Understanding Trauma: Theirs & Ours
It's important to understand what trauma is, how it impacts the brain, body & nervous system, and how it shows up in our lives. It's also important to have a few tools to help relieve the symptoms of trauma when they show up for us or for those we serve.
We are currently experiencing a surge in awareness of the impacts of trauma. Mostly awareness in relation to how trauma impacts behavior or burn-out, and mostly in relation to "others" (youth, students, employees, etc.).
Recently I had the opportunity to share some of this information at a conference for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth (NAEHCY), a conference for those of us who serve homeless youth in schools. We're often called McKinney-Vento Liaisons because the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is the legal guidance for keeping youth engaged and enrolled in schools nation-wide.
"...by tapping into our own trauma
and seeking ways to integrate it into our lives
in a more regulated way, we're better able to help
those we serve in a more sustainable way."
One of the points I wanted to drive home is that we cannot understand the trauma of others without first understanding how it shows up for us. What I find is it's always easier to see and be concerned about the trauma in another person's life before we can see or be concerned about the trauma in our own lives. It just makes sense that this is where we go first, especially as healers & helpers. But if we're being really honest with ourselves, we realize that by tapping into our own trauma and seeking ways to integrate it into our lives in a more regulated way, we're better able to help those we serve in a more sustainable way.
At the conference, I shared a presentation titled: Understanding Trauma: Theirs and Ours. It was my intention to create a space where we can talk about trauma in a way that doesn't separate us into "healer & person in need of healing" but reveals that we're not that different and in order to heal we must work together.
So I'm sharing this presentation with you. I'd love to know what you think about the information and the topic in more global terms. We often seek to heal OTHERS from trauma without too much awareness of our own healing needs until it's too late...and we've reached burn-out. By keeping this awareness of our collective need for healing together, maybe we can begin to create more sustainable and healthy systems in which to do this healing work.
Namaste & Solidarity,