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Jessica P. Greenwald O'Brien Presenting on Immigrant and Refugee Children in Education Classrooms and Counseling Settings

October 21, 2010
Dr. Jessica P. Greenwald O'Brien will be presenting, Immigrant and Refugee Children: Bringing a Cultural and Trauma Sensitive Lens to Classroom and Counseling Settings , on Wednesday, November 3rd at 7:00 pm in Meredith Hall Room 101.  This conference will be of specific interest to educators, mental health professionals, and other school specialists work with children from multiple nationalities, linguistic backgrounds, immigration and refugee statuses, and economic strata.  As professionals and students moving into those fields, it is critical that to approach service to these children with an awareness of how immigration (or immigrant-related) experiences may have been tremendously difficult, or even traumatic for the child.  Further, it is essential to understand the potential impacts that trauma and adverse childhood experiences (A.C.E.’s) can have on a child’s functioning in school.  This presentation will explore the ways that immigration experiences can be traumatic for children.  It will describe the range of impacts  that trauma/A.C.E.’s can have on children’s academic, social, and behavioral functioning in school.  To conclude, Greenwald O'Brien will consider how to bring a cultural and trauma sensitive lens to the development of interventions in the classroom.

Jessica P. Greenwald O'Brien earned her doctorate in clinical and forensic psychology at the University of Nebraska in 1993.  Her post-doctoral training in trauma and family forensics took place through the Victims of Violence Program at The Cambridge Hospital and the Children and the Law Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School.    She presently is in private practice, blending her interest and expertise in trauma both into her forensic work and into her consulting work in schools.  Her private practice includes forensic evaluations with youth and families (child protection, delinquency, and family court matters), and training and consultation in various school districts.   She is a co-author of Helping Traumatized Children Learn, and has conducted trainings and professional development on related topics for school districts, state agencies and policy makers.   She is the co-editor of the Framingham Public Schools Teachers’ Strategies Guide for Working with Children Exposed to Trauma.