TBRI® Classrooms

by Emmelie Pickett

Because millions of American school-aged children have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma, we have developed many resources to help educators create healing learning environments to meet the unique needs of these vulnerable children. While some of these resources are not geared specifically to a classroom setting, our hope is that anyone who works with children from hard places can glean insights about how trauma affects the brain and how to bring deep healing to the children they serve.

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

1. TBRI Animate Video

For someone who is brand new to TBRI, this is the perfect place to start. This short video (just over 3 minutes!) gives a broad overview of how trauma affects the brain and alters the ability for children to learn and develop in optimal ways.

2. The Connected Child – Chapter 4

Because fearful children are unable to learn, educators must be keenly aware of fear responses and how to disarm them. This chapter, available for free download, from The Connected Child (Purvis, Cross & Sunshine, 2007) provides insight about how to address-fear driven behaviors that may occur in the classroom.

3. TBRI in Schools YouTube Playlist 

Our YouTube Channel features many helpful video resources, but we have created a playlist specifically for those who work in schools. This channel features three testimonies of TBRI savvy teachers and also a chapter about school from our video, Children From Hard Places & the Brain.

4. Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms Article

Teachers certainly have to deal with difficult behaviors that arise in the classroom, and this article helps educators recognize fear-based responses that can look like misbehavior. This article features data from studies we have conducted in schools as well as helpful tips for teachers who are seeking to become more trauma-informed.

5. Teaching TBRI Life Values Printable

TBRI Life Values are helpful in encouraging youngsters toward optimal behavior through quick reminders or scripts. We created a free downloadable packet of the TBRI Life Values for teachers (or anyone!) to print off and use. Post them as signs in your classroom, or pull a new one out each week as a teaching tool as you mentor your students toward the desired behavior.

We are pleased to provide all of the resources listed above as a free gift to anyone who wants to learn more about TBRI. If you want to dig even deeper, check out some of the products in our store that are designed to deepen your understanding of Trust-Based Relationships:

TBRI Pocket Guide

Children From Hard Places & The Brain Video (DVD and Digital Download)

Trust-Based Parenting Video (DVD and Digital Download)

The Connected Child Book

TBRI Tip Sheets

Research has documented the fact that trauma-informed environments have the capacity to ameliorate the damaging impact of abuse and improve the long-term outcomes for these precious children who have come from hard places. Our hope is that these materials will help teachers create learning environments that empower both educators and their students to find joy in the teaching relationship and joy in learning.

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12 Responses to “TBRI® Classrooms”

  1. Pam Schafer

    Hello! I am the Preschool Administrator at Light and Life Christian Preschool in Avon. You visited our school a year ago and provided staff training. I would be interested in any materials or additional training you can provide to our staff. Thank you!

  2. Sarah J Wilson

    Hello! I am looking for local resources to provide to my school administration for TBRI classroom training. Is there a list of individuals we might hire to come train staff at the school?

    Thank you,

    Sarah J Wilson

  3. Ginny Judson

    How timely! I’m on lunch break from TBRI I’m service

  4. Marti Coppage

    What does TBRI stand for? Please consider including the actual words somewhere obvious. As a busy teacher (yes, even in the off-season), I need to know at a glance if a resource is going to be useful for me. My adopted grandson experienced trauma before he came to us and my daughter-in-law and son are wonderful parents who are helping him live his best life. My d-i-l sent this link to me so I’m sure it’s worthwhile. Had I come across it on my own, I would have blown past it.

  5. Vielka Johnson

    Please put me on your email list. I’m an LPC looking to learn about TBRI

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