Dr. William Steele
Dr. Bill Steele

Dr. Steele’s experiences in the field of grief and trauma date back to the 1970’s when he was the director of the only 24-hour walk- in crisis center in the county that provided short-term crisis intervention for those whose lives unraveled, were shaken by significant emotional and physical losses or terrified by incidents we would refer to today as trauma inducing. In 1980 he published Preventing Teen Suicide, which led to requests from schools from across the country for training.  Dr. Steele wrote the first article on preventing teen suicide published by USA Today in 1985. His experiences with non-fatal attempters and survivors of suicide was acknowledged in 1986 when the Michigan Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Dr. Steele’s production of Preventing Teen Suicide a Michigan Emmy. In the mid-80s he also began assisting survivors of homicide. His production of Where Have All The Children Gone, which focused on childhood violence, was nominated in 1987 for Outstanding Program Achievement by the Academy.


Always a practitioner and passionate about bringing practitioners interventions he found helpful for survivors, led to his founding of the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) in 1990. In 1997 he initiated a trauma and loss certification program. Today over 6,000 TLC Certified Trauma Specialists and Consultants, that Dr. Steele personally trained, are using TLC’s published evidence-based intervention programs in 55 countries. These interventions are now registered as evidence-based programs with the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) Registry of Evidence Based Practices. 


Trauma In Schools and Communities: Recovery Lessons from Survivors and Responders (New York, Routledge), Working with Grieving and Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Discovering What Matters Most Through Evidence-Based, Sensory Interventions (New Jersey, Wiley) and Trauma Informed Practices With Children and Adolescents(NY, Routledge), his three most recent publications, reflect his knowledge and expertise. His work has been featured in such books as Understanding Mass Violence, Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children, Critical Incidents in Counseling Children, Clinical Handbook of Art Therapy and in varied journals including, National Social Sciences Journal, School Social Work Journal, Journal of Residential Treatment for Children and Youth and Child and Family. (See Publications for more information)

Additional Training and Leadership Experiences


  • Trained over 70,000 professionals in agencies and schools in the area of crisis intervention, suicide assessment, prevention and intervention, violence prevention, grief, evidence-based trauma intervention, trauma recovery, trauma response teams, practices to enhance learning and regulation of behaviors of anxious/traumatized students.
  • Consulted with over 500 school districts related to suicide, violent death of students and staff, accidental death and other trauma- inducing incidents impacting students and staff.
  • Assisted survivors and professionals following such tragic and traumatic incidents as the Gulf War, the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma, 9/11 in New York and Washington D.C., Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the 2009 killing of teachers while in their schools and in the presence of students, far too many suicides of school aged children and teens and the daily trauma children experience that never receives national media attention. 
  • Published twenty instructional manuals and resource books for practitioners working with grieving and traumatized children and adolescents currently in use by TLC Certified Trauma Specialists. 
  • Created, organized and managed the marketing, publications, consultation and training and growth of TLC for 23 years. 
  • Other executive leadership positions included Executive Director of Children’s Home of Detroit (2.5 years); Director of Community Services, New Center CMH (9 years); Clinical Director of Emergency Telephone Services/Suicide Prevention Center of Wayne County, Michigan (4 years) and Director of Northeast Guidance Center Outpatient Unit and 24 hour Walk In Crisis Center (8 years).