Lisa A. Thorsen, Ed.D., C.R.C., C.P.S.I. Supervised Care & Rehabilitation Counseling Expert

Lisa A. Thorsen, Supervised Care & Rehabilitation Counseling Expert

Dr. Lisa Thorsen is a care expert who evaluates the adequacy of administrative and procedural policies, and investigates safety issues related to injuries at organizationally based facilities. She has nearly 30 years experience working in or administering care facilities and programs and is an expert in operations and compliance for the care and safety of children and adults, including individuals with disabilities, in public and private facilities and programs.

Dr. Thorsen's experience includes working as a rehabilitation center administrator, a preschool director, and as a counselor for individuals with disabilities. She has developed policies and procedures, designed programs, and ensured collaboration and compliance with state and federal agencies.

She holds a Doctorate degree in Education and Policy Studies and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with a Master degree specializing in education. Dr. Thorsen also holds playground certifications from the National Recreation and Parks Association and the National Program for Playground Safety.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2008 to present

Provide forensic investigation, analysis, report and testimony toward the resolution of claims and litigation involving public and private supervised care facilities including educational (primary and secondary levels), adult care, residential and rehabilitation facilities, day care, preschool settings and playgrounds.

Standard of Care issues as they relate to:

  • Supervision - appropriateness to environmental context, staffing ratios, staff training and professional development, behavioral expectations, and management of target population (age, cognitive, emotional, social, and physical abilities), classroom/activity management and safety, curriculum/activity design, program compliance, equipment appropriateness, on/off premises activities
  • Policies and Procedures – analysis of organizational structures, formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies, procedures and practices specific to organizational context, hiring practices, vetting procedures, performance evaluations, best practices, program compliance
  • Playground Safety - supervision, equipment, maintenance, surfacing, organizational policy and practices
  • Risk Management - identify hazards, incidence and occurrence reporting, accident trending, preventative analysis, program and safety compliance
  • Safety - emergency protocol and procedures, facility based emergency, evacuation and disaster planning
  • Disability Analysis - assessment of functional strengths and weaknesses of individual as they relate to disability, environment, and standard of care; vocational analysis regarding transferability of skills and training; analysis of Individualized Educational plan, Service Plans, Rehabilitation Plans and Plans of care

The Rehabilitation Institute (TRI)

2002 to 2009

Administrator 2005-2009

  • Administration of Care Facility/Vocational Education training program for individuals with disabilities.
  • Formulated, implemented and evaluated organizational policies and procedures.
  • Collaboration with external agencies that support all disability groups including: State agencies, Dept. of Education, group homes and other not for profit training programs.
  • Managed five unique programs involving all disability groups; neurological, physical, emotional, psychiatric, learning, orthopedic, mental retardation and developmental disorders.
  • Managed staff of 60, population of 300.
  • Incident/occurrence reporting.
  • Developed and implemented organizational Policies & Procedures.
  • Corporate Compliance to internal and external needs.
  • Instituted staff training and professional development.
  • Human resource issues; fingerprinting, hiring, firing, training, inoculations, background checks.
  • Grant writing.
  • Strategic Planning; systems approach.

Director of Transition to Work Program 2002-2005

  • Coordinated the Transition to Work program for multiply disabled youth from fifteen to twenty-one years of age.
  • Developed, implemented and evaluated program based policies, procedures and best practices.
  • Established collaborations with external school districts, families, and students.
  • Implemented and developed Individual Educational Plans (IEP’s) with school. districts and Rehabilitation Plans and Service Plans with State agencies.
  • Provided ongoing counseling to students.
  • Formulated student handbook and code of conduct.
  • Supervised staff.
  • Developed and taught social skills, conflict resolution and life skills groups to students.

St. Peter’s Early Learning Center

Co-creator and Director

1995 to 2002

Founder of community pre-school providing programming for children from one to five years of age.

  • Established policies, procedures, and best practices to address school guidelines, health, care, safety and security issues
  • Developed curriculum, implemented, and taught early education programs.
  • Developed organizational structure of Board of Directors to oversee school.
  • Identified special needs of students and coordinated appropriate referrals to outside agencies.
  • Interacted with parents of pre-school age students on a daily basis.
  • Facilitated communication between church, school and community through monthly newsletters, fundraisers, community activities and parent/teacher meetings.
  • Wrote and implemented annual budget, payroll, and financial records. Managed and supervised teaching staff of fifteen.
  • Developed playground safety/supervision guidelines specific to environment.

In Home Day Care

Day Care Provider

1990 to 1995
  • Provided in home day care for children from birth to grade school with a staff to student ratio of 1:3.
  • Organized and implemented creative structured lesson plans.
  • Onsite and offsite premise activities.
  • Developed best practices to ensure health, safety and well being of children.

Vocational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID / OVR)

Rehabilitation Counselor

1981 to 1989

VESID is a division of the NYS Department of Education working with disabled individuals.

  • Developed liaisons with a variety of school districts, vocational training sites and colleges.
  • Provided services for individuals with physical, emotional, neurological, intellectual, psychiatric, and developmental disabilities.
  • Provided counseling regarding adjustment to disability, vocational evaluation, planning, and training, and functional assessments.
  • Formulated Individualized Rehabilitation Plans.
  • Developed on the job training sites, employer contacts and job placements.
  • Coordinated medical examinations and reviewed medical histories for eligibility purposes and vocational rehabilitation and guidance.
  • Office Specialist for individuals with Learning Disabilities and Traumatic Head Injury.
  • Coordinated with facility based programs in regard to provision of services for individuals with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy

Rehabilitation Counselor

1980 to 1981

A rehabilitation facility that provides comprehensive rehabilitation services to adult individuals with disabilities.

  • Provided rehabilitation counseling services to individuals with neurological, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.
  • Formulated Individualized Rehabilitation Plans.
  • Coordinated vocational training services.
  • Provided work adjustment training services.
  • Developed and taught social skills and life skills group.

Quality Care Agency

Home Health Care

1978 to 1980
  • Provided quality home care to aging adults and individuals with disabilities and their families.
  • Directed and implemented Activities of Daily Living Services to include bathing, dressing feeding, personal hygiene.
  • Provided individualized supervision in community integration experiences and home, facility and off site premise activities.

Professional Credentials

  • Certificate in Advanced Studies, Educational Administration; Building and District Levels, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY (SDA)
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
  • Teaching Certification, Nursery – 6th grade
  • Certified Playground Safety Inspector
  • Certified Instructor in Non Violent Physical Crisis Prevention Intervention (inactive)

Education

  • Ed.D. in Education within Foundations of Leadership & Policy Studies, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, 2012
  • M.S. in Education, Specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, 1980
  • B.S. in Elementary Education, C.W. Post College, LI University, 1979

Continuing Education

Policy Studies/Organizational Structures

  • Connecting Research, Practice, and Policy to Ensure Equity for Children Birth, November 2019
  • Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution Among Early Childhood Professionals, November 2019
  • Professionalizing our Interpersonal Relationships in the Workplace, November 2019
  • Resilient Leadership and Coaching, November 2019
  • Developing Suicide Prevention Programming and Institutional Crisis Protocols, 2017
  • JuST Response: Policy and Field Guidance on Implementing Protective Responses for Juvenile Sex Trafficking, 2017
  • Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse, 2015
  • Staff Educational Requirements for NAEYC Accreditation, 2015
  • Techniques for Engaging in Difficult Conversations with Staff, 2015
  • Applied Research in Educational Administration, September 2007
  • Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions, December 2007
  • Educational Administration, January 2007
  • School District Business Fiscal Planning & Management, July 2006
  • Educational Program Development, Delivery and Assessment, January 2006
  • Framing Problems & Making Decisions, September 2005
  • Engaging External Environments in Schools, July 2005
  • Schools as Social Organizations/Building Learning Communities in Schools, January 2005
  • Understanding Individuals within in Organizational Settings, September 2004
  • Measurement of Effective Team Performance, March 2004
  • Rehabilitation Administration – Building Team Dynamics, January 2004
  • Improving Management Skills, September 2002
  • Marketing and Public Relations, January 2002

Disability Rehabilitation

  • Autism Spectrum, Different Not Less, 2021
  • A Practitioner's Guide to Autism Assessment, 2021
  • No More Autism Meltdowns: Strategies to Deescalate Meltdowns and Reduce Anxiety, 2021
  • Sensorimotor Interventions to Improve Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Functioning: Neurological Approaches to Children with Autism, 2021
  • Early Intervention for ASD, 2021
  • The Neuroscience of Safety, 2021
  • Child-centered Approaches to Effective Autism Treatment, 2021
  • Motivational Interviewing for High-Functioning Autism in Adulthood, 2021
  • Theory of Mind: Implications for Clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2021
  • 2021 Suicide Prevention Summit, online conference by Mental Health Academy
    • Innovation in Mens Mental Health
    • A strength-based Approach to Suicide Assessment and Treatment
    • Managing Hopelessness, Helplessness and Despair with Younger Clients
    • Planning for Safety and Post-traumatic Growth
    • Perception is Everything: Stigma, Mental Health &b Suicide in Marginalized Communities
    • Rethinking Suicide: Implications for Military Personnel and Veterans
    • Contemporary Clinical Suicide Prevention
    • Creating a Suicide-safe Culture with Zero Suicide
    • Addressing Youth Depression and Suicidal Ideation in a Post Pandemic World
    • Psychosocial Interventions for Suicidal Youth and their Families
  • 2020 Suicide Prevention Summit, online conference by Mental Health Academy
    • Applicability of Zero Suicide in Diverse Settings
    • Clinicians as Suicide Loss Survivors: Postvention for Caregivers
    • Data Science, Digital Media, and Suicide Prevention: A State of the Union Address
    • Recovery-oriented Cognitive Therapy and Suicide Prevention: Uncovering the Meaning of High-risk Desires for Individuals with Serious Mental Health Conditions
    • Moving America’s Soul on Suicide: 988 and Integrated Crisis Response Services and Supports
    • The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS): Effective Procedures for using CAMS in Crisis Intervention Situations
    • Suicide in Schools: Prevention and Intervention
    • Suicide Prevention in the Age of Coronavirus: Working with Disaster-affected Clients
    • When Suicidal Thoughts Persist: Treating Chronic Ideation
    • Suicide: Why are Older “White” Men so Vulnerable?
  • A Lifetime of Survival: Social Emotional Life Skills of Survival for Young Children, November 2019
  • Using Trauma Informed Approaches to Enhance Self Awareness and Prevention Strategies, November 2019
  • Suicide and Self Mutilation, 2017
  • Counseling Girls for Depression during the Transition to Adolescence, 2017
  • Keeping Dreams Alive: Creating an LGBTQ Youth Specific Suicide Assessment Model, 2017
  • Empowerment! Promoting Self-Advocacy in Counseling with LGBTQ Clients, 2017
  • Creative Interventions for Use with Those Who Self Injure, 2017
  • Strength Centered Counseling, Bipolar Disorder, Medication Compliance, and Health Self, 2017
  • Embodied Healing: A Relational Body- Centered Approach to Trauma Counseling, 2017
  • Adolescent Self-Injurious Behavior: Analysis of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Trends, 2017
  • Working with Transition-Aged Youth with Disabilities, 2017
  • Working with Students with Disability, 2017
  • Dementia Capable Care, 2014
  • Battling Post Traumatic Stress and Suicide, 2012
  • Career Counseling for Military Personnel and Veterans with Disability, 2012
  • Adapting to Stress, 2012
  • Transforming Trauma Through Energetic Healing, 2012
  • Providing Counseling Support to Returning Veterans, 2012
  • Ethical Responses to Dangerousness; March 2012
  • Supervision of Rehabilitation Counselors; Supervising and Being Supervised Ethically; March 2012
  • Avoiding Ethical Hazards in Serving Complex Clients; March, 2011
  • Ethical Workplace Cultures in Rehabilitation, March 2011
  • Ethics and the Law in Rehabilitation, March 2011
  • Treating Masked Depression & Preventing Suicide, March 2011
  • Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Mild Head Trauma in Children, March 2010
  • Using Teens Knowledge to Improve Depression Screening, March 2010
  • Adventure Based Counseling Interventions for Children & Adolescents
  • Obesity & Disability, March 2010
  • Sexuality & Disability, March 2010 & February 2017
  • Post Secondary Counseling/Support for Students with Learning Disability and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Veterans, March 2010
  • Predictors of Attitudes toward Disability and Employment Policy Issues, March 2010
  • Caring for Alzheimer Patients, March 2010
  • Rehabilitation Counseling Ethics, March 2010
  • Strategies for Crisis Intervention Prevention, 2008, 2006
  • Awareness of Disability Conference, May 2004
  • Conflict Resolution Skill Development, March 2004

School/School Violence

  • Preventing and Intervening with Aggressive Behaviors in Young Children, November 2019
  • Impact of gender-stereotyped bullying behaviors in early years, November 2019
  • Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom: Understand, Prevent, and Respond, November 2019
  • Anger, Tantrum and Rage: Helping the Out of Control, November 2019
  • The Standard of Care for Transporting Students, March 2018
  • Bullying and the Emotional Mind: Using DBT Skills to Foster Resiliency, 2017
  • Effective Collaboration Approaches Between Assessors and Providers in Using the Environmental Rating Scales for Quality Improvement, 2015
  • Teaching Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom, 2015
  • Gender Identity in Early Childhood, 2015
  • Involving Children in the Conflict Resolution Process, 2015
  • Children Environmental Exposures in Early Care and Learning: Preventing Harm Through Emerging Initiatives and Best Practice, 2015
  • Addressing Grief and Loss with Children, 2015
  • Gender: It’s More Complicated Than We Think, 2015
  • School Response to Violence Seminars, 2010-2012
  • Improving School Climate to Eradicate Climate of Bullying- March 2011
  • School Emergency Preparedness to Violence- March 2011
  • Dating Violence among the Adolescent Population, March 2011
  • Relevance and Outcomes of Motivational Interviewing across Behavioral Problems, July 2010
  • Counselor and Educator Practices that Promote Student Resiliency, June 2010
  • Assessing Violence Risk, American Counseling Association, May 2010
  • Developmental Assets for Children, March 2010
  • Cyber Bullying & Balance, March 2010
  • Qualitative analysis in Educational Research–‘Getting & Keeping my job’- a 3 year longitudinal study of disabled secondary education youth who successfully transitioned from school to work, 2009
  • Quantitative Analysis in Educational Research – “Are They Ready?” a formative program evaluation to determine the preparedness of disabled youth in entering the job market, 2008
  • Fire/Arson in schools, 2006
  • Drug/Alcohol in schools, 2006
  • Youth, Violence + Gangs – Promoting Healthy Alternatives, November 2006
  • School Violence Prevention Intervention, 2006
  • Problem Solving Skills: Impact on Services, March 2004

Playground

  • National Recreation & Park Association Playground Safety Inspector Training, 2012
  • National Program for Playground Safety, University of Northern Iowa- Playground Safety School, August 2010
  • National Program for Playground Safety, 2010
  • Playground Supervision Training for Child Care Providers
  • Playground Supervision Training for Elementary Schools
  • Playground Maintenance for Front Line Workers

Abuse

  • Sexual Assault, 2020
  • Inside the Mind of the Trafficker, 2018
  • Sex Trafficking: Understanding and Empowering Survivors of Sexual Slavery, 2017
  • Child Physical Abuse: Crime Scene Investigation, 2017
  • Can Youth Serving Organizations Personnel be Influenced to Develop Prevention Behaviors, 2017
  • Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: Overview of the Center for Disease Control’s Technical package, 2017
  • Safety Planning With Adolescents Who Have Engaged in Sexually Abusive Behavior, 2017
  • Overcoming Barriers to Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse, 2017
  • Supervising for Safety: The Administrator’s Role in Abuse Risk Management, 2017
  • Why do Forensic Interviewers Need to Ask About Grooming Activities, 2017
  • Don’t Forget About Me: Sexual Abuse Prevention and Children with Disabilities, 2017
  • An Overview of Children with Problematic Sexual Behaviors, 2017
  • Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, January 2011

Professional Memberships

  • American Camping Association
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Professional Society on Abuse of Children
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association
  • Association for Adult Development and Aging
  • ASTM International
  • International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals
  • National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Invited Speaker/presentations

  • Perrin Conference. "Coverage and Litigation Issues Surrounding Sexual Harassment, Assault and Abuse Claims Conference," 2020
  • Broward County Justice Association, “Safety in our Playgrounds & Supervised Care Settings,” 2014
  • Perrin Conference. "Coverage and Litigation Issues Surrounding Sexual Harassment, Assault and Abuse Claims Conference," 2020
  • Broward County Justice Association, “Safety in our Playgrounds & Supervised Care Settings,” 2014
  • Florida Justice Association CLE Course, “Playground and Sports Safety and Standard of Care,” 2013
  • North Museum of Natural History and Science, Exhibits, Demonstrations, Science Fair Judge, Lectures, 2011-present
  • New London County Bar Association, Supervision and Vocational Rehabilitation, June 2010
  • Legal Support Staff of North Carolina, Understanding and Getting the Most Out of Your Expert, April 2010
  • American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, Safe Care and Supervision, January 2010
  • Lancaster Area Paralegal Association, Understanding and Getting the Most Out of Your Expert, September 2009

Publications

  • Olsen, H., Thorsen, L. (2013). Supervision on the school playground. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 7(1),85-93
  • Thorsen, L. (2012). A hop, skip and a jump; A case study examining playground safety practices and policies within a mid-sized school district. (Doctoral dissertation). Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. (ProQuest: AAT 3499395)

Policy/operations/administrative Experience

  • Developed and implemented organizational structures, policies and procedures, and risk management plans.
  • Performed employee human resource activities and issues including new hires, terminations, disciplinary actions, job descriptions, employee evaluations, orientation protocol and salary surveys.
  • Developed Corporate Compliance Plans for agency.
  • Directed and participated in Incident Review Committees to develop trends and corrective actions.
  • Investigated employee, student and client occurrences and incidents.
  • Developed conflict resolution strategies, code of conduct and orientation practices and protocols for students.
  • Managed and directed individual programs and entire agency for State and County audits.
  • Implemented agency fingerprinting policy and PPD inoculations for all staff members.
  • Developed long term strategic plans for agency.
  • Supervised staff of up to sixty exempt and non exempt employees.
  • Marketed new programs to funding sources and performed program evaluations to determine their efficacy.
  • Wrote grants to State, County and private agencies for program expansion and services.
  • Organized and facilitated fund raising activities for organizational based settings.
  • Planned and prepared budgets.
  • Oversaw construction and renovation of 39,000 square foot building involving licensure of Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability, Office of Mental Health, NYS school districts, Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities and County municipalities and zoning boards.
  • Coordinated transportation arrival and dismissal process within facility based program
  • Developed, coordinated, and supervised summer day programs for students and older adults.

Early Education Experience

  • Developed and implemented Policies and Procedures for preschool in regard to safety, supervision, health care, risk management, emergency protocols, written student evaluations, staff development, and organizational structure.
  • Director and Founder of preschool for children one to five years of age.
  • Developed curriculum for early childhood preschool for students ages one to five.
  • Developed and coordinated Summer Camp programs.
  • Taught classes for preschool children from one to five years of age.
  • Provided early detection of special needs assessments of children.
  • Evaluated program efficacy on ongoing basis.
  • Evaluated staff lesson plans and written student evaluations.
  • Supervised staff in all issues involving safety, supervision, and education of children.
  • Initiated external communication between parents, schools, community and church through open houses, conferences, early intervention meetings, fund raising activities, publications, and support services.
  • Developed Board of Directors as governing agent for the school and chaired monthly meetings for oversight.
  • Provided Home Day Care for children ages one month to five years.
  • Performed playground safety inspections in indoor and outdoor play areas in day care, pre-school, and elementary schools.
  • Investigated safety and supervisorial components of playground injuries.
  • Organized and facilitated fund raisers for not for profit setting.
  • Initiated, organized, and participated in offsite premise activities.

Secondary Education Experience

  • Developed, implemented, and evaluated policies, procedures and practices to ensure health and safety of students.
  • Initiated special education programs for Special Education at risk youth between the ages of fifteen to twenty-one.
  • Supervised teaching staff, implemented written staff evaluations, classroom observations, curriculum oversight and professional development.
  • Developed and coordinated liaisons between students, school districts, families and school.
  • Participated in interdisciplinary Committee for Special Education meetings on individual students with school districts.
  • Collaborated with school districts to develop Individualized Educational Plans for students.
  • Taught and counseled students with varying disabilities, socioeconomic status, racial and demographic diversity.
  • Developed behavioral strategies in integrating students with disabilities into the mainstream population.
  • Formulated and implemented classroom management techniques and functional behavioral assessments plans.
  • Developed individual student schedules and curriculum for vocational training and academic programs.
  • Provided ongoing counseling to students regarding adjustment to disability, social skills, life skills, sexuality issues, conflict resolution, interpersonal issues, and work adjustment skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of gang cultures, behavioral patterns, and students ‘at risk’ of involvement.
  • Advisor of teen youth group.
  • Investigated sexual abuse cases in juvenile residential facilities, school settings and employment settings.
  • Assessed the educational, vocational, and physical impact of disability of students in school and college settings.
  • Assessed and implemented environmental modifications specific to student needs.
  • Coordinated transportation arrival and dismissal process of Out of District program
  • Coordinated with Foster Care agencies for benefit of students
  • Developed and coordinated Summer Day Program to include specific Independent Living Skills for secondary education students with disabilities.

Adult Care Experience

  • Developed, implemented, and evaluated policies and procedures to ensure compliance, best practices, health, and safety to older adults.
  • Assessed environmental accommodations to assist in independent functioning and safety factors.
  • Formulated, participated in, and supervised interdisciplinary teams for comprehensive patient/resident/consumer care.
  • Performed functional assessments of individuals with acquired and congenital disabilities.
  • Assessed, developed, implemented, and evaluated Plans of Care for individuals with disabilities.
  • Supervised staff in the implementation of Care Plans.
  • Investigated fall protocols in adult day care, rehabilitation, residential and hospital settings.
  • Maintained compliance to governing agents through the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and procedures in care facilities.
  • Developed and wrote incident /occurrence reports and participated in agency internal and external incident/occurrence review committees.
  • Underwent external fiscal and program audits and implemented internal fiscal and program audits.
  • Instituted staff fingerprinting initiative for hiring procedures and maintained staff training and professional development.
  • Provided attendant care in home and hospital settings regarding activities of daily living, bathing, feeding, cooking, companionship, and community integration activities.
  • Coordinated and led group treatment sessions for psychiatric Day Treatment program
  • Provided individualized counseling for adjustment to disability.

Vocational Rehabilitation Experience

  • Worked with individuals in all disability groups from fifteen through adult including neurological impairment, psychiatric, learning and emotional disorders, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, orthopedic impairments, substance abuse, autism, Asperger’s syndrome and traumatic brain injury.
  • Performed vocational assessments of individual strengths and weaknesses of individuals with disabilities.
  • Determined transferability of skills and employability of individuals with disabilities.
  • Developed internships, mentorships, and community integration sites for students in work settings.
  • Developed job training sites, employer contacts and provided job placement for individuals with disabilities.
  • Wrote grants and developed programs for Intensive Supported Work programs.
  • Developed Individualized Rehabilitation Plans for persons with disabilities.
  • Provided vocational and rehabilitation counseling for individuals with both congenital and acquired disabilities.
  • Performed vocational rehabilitation assessments for workers compensation and private cases.
  • Provided comprehensive assessments for employability, job trends, occupational titles and job tasks.

v. 10/14/21

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