Mind Matters

What Others Say

Mind Matters Cover Final

Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principle investigator of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), a groundbreaking research project that identified the link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, violence, and being a victim of violence, once said that there weren’t enough therapists in the world to help people who suffer from the effects of childhood trauma.

He believed that people in the helping professions — teachers, clergy, emergency medical technicians, home visitors, youth workers, etc. — could be provided education and tools to help others heal.

Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience — A Toolkit for Empowerment is just that. It’s a well-written, well thought-out, and tested 12-hour course. It can stand alone or be integrated into other courses. It can be used with people of all ages–including teens, youth, and adults–in schools, community-based organizations, the justice system, foster care, shelters, and group homes. The instructors’ manual is a remarkably clear and concise guide.

Dr. Carolyn Curtis and Charles Stolzenbach have truly created a gift to the community of people looking for a way to help others learn about just how normal childhood adversity is, how profound its effects are on our brains, bodies, lives, and communities, and, most importantly, how to soothe and heal ourselves.

For that is where healing begins, within ourselves. From there we can continue to pay forward this new knowledge of human behavior and help people help themselves heal, with this toolkit tucked under our arms.

Jane Stevens, Founder, publisher, ACEs Connection Network

ACEsTooHigh.com/ ACEsConnection.com


This is a long-overdue curriculum.   We’ve known for years that many of our students have experienced trauma and other adverse life events that compromise their ability to learn the social and cognitive skills needed for success in today’s world. Perhaps we imagined that we could do a work-around—that our curricula could be effective without attending to the central issues of adversity and resilience. Or maybe we assumed that other professionals or programs were taking care of those issues. Now that we have “Mind Matters,” a there is no excuse for this blind spot. With a blend of up-to-date teaching strategies and scientific understanding, along with good pacing and sensitivity to student privacy and boundaries, this curriculum will be welcomed in a wide range of settings. It’s the missing ingredient we’ve needed.

William J. Doherty, Ph.D.

Professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota. He has been a family educator and therapist for over 40 years.


As of this writing I have served as a licensed psychotherapist for more than 40 years. I have encountered numerous individuals whose lives have been seared by trauma. There are many types of trauma. The cause could be a sudden overwhelming explosion or repeated abuse. The resultant symptoms are consistent across cultures: hypersensitivity, intrusive memories, and social withdrawal. Trauma survivors are “burn” victims. They are raw. When a patient suffers a physical burn, the gentle healing procedures of a concerned physician cause pain because there is no protective insulation.

But, trauma survivors can learn from their ordeal. The Chinese concept for crisis is composed of two juxtaposed characters, danger and opportunity. Trauma can be a pathway for accessing resilience. But a map is needed.

Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience is a clear, comprehensive program that consists of experiences that can create resilience and stress inoculation. By following this path those who have suffered trauma can heal themselves in the places where they’ve been previously scorched. The skills that will be learned can have a proactive effect in building insulation — eliciting resilience in those who have not yet been subjected to stressful events.

The program outlined by Carolyn Curtis in Mind Matters should be instituted in schools and churches. It is remarkably engaging, well researched and well formulated path to creating resilience.

Jeffrey K Zeig PhD, Director, the Milton H Erickson Foundation


I had the pleasure of participating in the Mind Matters training the spring of 2016 through Lutheran Social Services the agency in which I am employed. We were able to learn techniques to enable us to better communicate with our friends, family and coworkers and to learn to respond in a more empathic manner.We also were able to discuss and actively demonstrate different calming techniques in order to help with anxiety and worry. My favorite technique was Tapping in which different pressure points were activated while using encouraging words. I continue to utilize tapping and have found it has definitely improved my anxiety at the work place.

Carolyn was an excellent educator, whom demonstrated with warmth and good humor her vast knowledge and experience regarding the human condition.

Thank you,

Tonia Sterpe MSW, CAS
Housing with Dignity
Program Coordinator
Lutheran Social Services


This workshop has impacted my life in a major way!!! I acquired tools to apply at my organization, for my staff to use, and most of all tools that I can utilize immediately to help me in the area of self care. This was a very valuable learning experience. I look forward to using the self-soothing techniques and to identify support systems. I will keep you posted.

Executive Director, Fatherhood Program


I truly needed this for my own personal growth and business growth. I see using this in many, many, ways.

Instructor, Relationship Education