, professionals, other family members, and those whose siblings with disabilities may have passed away. For more information on Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters, visit the TABS webpage. TABS is the Tennessee state chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network. Learn more at siblingleadership.org.