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City of Philadelphia

Strength-Based (Trauma-Informed) Leadership Programs

Strength-Based (Trauma-Informed) Leadership Programs (SBTILP) is a touring, award-winning series of social skill programs that use the arts to build resiliency in children, youth, teens and families, as well as clinical and non-clinical professionals. SBTILP uses evidence-based research to build 26 core emotional competencies in support of wellness and conscious personal and group transformation.

What We Do

SBTILP engages individuals and communities in interactive, hands-on, collaborative workshops. Each workshop embodies a variety of activities, games, mindfulness processing and psychoeducational teachings. The workshops seek to enhance participants’ compassion and resiliency with the objective of bringing greater safety to all communities.

Workshop Examples

  • Conflict Resolution Theatre: Healthy conflict resolution management is used to explore problem identification, management and expression in a fun, safe and nurturing environment. The four steps to creative resolution are introduced and practiced, helping the learner transition to a leadership role. 
  • Expressive Arts: Using visual, performing and culinary arts helps participants learn to express their thoughts and feelings, inspires individual and group creativity and encourages empathy building for oneself and others. 
  • Coping Skills / Managing Stress: Participants identify the varied stressors in their world and develop a plan to reduce their own personal stress. Participants identify and practice behaviors that build a peaceful self.
Download a Full List of Workshops (PDF)

How We Work

SBTILP partners with individuals and communities in high crime, low income and under resourced Philadelphia neighborhoods. SBTILP is led by Judy Nelson, MSS, LCSW, CP, a team of graduate clinical social work students, and teen, pre-teen, and youth leaders. Many programs have teens learning and then leading the strength-based leadership conflict resolution and Conflict Resolution Theatre musical theatre workshops. The program is funded under the larger umbrella of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and collaborates with other city agencies and local organizations.

Contact Us

To learn more about Strength-Based (Trauma-Informed) Leadership Programs, contact Judy Nelson at