Oct. 13, 2016, 12:45 p.m.

Center of Excellence Staff Complete Training

Seven staff from the Center of Excellence and the Foster Community recently completed training that will expand their professional skills so they can better serve children and families. Rhonda Soirez, Foster Community Therapist and Jonathan Rhoades, McDowell County Therapist completed training for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) through the North Carolina Child Treatment Program. Mary McKinney, Watauga/Avery County Therapist is expected to complete this training within the next month. Dr. Holli Sink, Director of Clinical Services for Southmountain and Danica Ciaramita, McDowell County Therapist served as Senior Leaders for the TF-CBT training. TF-CBT is an evidence based therapy proven to reduce trauma symptoms in victims in about 20 sessions.

Two other staff, Sonya Farr and Stephanie Dvorak, recently completed training for Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) through the NC Child Treatment Program. Sonya is a Clinician at the Foster Community and Stephanie provides services at the Foster Community as well as McDowell County Schools. Brenda Patton, Foster Community Program Administrator was the senior leader, and Andrea Bradburn, Foster Parent, completed the training as a support person. SPARCS is a group therapy for teenagers to help them cope with on-going stress and the impacts of abuse and neglect. Danica Ciaramita also recently completed training for Parent Child Interaction Therapy through internal training.

The Center of Excellence provides clinical services in 6 counties in Western North Carolina including Burke, McDowell, Yancey, Mitchell, Watauga and Avery Counties and serves children and non-offending parents impacted by abuse, neglect or other loss.