Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART): A Bottom-Up Treatment for Children and Adolescents with Complex Trauma

November 9-10, 2017
with optional additional seminar November 11, 2017

Presented by Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D.
& Heather Finn, LICSW,
featuring Tiffany Naste, LICSW on November 11

DAYS 1 & 2

SMART is an innovative mental heath therapy for complexly traumatized children and adolescents for whom regulation of emotional, behavioral and interpersonal life is a primary problem. The goal is to expand the repertoire of regulating experiences for children and their caregivers with the aim of nurturing healing and growth. A new array of strategies utilizes a larger space, big pillows, weighted blankets, balance beams, fitness balls and other basic equipment to facilitate improved regulation, and as a result, more integrated processing of traumatic experiences that otherwise can hijack ordinary daily life. In the training, therapists will learn tools of regulation that can be utilized in therapy, and generalized to home.

This new therapy approach is designed to be helpful to children and caregivers alike in improving co-regulation and the rhythms of relationship, in the interest of attachment-building as well as self-regulation. Either through participation in the child's therapy, or through private parent guidance work, caregivers can learn these strategies for implementation at home. With this methodology, treatment addresses regulation, trauma processing and attachment building. In the training, therapist will learn therapist skills that foster an effective treatment in the context of SMART, and how to support patterns of co-regulation with caregivers, and rhythms of engagement for children and adolescents with others in their life.

Learning methods include didactic presentation, viewing of videotape of therapy examples, and experiential practice.

The mental health training team and the SMART model draws on expertise from the worlds of trauma-focused psychotherapy such as sensorimotor psychotherapy, sensory integration, family therapy, and developmental psychology including attachment theory.

Training modules regarding adaptations of SMART for in-home community-based service teams, and integration of caregivers into SMART are available. SMART is now in practice at clinics, in-home service agencies, day schools, and residential treatment centers for children ages 2 to 20 years old. In addition, private practitioners have adapted SMART methods for use in private offices


(Optional – addition to registration required; please indicate which training you are attending in your Day 3 registration)

TRAINING MODULE A: SMART in community-based in-home therapy Tiffany Naste, LICSW

SMART has been adapted for use by in-home therapists and treatment teams through a collaboration with a community based agency already providing services for many children and teens with complex trauma. Through this collaboration, adaptations were developed that work for clinicians who travel to homes and must use the home and community resources available in a wide variety of settings. The target population is families with children requiring intensive services in order to decrease the need for higher levels of care such as psychiatric hospitalization and residential treatment, and for families that cannot reliably come to outpatient treatment settings.

In this training module, clinicians will learn about the implementation of the model in homes. Adaptations including: choice of equipment, method of transport, videotape methods that work in the home, creative use of the home setting, and special aspects of consent from caregivers will be presented. Models for utilization of members of an in-home team such as family partners, therapy & training support, therapeutic mentors, etc. will be presented and examples from therapy sessions will be shown on videotape to illustrate the implementation.

TRAINING MODULE B: SMART and work with caregivers - Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D.

SMART was developed to treat children and teens with histories of complex trauma that occurred in the context of caregiving relationships. Hence, many of our clients must learn new rhythms of engagement with caregivers in order function in their families. Caregivers also need psycho-education and guidance to support their children's treatment. SMART affords many opportunities for developing new rhythms through playful, non-verbal approaches using the tools of regulation available in the SMART room. In addition, caregivers can learn what is regulating for their child and new ways to engage that begin at the sensory motor level, and can develop into dialogue.

In this training module, clinicians will learn about child factors relevant to the work with caregivers, assessment of caregivers in relation to the treatment, and an effective therapist stance in relation to this complex work. Considerations for treatment planning, and examples of treatment will be presented with videotape as a learning tool, with a focus on regulation and attachment building, as well as the challenges of trauma processing when caregivers are present in the treatment.


Elizabeth Warner, M.Ed., Psy.D. is the S.M.A.R.T. Project Director at the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, MA. She has had a psychotherapy practice with adults, adolescents and children in Brookline for the past 30 years, and has been affiliated with the Trauma Center since 2006 as a senior supervisor, trainer, therapist, and researcher. Her specialization is in the area of child and adolescent development, family therapy, and the impact on adults of parenting. Special interests include adoption and adoptive families, the special nature and implications of that attachment, and the development of effective treatments for complex trauma in children and adolescents. She spent 15 years working with severely disordered children including traumatized children and their parents, using innovative methodologies and the use of videotape at the Language & Cognitive Development Center. In addition, she has treated, supervised and consulted in psychiatric inpatient and outpatient settings at Boston University Medical Center, schools, mental health clinics and residential treatment, providing therapy, teaching and consultation. She is a co-author on the SMART Manual, and an author on 4 papers about SMART.

Heather Finn, LICSW is the Clinical Director, clinician, supervisor and trainer at the Trauma Center at JRI. Heather specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, adults and families whose lives have been impacted by complex trauma, and has particular interest in the areas of adoption/foster care, attachment and resiliency. She is trained in EMDR (level 2), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (level 1), Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC), Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Therapy (SMART) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT-A) approaches to treatment. Heather is also a trainer and consultant for the SMART and ARC programs at the center. Prior to her work at the Trauma Center Heather has clinical experience working with children and families in shelter, residential treatment and outpatient mental health treatment settings. She graduated from Smith College School for Social Work in 2001.

Tiffany M. Naste, LICSW is the Director of Clinical Support and Training for JRI's Community-Based Services (CBS) Division. She has collaborated in developing an In Home adaptation to SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment), and provides training and consultation to support implementation for home-based services. She is also a national ARC (Attachment, Regulation, and Competency) trainer for the Trauma Center and a member of JRI's Trauma Response Network (TRN). She has worked in residential treatment, schools, and hospital settings providing therapy, teaching, supervision and consultation.


Space in this workshop is limited for quality of training. Space in the first two days of the workshop is limited to 60 participants. Space in the third-day trainings is limited to 30 participants per training. Once limits have been reached, you will be notified that you have been put on a waiting list, and will receive a space on a first come, first served basis.


This training is appropriate for advanced, intermediate and beginning student/early career mental health clinicians (including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, master’s level counselors, clinical nurse specialists, marriage and family counselors and other providers who work with adults, children or families), allied professionals (including case managers, school personnel educational advocates, milieu personnel, social service organization administrators and leaders, state agency personnel, law enforcement, judicial personnel and advocates, early-interventionists, clergy, community-leaders and activists, and artists for change), and state agency personnel, behavioral health services administrators, faith-based, tribal and nonprofit organization leaders interested in applying trauma-informed principles toward enhancing trauma-informed systems for the individual, families and communities they serve in order to mobilize change, empower minds and bodies, ameliorate health disparities and reroute healthy life trajectories that have been disrupted by familial trauma, social adversity, chronic oppression and community violence.


The Justice Resource Institute (JRI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. JRI maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

For information regarding the status of continuing education credits for Massachusetts social workers and licensed mental health counselors, please contact the Training Division administrative support staff.


If you are unable to attend the Training Institute, we will provide a full refund six weeks prior to the start date. If you cancel within six weeks but more than two weeks prior to the start date, we will provide a credit toward a future Training Institute workshop, less a $100 administrative fee. We must receive explicit notification of this cancellation, and credit must be used within one year of the original training date. We are unable to provide a refund or credit within two weeks of the start of the Training Institutte.

Presenters: Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D. & Heather Finn, LICSW

Optional Third Day Presenters: Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D. & Tiffany Naste, LICSW

SMART Developed by: Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D., Alexandra Cook, Ph.D., Anne Westcott, LICSW, & Jane Koomar, OTR, with Heather Finn, LICSW

Dates: November 9 & 10, 2017, with optional third day November 11, 2017

Time: Thursday & Friday 9:00a.m. – 4:00p.m., with optional Saturday 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Location: Brookline Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 02446


  • 2-Day Training: $380.00
  • 2-Day & 3rd Day Training: $480.00
  • Only 3rd Day Training: $100.00

*We provide discounts to students and groups.