About the Risking Connection Training Program

When a child depends on an adult for nurturance, safety, and love, he or she should not be taking a risk. When betrayed by abuse, however, future relationships during childhood and adulthood do indeed involve taking great risks – risks of disappointment and loss, shame, and further abuse. Traumatized children and adults also carry forward extreme and often perplexing behaviors that test the skills of even the most seasoned professional.

Serving traumatized clients also poses risks to service providers. Opening our hearts to them means feeling their suffering and exposing ourselves to the darkest sides of humanity. It means investing in clients who often don’t want our help, who frequently return to abusive environments, or who are in and out of programs through “revolving doors.”

In order to heal, traumatized children and adults need to risk forming connections with caring service providers that are different (enough) from those of the past. They need relationships that are RICH – Respectful, Informative, Connected, and Hopeful. Forming such relationships is no easy task because of the extreme behaviors survivors display, the powerful feelings they evoke in us, and their ambivalence about getting close.

Risking Connection is a curriculum-based training program created to provide professionals and para-professionals with a philosophy and method for working with clients who are survivors of childhood abuse and trauma. The RC Basic Training is based on the curriculum, Risking Connection: A Training Curriculum for Working With Survivors of Childhood Abuse (Saakvitne, Gamble, Pearlman, & Lev, 2000)

The  RC Training Program offers organizations a pathway toward system-wide change to trauma-informed care. Through the Risking Connection Train-the-Trainer, organizations can gain the capacity to provide ongoing RC training within their organization. By doing so, they receive ongoing continuing education support for their credentialed RC trainers and join an international network of organizations using RC to create trauma-informed services. Only staff within organizations that have adopted RC as a training program may attend the Train-the-Trainer.

Risking Connection is unique in that:

  • It is a philosophy of service provision rather than a treatment technique.
  • It is aimed at organizational staff from all disciplines, roles, and levels of training and creates a common language among staff to speak about trauma within service settings.
  • It stresses that, since clients have been hurt in relationships, supportive nurturing relationships are critical to healing. Therefore, every person who has contact with a client is contributing to healing.
  • It asserts that working with traumatized people also poses risks to those providing service, namely the risk of vicarious traumatization. In this model, respect for, and care of both client and service provider are viewed as vital.

The RC Basic training is offered numerous times per year at Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, CT. See the events page for upcoming trainings and registration information.

Risking Connection is a registered trademark of the Sidran Foundation.
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  • Upcoming Events

    1. Risking Connection Train-the-Trainer

      Jul 11 @ 9:00 am - Jul 13 @ 4:30 pm
    2. ARTIC Webinar

      Jul 19 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
    3. Risking Connection Basic

      Aug 22 @ 9:00 am - Aug 24 @ 4:30 pm
    4. Distant RC Trainer Webinar – Inequities Facing Black Girls

      Sep 18 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
    5. 12th Annual Day of Learning and Sharing – Become a Master Trainer: Critical Skills for Teaching Adult Learners

      Sep 25 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
    • Risking Connection Training

      Risking Connection™(RC) is a foundational trauma training curriculum and training program for professionals who work with trauma survivors. Rooted in relational and attachment theory, it provides a mechanism for individuals and organizations to implement trauma-informed care in their practice.

    • Restorative Approach Training

      The Restorative Approach® (RA) is a trauma-informed alternative to traditional "point and level" systems for child congregate care settings. Based on the principles of restorative justice, it translates what we know about trauma and how children heal into specific treatment strategies.

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