Teaching Adults Using a Trauma-Informed Wellness Approach

Teachers who understand the trauma-informed, wellness approach can have a profound impact on adult students affected by trauma—loss, domestic violence, childhood abuse, racism, natural disaster, and ongoing poverty.

Join Elizabeth Eastman, MA-TESOL, MSW, LCSW, in a discussion about the trauma-informed, wellness approach and how it helps adult learners struggling with concentration, memory impairment, procrastination, self-esteem, physical manifestations of stress, and depression. A wellness approach that creates a safe learning environment can meet the needs of all adult learners.

Elizabeth will show practical applications in the classroom environment as well as strategies for dealing with boundary issues, disclosures, and students' expression of emotions.

Together, we’ll develop curriculum ideas that you can incorporate into your own class setting.


  • Define trauma and explain how it can impact learning
  • Understand what it means to be trauma-informed and how teachers can increase a feeling of safety, trust, and belonging in their classroom  
  • Explain culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and why it is foundational to the approach
  • Identify aspects of wellness and explain how it blends with CRT and trauma-informed teaching
  • Discuss concerns about using the approach—student expression of emotion, boundaries and making referrals—and how to address those challenges
  • Know more about how to integrate aspects of a trauma-informed wellness approach into your own class setting.

Additional resources to be provided.

About the Presenter

Elizabeth Eastman, MA-TESOL, MSW, LCSW, teaches English at West Valley College and English as a second language classes to adult immigrant and refugee students in East San Jose. She teaches "International Student and Community Development" to the UCSC Silicon Valley Extension international student community. Elizabeth has been using a trauma-informed wellness approach in her teaching since 2017.  

She holds a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and is pursuing a doctoral program in international and multicultural education with a focus on second language acquisition at the University of San Francisco. She has 25 years of experience in the mental health field and is an emergent bilingual in Spanish.

Tuesday, August 4 at 5:30pm to 7:00pm

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