MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF JOHN MICSAK
Please take a moment to read this before hiring John.
How long have you been speaking?
I was the clinical supervisor/ trainer for 15 years at the largest treatment agency in Michigan serving children and families. In those years I have presented on over 40 clinical subjects in the area of serving at-risk children and youth. In addition, since 2000, I have presented at workshops, in-services, and keynote presentations on the most current and ground breaking research in trauma informed care, resiliency work, body and mind approaches and relationship work.
How did you get to be an expert on resiliency and trauma informed care?
Direct experience. Since 1977, I have been a front liner working with childhood trauma and have worked in detention centers, a shelter for abused and neglected children, residential treatment programs, community-based programs and in private practice. I soon found that the vast majority of kids in those placements had lives filled with chaos, neglect and/or violence. Clearly these children were not "bouncing back."
At an early age in my career I believe being an empathic intuitive led me to constantly challenge existing systems of care. I have experienced all the traditional approaches such as positive peer cultures, boot camp and scare straight tactics, isolation and restraints, family systems therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy, socio-recreational therapy, level systems, and various behavior management programs. Some of these approaches hold some merit, but none of them adequately addressed the biological and emotional complexities of a child.
My advocacy for troubled and traumatized children along with passion to find a better way, has led me to concentrating my effort in some core approaches of trauma informed care, and neuro-physiology (body and mind). For years, I have been instrumental in introducing the most cutting edge approaches with the programs with which I was associated. Now with the explosion of brain research backing up these new age disciplines, I whole heartedly think we can make a huge difference, if we "stay the course."
I understand the vital importance of your experience, but what formal training have you had?
I was a certified trauma specialist and consultant with the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. I was also selected their 2009 consultant of the year and was the first accredited member. I have been a past certified trainer in therapeutic crisis intervention, life space intervention, and the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). I am also a registered clinician with Robertson Research where we have a brain chemistry optimization program.
Recently, I completed a series on neuro-sequential therapeutics. I have supervised family therapists, group therapists, and community based workers and on line treatment staff for several years as the clinical supervisor of the largest agency in Michigan serving families and children. Having met strict standards of care for youth including a clinically sound competencies training I administered, we were accredited by national governing agencies.
Who are some of your past clients?
Please visit the Book John: Meeting Professionals Tools page for a comprehensive list. Notables include National Insititute for Trauma and Loss in Children, Michigan Federation for Children and Families, MEAAY (Michigan Educational Association for Adjudicated Youth) SAFY (Safe Alternative for Families and Youth), MAFAK, MACEFI, St. Elizabeth Hospital (Kentucky), multiple universities and school districts.
What differentiates you from other speakers in your field?
I have over 33 years of direct experience with the most needy children and youth. I am a front-liner that provides a non-stop supply of hands on tools and solutions. I have years of clinical training in the field. There are many phenomenal speakers and theorists, but they may not provide the how- to's from direct experience. I have had the advantage of directly applying strategies from the disciplines I embraced and through clinical application witnessing firsthand the efficacy of these tools. I have worked endless hours synthesizing the best strategies from trauma informed, body and mind science, resiliency work and relational approaches. I have suffered through the pain and anguish of system failure with challenging kids and I have celebrated the joy and elation when a child goes from "victim to victory" due to the efforts of dedicated, creative and passionate adults.
What exactly does your topic cover and what can we expect?
My various topics are centered on a foundation clinical construct stemming from trauma informed practices and neurophysiological approaches (body and mind). We determine how stress and adverse child events have impacted the fragile stress response system of our children and our micro-ecologies further encapsulate children in a trauma vortex.
We then look at how to expand our healing environments and begin to release children from the strangle holds of trauma and stress and begin the process of processing, restoring and inoculating our children from further damage. We build our paradigm around key concepts such as regulation and dysregulation and hyper and hypo arousal patterns. Attendees in my programs should be prepared to take a lot of notes. I will provide non-stop strategies and will present compelling video footage and case reviews to apply our paradigm and techniques. You will leave re-vitalized with a new paradigm and approach which may leave you with a positive change professionally and on a personal level.
Do your workshops apply to adults as well as children?
YES, unequivocally; I have one of the most comprehensive workshops that includes self exploration and wellness for adults. My bias is that we cannot heal or honor the pain of children, until we recognized and honor our own pain. Depending on your selections of workshops, there are also specific tools given to process memory work, build regulatory capacity as an adult, conscious parenting, dealing with compassion fatigue and also creating healthy brains for the caregivers. Many trauma informed and resiliency tools I provide are so universal, you can use them on yourself, as well as the children and families with whom you work.
I have noticed that you place a lot of emphasis on self exploration for the people that attend your workshops. Why is that?
It is correct that the cause of the dysregulation stems from the early trauma; however, the maintenance of regulation within the child's system is directly related to the state of the parents, caregivers or the system of care into which we put them. Simply having a child like this under the care of a foster parent, a residential treatment facility or the school room causes a great deal of stress.
Without a working knowledge of how stress and trauma impacts the child and us, the micro-ecologies (family, schools, community etc.) will fail to provide the healing environments these children so desperately need. Therefore, the regulation of the caring adults around the child must be addressed first, because this is the primary source of the child's healing of their bio-social, psychological and emotional needs. I also believe that we have to challenge our subconscious behavioral (vs. relational) blueprints for addressing difficult behaviors with the children and youth to whom we are responsible. Also, both permissive care-giving and authoritarian care giving are recipes for disasters with these children.
Can I find some hope with children suffering with various clinical diagnoses such as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bi-Polar etc.?
Yes, I treat kids not labels. I work with kids with various types of behavioral concerns. The most confusing aspect of mental health when it comes to parents, caregivers and human service professionals is the misinformation that they are given from misinformed, often times misled, physicians.
It has never been proven that Bipolar, ADHD, or any of the other disorders are a genetic condition. Your child is being given a label for a behavior. Regardless of the label that has been put on your child, we believe we have a universal design that can increase the odds of any child that may have impaired brain structural issues or brain chemical issues.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure which particular therapy will benefit your family. It would be unethical of me to make that kind of claim. What I will say, however, is that I believe, of all the different types of programs available, mine will offer children and youth the greatest opportunity for healing, in the most efficient period of time. Most kids I have worked with have been through years of other therapies and have spent countless hours in systems that have failed them. When my concepts are applied correctly and consistently, healing can begin in a very short period of time. I strongly believe that the only time this therapy fails in a home, a residential facility or let's say a school, is when the adults become resistant to the healing path.
As you may know, healing does not come easily. I work hard and the adults I work with must work even harder to experience true healing. Traumatized and stressed children often mimic children laden with psychiatric labels. We will build you a universally designed approach first and equip you with a clinical skill set for healing of children not just short term behavioral change.
How much do you charge for one hour, half day and full day programs?
Please call my office or email me and I am happy to provide you with the fee structure for keynote presentations, breakout or concurrent sessions, consultations and events that I host for professionals and families.
My rates are extremely fair for the amount of information and expertise you will acquire and the inspirational and life changing experience you will have on a professional and personal level. If you have budget restraints which don’t allow you to match my fees, you may submit a proposal for a fee that is more affordable for you. Reasonable offers will be reviewed and I will get back to you within 48 hours.
ABOUT NIRW(NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR RESILIENCY AND WELLNESS)
John Micsak is the Founder/Director of National Institute for Resiliency & Wellness. The staff at NIRW are licensed or certified mental health professionals.
NIRW provides compassionate care that honors the physical, emotional and spiritual concerns of each of our clients.
Referral services and initial telephone consultations are available at no charge.
For more information or to make an inquiry or an appointment, please contact the office at 989/928-3967. Inquiries about services, insurance and/or financial arrangements will be answers promptly. Visit www.nirw-healing.org or contact John Micsak at 989-928-3967.
In-Home Coaching for Parents and Caregivers
BCOP- Brain Chemistry Optimization Programs
Resiliency Programming for Schools, Residential and Community based facilities.
ABOUT JOHN MICSAK, MA
John Micsak is a trauma consultant with at-risk children. From 33+ years of front line resiliency work, trauma informed care and body/mind science relevant to stressed and traumatized youth, John’s Healing the Inside Child is a revolutionary approach dedicated to educating clinicians, legal professionals, teachers and parents about effective intervention protocol relevant to the brain regions sequentially from bottom (survival/lower brain region) to top (higher cortical brain region). His hope is to end society’s reliance on the punitive measures, isolation and the incarceration of children and adolescents by promoting effective treatment utilizing the latest research in neuroscience. John’s theory is based on the fact that children cannot become logical or understand cause and effect thinking until their body and mind systems experience balance through restorative relationships and appropriate sensory experiences.
Certification & Involvement
MA, Professional Counseling, Central Michigan University
2009 Consultant of the Year, National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children
Author of the revolutionary educational manual, Brain, Body, Mind: Restoring Healthy Pathways for Children and Youth
Founder/Director of National Institute for Resiliency & Wellness
Noted in Psychology Today for his brain based sensory outreach program
Registered clinician, Robertson Research