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Thank you to all who joined us for our second annual Training Up Conference!  This event was packed full of great information with 20 speakers and 23 participating organizations. Below is information about each of the main session talks and breakouts including any of the presentations or handouts that we have been given permission to share. We've also included information on each of our speakers as they would be happy to connect with you if you have follow up questions after the conference. Hope to see you at the 2019 Training Up Conference (more details below).

Save the Date for 2019

Saturday August 24, 2019

8:30am - 4pm

Destiny Community Center

6850 Five Star Blvd.

Rocklin, CA 95677

Tickets on Sale



Spotlight Talks

Levels of Regulation

Speaker: Brittney Kiel

Escalation Chart    Levels of Regulation

Different Forms of Therapy

Speaker: Charlotte Fritz


Social Media & Screen Time

Speaker: Eric Osborn


The Importance of Community

Speaker: Tiffany Saathoff

The Attachment Dance

Speaker: Joanne Jelle

Dance Analogy

Loving Kids for Who they Are

Speaker: Tiffany Loeffler

The Importance of Self Care

Speaker: Tiffany Loeffler


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Main sessions


The Impact of Trauma & Prenatal Exposure on the Brain

Speakers: Paige Blankenship, PhD & Natalie Bennett, PhD

The development of a child's brain is a complex process. In this session we'll learn from Clinical Psychologists from the UC Davis Children's Hospital about how both trauma and prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol impact brain development. 

Presentation Slides

Creating a Therapeutic Environment for All Children

Speaker: Debbie McJimsey, LMFT & TBRI Provider

Children have the best chance of success when placed in a safe, nurturing environment which allows restructuring of the brain after trauma. In this session we'll discuss the use of TBRI, Trust Based Relational Intervention, to create therapeutic environments through Connection, Empowerment and Correction Strategies.

Breakout Sessions

Understanding Our Kids - Complex Developmental Trauma and Mental Health

Speaker: Carla DeRose, LMFT

In this session we’ll discuss the common struggles associated with overlapping mental health diagnoses, dispel several myths associated with trauma and orient ourselves towards the most effective rehabilitative experiences we can offer children from difficult beginnings. 

Boundaries with Family and Friends Who Don’t Understand Parenting Kids from Trauma

Speaker: Charlotte Fritz, LMFT

Personal boundaries are limits that we create and express to those in our community that guide and protect our personal and family interactions. With "children from hard places", we often have to develop additional boundaries for those around us who don't understand the special needs of these children. In this breakout session we will discuss how to create and enforce healthy boundaries in loving ways.


FASD: What is it, What Does it Look Like, & Concrete Help for Caregivers

Speaker: Eric Osborn

In this session we will explore commonly used terms, the nature of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and what it often “looks” like in a child. We will examine the strengths of children with FASD as well as look carefully at the primary and secondary disabilities they may possibly experience plus the importance of correct diagnosis and support in the life of a child. We will also take a look at concrete things every caregiver needs to know not only to survive but to thrive as we care for kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. During our time we will also discover parenting techniques that really work to help these kids reach their fullest potential.

Presentation Slides      Handout

Mindful Parenting – Practical Strategies Parents Can Use in All Situations

Speaker: Amy Byrne

What is this buzz word, Mindfulness?  What does it look like in real life parenting? Is it just another thing to add to all the things I “should” be doing?  During our time together, we will look at how parenting with mindfulness can be beneficial in connecting with our kids.  We will explore practical ways of using mindfulness as we parent and look at how being aware of our own past experiences can help us navigate some of the challenges we face in connecting with our kids.


The Importance of Nutrition, Homeopathic Supplements and Sleep

Speaker: Annette Kapaona

Do you have a picky eater or a child who prefers sugary, high-fat junk food to the point where she’s ignoring her body’s need for real nutrients? It’s not uncommon for parents to struggle to get their children to eat better. Food impacts how well a child’s brain works, affecting their moods and abilities. Smart foods, a balanced diet (which sometimes requires supplementation) and adequate sleep allow information to be processed correctly and allows children to function at their optimal level. In this session we’ll discuss ways to help your child choose healthier foods by Traffic Light Eating, whole foods, probiotics and supplementation as well as other factors that affect behavior such as sleep and exercise.


Creating Healthy Attachments to Promote Healing from Childhood Trauma

Speaker: Debbie McJimsey, LCSW and TBRI Provider

From early childhood, kids face a slew of challenges in multiple areas of life. This impacts their development, behavior, ability to emotionally regulate and form relationships as well as learn new things in school. In this session we’ll discuss ways to build and strengthen attachments with children who have experienced past trauma and use those attachments to bring healing.

Navigating the Education System: IEP & 504 Plans

Speaker: Chris Krohn / Charity Murphy /  Megan Wooster

Learning how to navigate the school system with a child or student who has experienced trauma can be challenging. Where do you start? 504, IEP, SST? What does the educational system offer these kids and which is the right path for my child? Come join this team of speakers who will share from the vantage point of both school administrators and parents as they make sense of the special education process with a trauma informed lens.

Understanding and Parenting Teens from Hard Places

Speaker: Jennifer Scalzi

The teen years are a challenge for parents, teachers, and youth alike.  There is no “training manual” for the individual struggles that each teen will face as they transition into adulthood (assuming that they do).  In this session we’ll explore normal teen behavior and how to identify areas of concern without adding to the problem.  We’ll take a humorous, yet insightful, look into helping your teen navigate these years successfully while maintaining your own sanity in the process. Most importantly, we’ll share tips on how to avoid becoming as "stupid as your teen thinks you are" and remind yourself that this important developmental stage is not a personal attack against you.

Declaring God’s Destiny For Children

Speaker: Tiffany Saathoff

Come experience more about the Father Heart of God; how to partner with the Lord in prayer for the children in your sphere of influence. God had a plan and destiny for every child before they were born. He gave you as a spiritual covering over them, which is truly God’s gift. We all need to embrace our authority in order to declare His identity and purpose into the lives of our families and this upcoming generation. Let’s pray His promises, His heart and His Word together. 

“Alternative” Treatments: Trauma Informed Yoga, Dance & Biofeedback

Speaker: Jena Salvi / Chris Colletti

Each child responds to trauma uniquely and when traditional interventions provide limited results, parents and caregivers may need to seek alternative forms of treatment. In this session you’ll learn about a wide variety of “drug-free” interventions that can complement or occasionally decrease the need for traditional medications. The benefits of body awareness and control will be explored through trauma informed yoga workouts and dance therapy followed by an interactive demonstration of the power of Biofeedback modalities. Come learn how each of these treatments can improve self-regulation, motor planning, sequencing, pain management and more when used with kids who have cognitive, emotional and developmental challenges.

Yoga/Dance Slides    Biofeedback Handout

Developing An Optimal Sensory Lifestyle

Speaker: Claire Furlotte

This workshop, led by a pediatric Occupational Therapist, will focus on developing a deeper understanding of sensory processing and how to best support children’s sensory needs by creating a sensory lifestyle. Participants will come away with a better understanding of their own personal sensory preferences, what their children’s sensory needs are, and a wide variety of tools and resources that can be implemented at home, in school and in the community to help children thrive in different environments. 


Conference Speakers

Amy Byrne

Amy Byrne has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in Fair Oaks, as well as on staff at River City Christian in Sacramento.  She is a TBRI trained practitioner and enjoys walking alongside others as they heal and grow.  Amy is the mother of 3 school age children, one of whom was adopted from foster care with special needs.  When not working, Amy can be found wrangling, driving around or playing games with her 3 kids, looking for times to sneak away with her husband or a good book.

Annette Kapaona

Annette and her husband Wade have been married for almost 30 years. She is the mother of 6 children, two which are adopted twins, and has 7 grandchildren with one on the way. Annette has over 30 years of experience with children running a home daycare, foster parenting and working with children who have learning disabilities or mental health disorders. She studied health and nutrition at Shasta College and she gained her Health Coaching certification through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. Annette organizes monthly women’s gathering devoted to community and friendships. She is dedicated to inspiring healthy living with a whole food approach by creating meals that capture good taste and simplicity to enable everyone access to good health.

Brittney Kiel

Brittney Kiel is a Special Education Teacher. She began her teaching career in South Central LA as a second grade general education teacher then had the opportunity to work in a battered women’s shelter as a house manager for 3 years. Currently Brittney teaches Special Education as a Special Day Class teacher. Her passion is Special needs students and behavior management and she has 11 years of experience in this field. Brittney and her husband Jeremy are the proud parents of their son Jordan who is almost 9 months old.

Carla DeRose

Carla and her husband Edward are the parents of seven adopted children and one birth child. Additionally they have been guardian parents to several children and are currently raising their grandson. Growing their family via adoption and guardianship parenting seemed like a natural extension of their separate careers as mental health professionals in the adoption field. Carla and Edward, along with several other adoptive families, founded The Parent Cooperative Community in order to fill the unmet needs of their own and other adoptive families of children from difficult beginnings.

Charity Murphy

Charity is a school counselor at John Adams Academy, a local K-12 charter school and has worked with students who have experienced trauma and abuse. She has also had experience in counseling and advocating for women with unplanned pregnancies. Charity is a mother of four children, one who was internationally adopted from Russia, and has personal experience with two of her children being on an IEP.

Charlotte Fritz

Charlotte has been married to her husband Scott for 12 years. They adopted two beautiful children locally through foster-adoption over the course of the last 7 years, and fostered two other children who later reunited with their birth family. Charlotte has been a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2007, and currently specializes in working with families who are raising children who have experienced trauma. Charlotte is a certified TBRI provider and her passion is connecting foster and post-adoptive families with the resources they need.

Chris Colletti

Chris and his wife Stacey adopted a pair of siblings in 2011 and it soon became obvious the new additions to their family would need help navigating the physical and emotional challenges they face. This led Chris to pursue a career change and through numerous seminars, conferences, trainings and courses, he earned a certificate from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) in Neurofeedback (BCN) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as well as certification as a Home Provider and Specialist with the Interactive Metronome. Chris now spends his time providing services to impacted children and the families who give so much to help heal them.  

Chris Krohn

Chris is a school counselor at John Adams Academy, a K-12 public charter school in Roseville. He has a history working with students who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse and many other traumatic experiences within the school system. Chris is currently finishing a second Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is passionate about advancing mental health in schools.

Claire Furlotte

Claire is a pediatric Occupational Therapist serving children with a wide variety of special and unique needs. Born and raised in San Francisco, Claire has worked with children for more than half of her life beginning as a camp counselor and circus/dance teacher in high school then providing daily care for children with special needs during college. She earned a degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University and attended Pacific University where she received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2013. Currently, Claire is a therapist at Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services in Rescue, focusing heavily on supporting children with sensory processing challenges. She also works as part of a special education team in several charter schools in Sacramento.

Debbie McJimsey

Debbie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Founder/Director of West Roseville Counseling Center. She is a Certified Adoption Competent Therapist, Certified Trainer for the Adoption Competency program and has post-graduate training in EMDR, TBRI, and EFT. She is the trainer for Resource Parents at Lilliput Families and for therapists/social workers who are seeking post-graduate certification in Adoption Competence (an 18-month long certification program). Debbie has been married for 25 years and is the parent of three children: two biological and one through international adoption.

Eric Osborn

Eric and his wife Amy, founders of Transformational Family Ministries, have adopted four wonderful special needs children who deal with a variety of difficult issues (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders-FASD, attachment disorders, and Autism). After obtaining certification and training in several different alternative methods for teaching and parenting children with special needs, Eric and Amy authored the book, “In the Midst Of…A Short Guide for Encouraging Parents of Special Needs Children”. Their passion is helping parents navigate the frequently choppy waters of parenting children from hard places.

Jena Salvi

Jena is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is passionate about her work with families and children affected by PTSD and Complex Trauma. Starting her career with San Francisco's Juvenile Justice System 10 years ago, Jena has sought after the most long-lasting and effective modalities for healing the whole person after traumatic experiences. She now specializes in working with children of trauma in conjunction with her team at the Pacific Counseling and Trauma Center in Folsom. Jena is also a dance and yoga teacher and is passionate about incorporating those forms of therapy into her work.

Jennifer Scalzi-Pesola

Jennifer has been a Counselor and Instructor in the Community College system for over 20 years. She has also been a foster parent for over 25 years, specializing in pregnancy support and parenting teenage girls. She currently works as a Counselor/Professor at American River College and at Sierra College as the Foster/Kinship Care Education Program Coordinator where she develops new curriculum to meet the needs of the populations served. Jennifer is married, has two biological children, 1 adopted daughter, and 3 step children plus is privileged to be called Grandma by several wonderful kids.

Megan Wooster

Megan is a passionate advocate for families who have experienced trauma.  She is a single mother of two girls, who both battle with the effects of trauma in and out of school. Megan brings her knowledge of trauma to the classroom as a private piano teacher of special needs students and currently as a Teacher’s Aide at John Adams Academy.

Natalie Bennett

Natalie is a graduate from the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). She specializes in working with children and adults who have experienced abuse or domestic violence. Currently Natalie is completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at UNR where she conducts research and provides trauma-focused treatment. She is also completing postdoctoral work at the UC Davis CAARE Center providing Parent-Child CARE, a brief intervention to improve parent-child relationships. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, and being in the great outdoors with her family.

Paige Blankenship

Paige is a graduate from the Combined Counseling and School Psychology program at Florida State University. Paige's research interests include trauma and suicide, and she specializes in working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma and child maltreatment. Paige is currently completing her Postdoctoral Residency at the UC Davis CAARE Center where she conducts Child Welfare Evaluations, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Aside from work, Paige enjoys hiking with her dogs, traveling, and daydreaming about Florida beaches. 

Tiffany Loeffler

Tiffany and her husband, Matt first became passionate about advocating for vulnerable kids in 2010 after a mission trip to Haiti. Over the next 7 years, they returned to Haiti many times co-leading short-term mission teams while also launching and leading a church-based orphan care ministry locally. Tiffany is a church ministry coach for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and out of her passion for unity she founded Defending the Cause Regional Alliance in 2016. She believes that every child deserves a family who loves them and that we’re all called to make a difference for the kids and families struggling around us. Tiffany and Matt have 2 amazing kids, James (12) & Laurie (14), who were adopted from Haiti after a miraculous 6 1/2 year international adoption process.

Tiffany Saathoff

Tiffany and her husband Eric have been married 13 years, have two children, Blake and Paige, who were adopted from Placer County Foster Care and a baby on the way. Together, Eric and Tiffany have a heart for strengthening the family unit. They were children's pastors at Destiny Christian Church for 10 years and now are Directors of Destiny Community Center where they offer resources to strengthen and support families. Trained in Love & Logic and Kimochi Social Therapy, Tiffany teaches West Coast leaders in churches, community centers and public schools and she developed a 3-week Co-Parenting curriculum for separated/divorced/foster/adopt/blended families. With a degree from UC Davis in Psychology emphasizing on Child and Family Development, Tiffany is trained in assessing and implementing family health strategies. Eric and Tiffany's goal is simple, to provide the resources and education necessary to see stability and health in local homes. 

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