Billie Ratliff is a life-long student of human behavior, who seeks to understand the root causes of unhealthy behaviors. The thirst for this knowledge has helped Billie throughout her career as a behavioral health clinician, psychotherapist in private practice, and in healthcare leadership recognize unhealthy behavior timely to meet the individual where they are in their journey. Billie states that developing treatment teams that embrace Trauma Informed Care and delivering that model of care to individuals in crisis is the most rewarding aspect of her career.
Billie was raised in a home where expectations were high, but rules for meeting those expectations were unspoken. Her parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had from their own childhood experiences. As a byproduct of her parents’ disorganized attachment style, Billie became the “responsible child” in the home, always seeking affirmation outside of herself, and continuously questioning her self-worth. Seeking a healthier balance of behaviors and responses, in order to develop strong relational connections, Billie began to develop self-care practices reflective of her understanding of trauma-informed care.
Her interest in helping others examine the role developmental traumas played in their unhealthy behaviors lead her to seek treatment modalities outside traditional graduate training. She became certified in Body-Centered Therapy in the 1990s. Through this model, Billie was able to help clients see, and work to resolve, reactions in the physical body, which reflected unhealthy coping patterns in the mind. Essentially, Body-Centered Therapy allows a client to focus on the physical cues the body is giving to help heal, taking a break from the intellectual distractions the mind has used to cope during the traumatic event or series of events.
Even after years of personal treatment and steps toward individuation, Billie still felt unanswered questions teasing her mind, which led her to the Trauma-informed Care (TIC) training through the Colorado Professional Development Center. This course went beyond the foundational TIC trainings she had previously completed and opened a world of deep understanding of the impacts of developmental trauma, PTSD, ACEs, and attachment styles. After a lifetime of seeking personal answers and helping patients find answers, she says, “I can finally connect the dots and live my best life”. Billie’s passion for studying, teaching, and being a life-long learner is present in every aspect of her life including her relationships with her husband, children, friends, and colleagues.
Billie holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Murray State University and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Colorado. She has worked in the health care field, primarily in acute medical hospitals for 40 years. Billie has had a private psychotherapy practice, provided direct patient care as a behavioral health clinician, and has experience as a medical social worker. Currently, she is the Director of Behavioral Health for a large health care system where she leads a team of behavioral health professionals in providing “best practice care to individuals with behavioral health emergencies in an acute medical setting”. She has established a trauma-informed care model of practice with the behavioral health team she leads. Billie is a public speaker, teaches within the health care system, and has presented at state and regional conferences on the impacts of mental health challenges.
Billie is continuing her education in developmental trauma and trauma-informed care. Currently she is working on an educator certificate in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology. She is currently completing her doctorate in Behavioral Health Studies with concentration on Integrated Behavioral Health Services.
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