Research Supporting the Risking Connection® Model

Many of the concepts on which Risking Connection® is based (e.g., the role of the therapeutic relationship, psychoeducation, empowerment, meaning-making, and the effects of the work on the worker) have theoretical and empirical support that has been extensively published.

  • To read more about the evidence base for the Risking Connection® model, see "A Brief Note on Research Support for the Risking Connection® Approach," by Naama Tokayer, M.A.
  • A follow-up study conducted by the Trauma Research, Education, and Training Institute, Inc. (TREATI) in 2003/4 assessed the impact of a Risking Connection Training on the well-being of trainees by measuring the vicarious traumatization both before and after an RC training. See "Risking Connection Trainee-Outcome Research: A Pilot Study, August 2003–June 2004," by principal investigators Steve Brown, Psy.D., and Laurie Anne Pearlman, Ph.D.
  • In 2006, The Journal of Trauma Practice published a paper entitled "Risking Connection: Helping Agencies Embrace Relational Work with Trauma Survivors," by Esther Giller, Elizabeth Vermilyea, and Tia Steele. It discusses how, by modeling the model of Risking Connection®, collaborative relationships have nurtured the development, application, and follow-up of Risking Connection® and includes evaluative comments.
  • In 2006, the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center released a final evaluation report entitled "Collaborative Response to Crime Victims in Urban Areas," by Dana DeHart, Ph.D. The Crime Victims project, supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, was intended to enhance support for victims of crime by linking faith-based organizations and victim assistance programs in five high-crime, urban neighborhoods. The project employed Risking Connection® training and used RICH relationships to foster its goals.
  • In 2008, the National Institutes of Health funded a study of the benefit of using Risking Connection® to improve communication between primary care providers and their trauma patients. The proposed research addresses trauma-related mental and physical health problems that present in the primary care setting by adapting and testing a training curriculum for primary care providers to help them understand and work with trauma and mental health patients, with a focus on settings that serve low-income and minority patients. The research is to take place in the Georgetown Center for Trauma and the Community, whose purpose is to develop innovative and sustainable patient, provider, and system interventions to address trauma-related mental health needs of safety net primary care populations in the Washington, D.C., region. Read the full abstract.
  • In 2010, Risking Connection was selected as the method of change in the King County, WA five year SAMHSA Transformation to Trauma-Informed Care grant with EPower & Associates as the service provider.
  • In 2012, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy has accepted the most recent article on RC research for publication, titled, "Risking Connection trauma training: A pathway toward trauma-informed care in child congregate care settings." The authors examine the impact of the curriculum-based Risking Connection® trauma training as delivered by Klingberg Family Centers on the knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors of 261 staff trainees in 12 trainee groups at five child congregate care agencies.

Related Research

"The Helper's Power to Heal and to Be Hurt—or Helped—by Trying," by B. Hudnall Stamm, E.M. Varra, L.A. Pearlman, and E. Giller (2002). Reprinted from Register Report: A Publication of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, Washington, D.C.


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