Training Class Details
Class Title: The Tree of Life: Engaging Youth in Care Around Multiple Stories
Class Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Class Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Availability: Employees and Eligible Participants
Available spaces: 21
Class Location: Webinar - refer to the class description section for more information about how to participate.
[ Online ]
[ Online ], CA 94618
Class Trainers: Michael Mertz
Class Description:

The Tree of Life: Engaging youth in care around multiple stories


Presented by Mike Mertz


Training Summary: Provide a couple sentences summary (content themes/training techniques, and how this training is relevant to working with children who live in out of home care) 


The Tree of Life (TOL) was created as a way to safely engage young people around the trauma they have experienced. The exercise is designed to invite youth to share multiple facets of themselves allowing youth care workers to hear/witness many stories about what the youth give value to. Further explorations into how these young people have responded to difficult times in their lives helps to situate them in a territory of identity that is connected to personal agency and not merely victimhood. From this position, the risk of re-traumatizing youth when they talk about traumatic experiences is reduced. 


Class Objectives: (what knowledge, ideas or skills will participants explore, learn, and practice during the training)  


Participants will:  

  1. 1. Participants will learn the history of the TOL and what it is designed to accomplish 

  1. 2. Participants will create their own tree in order to have an embodied experience of the exercise 

  1. 3. Participants will learn about and practice a variety of possible questions to ask about one’s TOL 


How can participants utilize their new skills and knowledge after the training to reinforce their learning? 

  • 1. Participants will have handouts designed to help them use the TOL in their work context.

  • 2. Share personal insights on communication styles with co-workers and ask for feedback. 

  • 3. Explore with each youth what kind of communication styles work best for them. 

  • 4. Engage in conversation about youth and families in their care as if they were present.