What is SMART?
- Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment
- an innovative mental health therapy for complexly traumatized children and adolescents for whom regulation of emotional, behavioral and interpersonal life is a primary problem.
What does SMART do?
- utilizes an array of therapeutic equipment, such as weighted blankets, balance beams, fitness balls, and large cushions, and shared play to support children’s natural ways of regulating their bodies and their emotions, facilitate attachment-building and allow for embodied processing of traumatic experiences.
- blends movement and relationship to regulate arousal states and powerful affect, thereby , engaging the subcortical, cortical, and attachment neural pathways to increase behavioral and psychological integration.
- widens the child’s window of tolerance for both positive and negative emotional states, and for interpersonal connection so that healthy development can proceed.
What makes SMART Different?
- does not rely on language and awareness as an entry point. A coherent narrative and cognitive understanding emerge as a result of fully embodied play engaging the sensory, motor, limbic, and arousal systems for self-exploration.
- engages the sensory motor systems, especially the vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile sensory systems for emotional, psychological, and relational regulation and repair.
- follows the child’s lead while tending to safety, uses full body participatory play with the child, to work with the unfolding process in real time in session as the path to developing new skills and processing traumatic experience.
- uses videotape case review and reflection to support more precise focus on the underlying patterns of behavior, areas of avoidance and areas of strength for the child, which informs more tailored interventions and treatment plans.
- rapidly builds both general and SMART specific clinical skills in therapists and supports strong supportive clinical teams via SMART through shared review and discussion of the work.
How will SMART help me help my Caregiver/Parent?
- helps you increase the caregivers’ window of tolerance and self regulatory capacity for the work with their child with trauma, and helps you build caregiver’s co-regulation and rhythms of relationship with their children from the bottom-up.
- increases your empathy and understanding for caregiver challenges as you review and reflect on your work in SMART consultation videotape review.
- helps you build strategies and regulation toolboxes that can be easily built into the daily routine at home, in the community, and in educational and residential care settings.