Peter Singer, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker having over 27 years’ experience working with trauma in a variety of settings, including schools, group homes, foster care, home-based services, outpatient therapy, law firms, and more. As such, Mr. Singer has performed a variety of roles, including direct service professional, foster parent, school social worker, clinical therapist and supervisor, organization executive director, consultant, and others. Pete has worked extensively with families, teens, and children who have experienced trauma, including maltreatment, medical trauma, assault, violent loss, and captivity.
Pete received his Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, and is scheduled to complete a certificate in Trauma-Effective Leadership from the University of Minnesota in 2018. He is a licensed school social worker, board-approved supervisor, and registered parent educator with Circle of Security – Parenting, an attachment-based parenting approach for families who may be at risk or who have emotional and behavioral concerns. Pete has trained extensively on and implements Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based approach for working with children who have experienced trauma.
Pete is the Founding Director of Care in Action Minnesota, a non-profit organization that works to equip faith communities as well as the broader community to better prevent and respond to child maltreatment. He has served on several workgroups, including the Cultural Provider’s Network, Ramsey County Ending Racial Disparities Workgroup, Youth in Transition Workgroup, Washington County Foster Care workgroup, and more. Pete founded and acts as the lead consultant/trainer for Advanced Trauma Consulting. In that role, he provides training and consultation on individual and organizational trauma-effective practices. Additionally, Pete provides ongoing consultation and training to organizations in the legal, healthcare, human service, and education fields including for the Child Friendly Faith Project, Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, Minnesota School Social Workers Association, Minnesota Department of Education, and for local schools and faith communities.
Attachment and Faith: How a Child’s Relationship with Parents Impacts Life-Long Spirituality
The nature of a child’s relationship with his or her parents profoundly impacts all future relationships. This presentation describes how attachment develops between the child and parent, how maltreatment may impact that attachment, and how attachment patterns carry forward throughout the child’s life, to the point of impacting the child’s relationship with God. The presentation provides practical ideas for strengthening the parent-child attachment relationship.
Attachment, Trauma, and Behavior
Attachment, the way a young child bonds with his or her primary caregiver, significantly impacts the child’s emotional and behavioral health. Trauma, especially related to abuse and neglect, can have a deep impact on the child’s developing attachment relationship. This presentation provides a basic understanding of Attachment, how it is shaped, and how the child’s attachment impacts the child’s behavior. The presentation provides several practical steps for strengthening attachment, repairing disrupted attachment, and responding to a child’s behavior in light of his or her attachment status.
Autism and Attachment: Together at Last
When Autism was first recognized by the American Psychological Association in the Third Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III), the DSM specifically stated that an Autism diagnosis ruled out secure attachment between a child and caregiver. Initial research seemed to support this understanding, but current research paints a markedly different picture. This presentation provides basic information on Attachment, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and how they impact each other. The presentation seeks to enhance understanding of how attachment may manifest for a person with ASD.
Bridging the Gap between Faith Communities and the Child Protection System
The faith community and Child Protection System often fail to work together, despite the shared goal of safe and healthy children. This failure has resulted in terrible consequences for children and families. This presentation describes a Minnesota program that started in 2005 to facilitate cooperation between the faith community and Child Protection. It will explore barriers and strategies for developing similar programs and provide general practical steps that can help foster a more collaborative relationship between the faith community and Child Protection.
It Still Hurts: The Impact of Child Maltreatment Across the Lifespan
Child maltreatment takes a terrible toll on children who are forced to endure it, but the costs and effects of the maltreatment do not end when the child becomes an adult. This presentation describes basic developmental tasks that people accomplish throughout their lives and explores how child maltreatment can impact them. The presentation then focuses on the hope of restoration, resilience, and healing by examining different practices to manage the impact of childhood maltreatment on the remainder of the person’s life.
Managing the Impact of Childhood Trauma on Marriage and Committed Relationships
Trauma in childhood has far-reaching effects, and those effects often stretch into the person’s marriage. From blindspots and triggers to disrupted adult attachment within the marriage, pitfalls await if the spiritual and emotional injuries from childhood are not addressed. This presentation can be adapted either for couples or for those counseling and ministering to them, and it is ideal for equipping faith leaders who do pre-marital counseling.
Recognizing and Reporting Child Maltreatment
Faith leaders, especially those who work with children and youth, often encounter possible child maltreatment during the course of their ministry, and the law in most states has responded by making pastors, youth leaders, and other others mandated reporters. An understanding of what are reportable, reasons to report, and methods for reporting is essential for anyone trying to adequately fulfill their role as a mandated reporter. This class provides an overview of these topics and examines some of the specific guidelines that relate to faith leaders and pastors.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and Pastoral Care: A Collaborative Approach to Care for the Whole Person
TFCBT is considered one of the most evidence-based and successful approaches for counseling children who have experienced trauma. Spiritual themes such as forgiveness and sovereignty often arise during the course of treatment, and therapists may find themselves in need of either consultation or assistance to effectively address the spiritual harm of the trauma. This presentation begins by covering general concepts and guidelines for collaboration between the faith community and mental health providers. It then provides specific interactions for each of the stages of TFCBT to allow a faith leader and therapist to coordinate their interactions and support each other. This presentation is appropriate for faith leaders and therapists alike.