Julie Kurtz, Founder and CEO

Center for Optimal Brain Integration®

Julie Kurtz is an author, national speaker and expert consulting and training internationally on trauma-responsive and resilience building strategies. She has over 30 years of experience working with youth, adults and families who have experienced trauma and toxic stress.

She is a co-author of:

  1. Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children

  2. Culturally Responsive Self-Care Practices for Early Childhood Educators

  3. Trauma Informed Practices for Early Childhood Leaders: Creating and Sustaining Healing and Engaged Organizations 

  4. Trauma-Responsive Family Engagement in Early Childhood: Practices for Equity and Resilience 

  5. Understanding My Brain: Becoming Human(E)! (Ages 5-10)

Julie Kurtz is the creator of the phone/tablet Application (APP) Trigger Stop: Sensory and Emotional Check-In designed specifically for children ages 3-8 years to promote sensory and emotional literacy and to support self-regulation.


In 2011, she was named as one of the most 100 Influential Women of Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.


Julie has provided over 20 keynotes and thousands of trauma-responsive and resilience building trainings for individuals and organizations from small to large across the nation.

Julie is also a licensed marriage family therapist providing counseling and consulting services throughout the Bay Area and California.


"I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the information, energy, and passion you brought to our leadership team meeting this past Wednesday at the County Office of Education. Your topic is SO important for all of us to be aware of! The numbers of us impacted by traumatic experiences is simply staggering. Your presentation was very powerful and highlighted the importance of us needing to educate ourselves around trauma-informed care. As someone who has worked in the field of Early Learning Special Education for the past 20 years (and a big proponent of the Teaching Pyramid!), I thank you and salute you for the important work you have been doing to elevate all of us! Keep talking and spreading your message! THANK YOU!!!!!" - Director, Head Start 

"When a child is having a meltdown, uncontrollably crying or screaming I would in the past say “When you’re ready to talk I will be over there” and then I would go about being with the other children. I did not want to “encourage this behavior to get attention.”  Now after taking your trauma-responsive and resilience building training I say “You are feeling big emotions. I am here. You are safe.” And then rub their back if they welcome it or just be with them. I have found when another child needs me they will come over and whisper their question or sit with us. I worried before that the other children would feel neglected when I gave attention to the dysregulated child. I have found over the last 3 months that the other children seem to appreciate that I’m giving my time and attention to the child that needs me and they know I am there for them too." - Kathryn Clark Silveira - CARE4EM


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