Training & Services


Connecting Paradigms: A Trauma-Informed & Neurobiological Framework for Motivational Interviewing Implementation

Connecting Paradigms provides an innovative approach to helping those struggling with past trauma to make critical life changes and heal from their pain and suffering. Scientific understanding of the brain, the impact of trauma, and research on behavioral change have grown exponentially over the last several decades. This knowledge is challenging and transforming thinking about how we provide mental health and substance abuse education, medical care, criminal justice, and social work. Connecting Paradigms presents an integrated model combining research in neurobiology, trauma, behavioral change, harm reduction, and Motivational Interviewing into a practical skill set easily implemented across various settings and professions. Check out the HIV-Specific Version of Connecting Paradigms!!

Trauma-Informed Care

Recent research on the brain and trauma gives those working in the helping professions a new paradigm to conceptualize and work with clients.  Understanding how trauma impacts brain development puts harmful behaviors and destructive thinking patterns in context and gives helpers a roadmap for building relationships and promoting healing and growth.  This training presents the Trauma-Informed Paradigm in a practical context, giving learners both a theoretical basis and tools to apply immediately in their work with clients.  Through applying this Trauma-Informed Paradigm, workers can minimize re-traumatization while creating an environment for the traumatized individual to regain control of their lives.

From Neurobiology to Heart Rate Variability: The foundations and future of Trauma-Informed Care

In the 1990s, two events challenged many long-held assumptions in psychology, health care, education, and social services. The first was the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, which clearly demonstrated the correlation between trauma and mental health, cognitive functioning, social functioning, and cognitive development. The second was brain-scanning technology which revealed that the brains of people struggling with trauma functioned differently than those without trauma. These innovations spurred the trauma movement, which is transforming services and our understanding of a range of social problems.

Unfortunately, the cost and nature of the technology needed to measure nervous system health made it difficult to use as a measure of the effectiveness of interventions and treatment. Thanks to new inexpensive technology, one of the best methods for measuring a person’s mental, cognitive, and medical health has become a practical tool for those working with individuals struggling with trauma. Heart rate variability helps the trauma movement take its next huge step forward. This training will explore the science behind trauma and how to position heart rate variability as a complement to treatment and a vast improvement in our ability to quantify the impact of our interventions.

Staff Resiliency & Wellness

Helping professionals risk experiencing issues that mirror those of the trauma of the clients they serve. Research demonstrates the dangerous impact on physical and emotional health when exposed to trauma is combined with a stressful work environment. Knowledge is the best defense against burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. This training goes further than other self-care trainings by addressing the critical elements of health to enhance productivity and quality of work on both an individual and organizational level. Utilizing research in neurobiology, psychology, and business, this training provides skills for those in direct care to be more effective and efficient at work, allowing for the highest level of services possible.

Trauma-Informed Leadership

Trauma-Informed Leadership gives leaders the skills and knowledge necessary to propel their community and organizations towards excellence.  This training provides a practical model designed to enhance staff health, while maximizing system and organizational outcomes. Learners will leave this presentation with a new paradigm of leadership, along with a set of skills to implement in the supervision of staff and management of programs.

Designed in an interactive and experiential format, this training challenges leaders to look at job responsibilities, staff, systems, and agency through the Trauma-Informed Paradigm. This powerful experience provides approaches and strategies that can transform individuals, systems and the overall approach to helping others heal and grow.  Whether you are an aspiring or experienced leader, you’ll see your role and work in a whole new light.

Motivational Interviewing

“Motivational interviewing (MI) is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion (Miller & Rollnick, 2012).”

MI provides a strategic framework for building relationships through active communication approaches and strategies termed the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing. These approaches and strategies serve as a guide for how we structure our interactions with clients and guide how we set up programming. Using the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing as a foundation, the second part of this training will explore how people move through the stages of change and how MI implementation helps people move from contemplating a change to finding motivation for action.

Building on these foundational skills, the focus will shift to the heart of MI. Change happens when people feel a type of stress called cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person realizes that their actions and behaviors do not align with their values or how they want to live their lives. While cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable, it creates motivation to bring about changes to eliminate it.

Trauma-Sensitive Schools Series

Trauma, Behavior, and Academic Success

Our rapidly evolving understanding of trauma and neurobiological development challenges schools to rethink educational strategies so that all students reach their academic potentials. In this training, we will explore how trauma affects students’ abilities to succeed academically, exploring trauma’s impact on cognitive functioning, memory, delaying gratification, and executive functioning. Often the behaviors of students with trauma prevent them from achieving educational success. Trauma impacts emotional regulation, understanding of cause and effect, and behavior results sets students up for failure in traditional educational settings.

Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms and Schools

What is a trauma-sensitive school? What makes a classroom trauma-sensitive? This training will explore best practices and strategies for helping students with trauma achieve academic success. Schools are ideally positioned in our community to identify that a child experienced trauma and help connect the student and family to the resources they need to heal and prevent future pain and suffering. The trauma-sensitive school movement is gaining force; this training will provide a roadmap to realize this ambitious goal.

Staff Resiliency, Leadership, and School Culture

The current model thinking about the wellness and performance of teachers and school staff in education is a significant barrier to creating trauma-sensitive schools. The journey towards becoming a trauma-sensitive school requires helping staff rethink how they educate and manage behaviors. It also requires a new approach to school culture.

Trauma-sensitive schools must view staff well-being as a strategic priority. Stress and burnout are not the only risk factor, as vicarious and secondary trauma result from exposure to students’ traumatic experiences.  Burned-out and traumatized staff will struggle to bring the emotional and cognitive capacity needed for delivering quality education and support services our students need to thrive. This workshop puts forth a practical model designed to enhance staff well-being, integrate trauma-sensitive principles, and maximize academic outcomes.

To learn more about my work in education:

Services & Pricing

Keynote Address

Bring Matt’s inspiring energy to your conference. Keynote addresses can be customized in content for a specific audience. A mix of information and inspiration, let Matt help you achieve the mission of your conference.

Workshops and Trainings

Whether you are looking for a 45-minute workshop on a singular topic or a 4-day training series combining different topics, Matt will work with you to identify training objectives and deliver engaging and participant-centered learning experiences.

Workshops and Training for Clients, Patients, and Students

Most of the above topics are effective psychoeducational learning experiences for those in services. Learning about trauma and change in a workshop setting helps to supplement other services by providing insight and hope through a greater understanding of one’s self.


Distance learning is a great and cost-effective way to gain mastery over complex topics and build skills.

Coaching and Technical Assistance

Support adult learning by utilizing coaching to supplement a training experience. Whether in-person or through webinar format, coaching helps further integrate knowledge and master skills.

Heart Rate Variability Monitoring

Optimal HRV gives social service, mental health, and medical providers a way to quantitatively measure the impact of treatment and intervention for the population they are passionate about serving. Interested in learning more about how Optimal HRV can add value to your caregiving organization? Check out my work with Optimal HRV here:


Keynote Address or other in-person speaking engagements in front of large audiences: $4,000 (includes a free workshop for conferences). Workshops, trainings, and webinars: $650 per training hour. Training outside the Denver Metro Area has a minimum cost of $4,000 which covers up to 6 hours of training and coaching. Coaching: $250 an hour. Please call or e-mail to find out about international rates

I am available for training and coaching. Contact me to discuss your needs.