Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSW

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Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSW, Vice President of Strategic Development, Klingberg Family Centers, New Britain, Connecticut specializes in treatment of traumatized children and their families. She created the Restorative Approach™ , a trauma- and relationship-based treatment method.

She is a Faculty Trainer for Risking Connection® and an Adjunct Faculty at the University of CT School of Social Work. She travels nationally to train treaters on trauma-informed care, specializing in improving the daily life of treatment programs. She is the author of Trauma Informed Care: The Restorative Approach published by NEARI Press, and in 2011 was Connecticut Social Worker of the Year.

The Quote

If you don’t feed the teachers, they’ll eat the children.

What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?

Pat talks about the steps which led her to become a therapist. As an early stage therapist, she learned more and more about trauma and came to the realization that what she and many of her colleagues were doing, was in fact wrong. But she had no idea of what to do instead. This questioning led her to educate herself and take courses, which eventually became the impetus for changing the organization for which she worked, and then for helping other organizations to change.

A Crucial Early Mistake

Pat shares an early story about working with a young girl who was involved in self-harm. The way Pat and her team worked with kids at this time involved the process of not paying too much attention to what individuals were doing in cases like this, for fear that any attention would reinforce behavior. Pat soon realized that this way of working wasn’t actually helping her clients.

Patricia’s Why

I’ve met amazing kids who, despite being let down by adults, are still able to laugh…they are so amazing. It’s for the love of them that I want to make the system better and why I continue to do this work.

Patricia’s advice

  • Learn about brain science and how it impacts an individual’s behavior.
  • Remember and understand the importance and power of the relationship for an individual who has been traumatized.
  • Stand beside an individual in their distress rather than trying to offer advice and or trying to fix them.
  • Learn how to take care of yourself.

Patricia’s go-to books

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Interview Links

Usha Tummala-Narra, PhD
Lee Klinger Lesser​, MS

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