Trauma Training-Trauma Education: Science, Hope, and Healing

Many people who experience trauma will not have lasting negative impact. Others can have ongoing challenges. Learn risk factors and ways to lessen or prevent its damaging effects.

Whether you serve people with developmental disabilities, those who expereince physcial or mental health problems, those involved int he justice or welfare systems, YOU need this training. Concepts will help you take care of yourself and avoid burnout while allowing you to have a better understanding of those you serve.

This three hour training will cover:

· What is Trauma

-Three E’s from SAMHSA

-Individual and collective

-Systemic and historical

-Different types of stress o Prevalence

· What is TIC o Four R’s from SAMHSA

-Difference between trauma specific and trauma informed

-Six SAMHSA principles of TIC

·The Science of Trauma o N.E.A.R. (neurobiology, epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and resilience)

-Toxic stress and the functions of the brain

-Organizational change

-An Introduction to the Application of TIC

-Principles of TIC, operationalized

-Emphasis on inclusivity

· An Introduction to Workforce Wellness

-Parallel process and why it’s important

-Vicarious trauma, secondary stress, burnout, vicarious resilience, and compassion satisfaction.

-Self-care versus workforce wellness.

Please note that this training can meet the Standard of Practice for Trauma Informed Care Oregon: I-Ia and III-IIIa.

I. Agency Commitment and Endorsement:

Ia.

Leadership (including administration and governance) has received information/training on trauma and trauma informed care (TIC).

III. Workforce Development

Training IIIa.

 Our agency provides to all employees access to the following content:

· What is Trauma

-Three E’s from SAMHSA

-Individual and collective

-Systemic and historical

-Different types of stress o Prevalence

· What is TIC o Four R’s from SAMHSA

-Difference between trauma specific and trauma informed

-Six SAMHSA principles of TIC

·The Science of Trauma o N.E.A.R. (neurobiology, epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and resilience)

-Toxic stress and the functions of the brain

-Organizational change

-An Introduction to the Application of TIC

-Principles of TIC, operationalized

-Emphasis on inclusivity

· An Introduction to Workforce Wellness

-Parallel process and why it’s important

-Vicarious trauma, secondary stress, burnout, vicarious resilience, and compassion satisfaction.

-Self-care versus workforce wellness.

Note:  These domains come from the SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.

I also have other training to cover the Standard IIIc-Our organization provides ongoing training and education on topics relevant to applying TIC principles (e.g., webinars, videos, events, learning collaboratives). Click here to contact me.

You may take this as an individual in a group or schedule a specific training for your organization. Click here for upcoming trauma training.

Healing trauma 2021: engage your humanity

I first heard the idea of engaging your humanity while on a Shane Safir webinar last summer. She referenced it during the agreements at the beginning. She said, “engage your humanity-children and pets welcome.” A fellow attendee expanded on the concept during breakout. She explained that engaging your humanity is the next step in self-care. It includes self-care and realizes that you, me, each of us is in the web of humanity. We are connected to one another.

Much of the trauma we experience happens at the hand of another human being. Typically we who experience trauma shut other people out as a way to protect ourselves.  Even people who use sex as a coping tool, use physical touch as a way to protect themselves from others getting close to them emotionally. We shut people out. We rely on ourselves. We don’t ask for help. We don’t want to get hurt again.

Engaging in our humanity asks us to reconsider. Reconsider, even if we have been hurt. Perhaps even reconsider because we have been hurt.

Living in America in 2021 means you have been hurt; some more than others. For our brothers and sisters of color, the oppression continues for white people who are waking up, we see the pain caused by our ancestors. We see the pain the systems have and continue to cause, that we benefit from. We have experienced pain through the collective grief of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the political system.

A call to unity is not enough. Saying sorry is not enough. I do not know what it will take, but know that accountability and restoration are needed. This blog will reflect on more on these concepts soon.

We are all tired. Bone tired. Self-care isn’t cutting it. By itself, self-care can’t cut it. Self-care rises out of individualism. One has to take care of oneself- this is true. For the most part, no one is going to take care of you. In reality no one can do it for you. 

To practice self-care and stop there is not enough. It would never be enough. To stop there leaves us on our own. To engage one’s humanity is to acknowledge that I am a part, a needed part, and yet just a part of a larger web. 

My web includes all of me-the good, the bad, the challenging, warts and all. It includes my people AND me, my humanity. My achievements and mistakes are woven into the fabric. It needs me to be well taken care of and also plugged into my web.

My self-care is important because my web needs me to be the best I can. My part of the web can be damaged by my action or inaction. My web needs me well cared for and present. 

For those of us who have experienced trauma, we are unable to engage in our humanity with healing and support. If the impacts of your trauma keep you from engaging in your humanity, I encourage you to take a huge step that will feel scary. I would ask that you seek out professional help from people trained to walk beside you while you heal. While you learn to be ok in your humanity.

For some, you may have never felt comfortable in your humanity. You may have never felt welcome there. In the place where you are you. In the place where you are safe and you are enough. I reassure you, this place exists. You may not be there now, but it does exist somewhere and there are people who can help find it.

There are trauma support groups, trauma counselors and some of this may be free.

In Oregon, you can find information at your county health department. Click here to find your county health department.

211info has trauma resources by zip code. You can search online: click her to go to https://www.211info.org/. Or you can TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211); (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

On Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists. Here you can find therapists, support groups and programs. These can be filtered by location and insurance.

If you live in Oregon and don’t have insurance, you may be eligible for a free plan that includes mental health care. Click here to find contact info for a person who can walk you through the insurance process.

Covid-19 Trauma: Long-haulers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) defines trauma-

“an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative, 2012, p. 2

Some people may wonder, is Covid-19 Pandemic trauma? Could it have lasting impact on me or my loved ones?

The answer is yes, for some it will be, if it has lasting negative effects on the person or their wellbeing. That is what we know. What we don’t know is who, how, and how much.

For some, their Covid-19 trauma is here in the form of being a long hauler.*

A long-hauler is someone whose Covid-19 symptoms go on longer than 28 days. Many continue to experience ongoing symptoms.

Adjusting to a chronic illness and disability of a condition for which few treatments exist will be just one of many challenges. If you or someone you know is a long hauler, they may find help from the collective wisdom of others with lived experience. Peer support, education, empathy and management of symptoms can help one adjust.

Many long haulers are turning to Body Politic for those three things. It is

a global network of COVID19 patients, chronic illness allies, and health and disability advocates, Body Politic breaks down barriers to patient-driven whole-person care and well-being, particularly for historically marginalized communities by facilitating peer-support, cultivating patient-led research and public education, and leading community-based advocacy.

Their resource page includes recorded webinars for handling the fatigue and cognitive issues, info on their private support group.

Click here to go to the Body Politic Resource website page.

As a person whose disability can overtake my life during flare ups, I feel for long-haulers. Learning to accept one’s limitations is difficult. Some well-meaning people share pithy platitudes and think it is support. Yes, a positive mindset can help get you through the day. However, most of us need more than a smile to face what our days might hold.

Some find identifying the feelings that pop up and managing them as needed to be a coping strategy. Sometimes people need others to help them with this, such as a family member, peer or professional. Others process theirs using mindfulness and letting the big feelings pass through.

If you haven’t yet learned about processing stress, please listen to Brene Brown and the Nagoski sisters break it down. Click here for the podcast https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emily-and-amelia-nagoski-on-burnout-and-how-to-complete-the-stress-cycle/

Episode attribution
Brown, B. (Host). (2020, October 14). Brené with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle. [Audio podcast episode]. In Unlocking Us with Brené Brown. Cadence13. https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emily-and-amelia-nagoski-on-burnout-and-how-to-complete-the-stress-cycle/

There are many other ways the Covid-19 Pandemic has and will cause trauma-homelessness, unemployment, social isolation, parenting burnout, professional burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, coupled with social inequities of the Pandemic, etc. Please seek help for yourself as needed. Here are a few resources.

Youth ERA
Empowering youth through virtual drop-in centers, and peer support via Switch and text

Youth Line
24/7 help for youth
CALL 877-968-8491  TEXT ‘teen2teen’ to 839863

The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth

Reach Out Oregon
1-833-REACH-OR or 1-833-732-2467

Lines for Life
“However you experience a crisis, it is always OK to ask for help”
800-273-8255 Suicide Lifeline

211info.org
Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211)
Email: help@211info.org

Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center
855-323-6744

Are you interested in trauma training for your organization or want to understand its impacts on you? Click here to contact me.

Are there levels of training for trauma informed care?

Yes is the short answer. Those levels are not universally recognized unless you speaking of a specific certification or degree. In Oregon, Trauma Informed Oregon’s Standards of Practice for Trauma Informed Care can help guide you in implementing it. Click here to download a copy.

There are three basic recommendations. These leave a lot of room for customization for the organization. Oregon is a state that contains both urban and rural/frontier areas. Service organizations vary by geography. In some places, county health may be the only option. More populated areas offer more choices from large clinics with a large service array that are connected to hospitals. This Standards of Practice allows each organization to use it as they need.  In addition, how these are done is up to the organization. If you need help, please click here to contact me about consulting. I would be happy to work with you to get your organization on the road to Trauma Informed Care. Remember, that this is an ongoing process. As a matter of fact,  III. IIIc addresses just this.

It is broken out into three areas- IIIa, IIIa, IIIc-

I. Agency Commitment and Endorsement:

Ia.

Leadership (including administration and governance) has received information/training on trauma and trauma informed care (TIC).

III. Workforce Development

Training IIIa.

 Our agency provides to all employees access to the following content:

· What is Trauma

-Three E’s from SAMHSA

-Individual and collective

-Systemic and historical

-Different types of stress o Prevalence

· What is TIC o Four R’s from SAMHSA

-Difference between trauma specific and trauma informed

-Six SAMHSA principles of TIC

·The Science of Trauma o N.E.A.R. (neurobiology, epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and resilience)

-Toxic stress and the functions of the brain

-Organizational change

-An Introduction to the Application of TIC

-Principles of TIC, operationalized

-Emphasis on inclusivity

· An Introduction to Workforce Wellness

-Parallel process and why it’s important

-Vicarious trauma, secondary stress, burnout, vicarious resilience, and compassion satisfaction.

-Self-care versus workforce wellness.

Note: 

These domains come from the SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.

I offer these trainings in three 90 minute trainings for $900. These can be done in one, two, or three days. Click here to contact me to talk about your organization becoming Trauma Informed.

Notice, the organization has a lot to decide. How is this provided? When? How? Does EVERYONE get this training?

IIIc.

Our organization provides ongoing training and education on topics relevant to applying TIC principles (e.g., webinars, videos, events, learning collaboratives).

Whether your organization is just beginning get trauma informed or if you are looking for an innovative way of continuing education, my offerings are sure to please.

Trauma Informed Training 2021

Training your staff in trauma today is more important than ever. Some  seek training to meet the Oregon Health Authority Trauma Training Requirement, support their team, or to better care for clients. Perhaps you are doing this for a mixture of all. Or maybe because you are part of the movement referenced by Nadine Burke Harris’ TED Talk.  If you haven’t seen it, please take 15 minutes today to watch it.

Here are a few thoughts about become trauma informed in 2021:

Learning continues

Here in Oregon we are fortunate to have Trauma Informed Oregon. Their training is a basic intro into trauma. Introduction is important to remember as there are college degrees in trauma now. One could start learning about it and never learn all there is to know.

Trainer experience matters
When choosing a trainer, consider their experience and education. I am biased in that I am a certified peer support worker (Oregon Traditional Healthcare Worker ) . As such I have lived experience.  Not only have I learned about trauma, I also know what it looks like in reality. As a peer worker, I have seen/heard a lot about what it looks like in other people’s homes as well. My training provides insight from that perspective. My dear mom always asks me why I don’t go back to school and become a counselor. I always tell her that, almost anyone can become a counselor but not everyone can become a peer.

Staff impact varies
Expect your staff to be impacted in various ways. Some may become trauma champions and want to help implement trauma informed care into your organization. Some may recognize that they are survivors of trauma and need support at some time. This could be immediate or could arise over time. Some may see this as just another training to check off. Each person’s approach and processing will differ. Plan for it. Give people time for safe reflection.

Expect shifts
For some people, learning about trauma is like a light switch going on; they are able to see things clearly that may have tripped them up before. This knowledge empowers them and is part of their healing. They may speak up in meetings and point out policies or situations in which the organization can do better. Prepare for this. Be ready to listen. Be ready to learn.

Views may shift
Each of us is plays various roles, not only in our organization but also in our families and communities. As a staff member is learning about trauma, the information filters in through the various lenses. This is referred to as Parallel Process in Trauma Informed Oregon’s Work. Staff may feel caught between what is trauma informed for the client and what the organization needs.  As your organization becomes more trauma informed, this is less pronounced.

Click here to contact me about training your staff today.

LGBTQ+ Youth and Family Support in 2021

Hello friends; wishing each of you a good 2021! As I consider 2020, I am overcome with gratitude for your support and partnership.

The year started with getting to be the keynote speaker at FACTOregon Regional Learning Summits teaching about Resilience. Going around the state and meeting so many parent advocates was inspiring.

Sharing about trauma and resilience with The Arc Oregon was a highlight of the summer.

Working on the LGBTQ+ Youth Support Project with Matthew was fun and rewarding. They and I would love to support families and youth in your area. We are open to leading additional workshops for parents and community members who are interested in learning how to support the LGBTQ+ youth in their communities. We have a Resource Fair ready to go and would love to host a Learning Collaborative.

Click here to contact Shauna

In an effort to continue the work, I am assisting Fierce Families as they are starting up a volunteer parent peer network for transgender families. In their own words, “We are a network of families who cherish our transgender children, grandchildren, and other family members. We advocate for our loved ones with the collective strength of an ever-growing network of families from every corner of Oregon.” The work is needed and exciting!

Click here to learn more about Fierce Families

Working with the Central Oregon Support Network to provide Wellness Wednesdays and Youth Mental Health First Aid provided a bright spot in a difficult fall. Thanks to Dianna, Jenny, Yecina, Becky, and Melissa for sharing their expertise and passion for families. You can follow Melissa on Instagram at Click here for Inspired Boldness. Video recordings are available at https://www.codsn.org/codsn-recorded-webinars.html.

We know there will be challenges. We know that we are strong. Stay connected, take care. Process the stress as it comes. Know that you are enough. You are not alone.

Refill your reservoir

September 2020 has been intense. After a challenging year, this last month found many of us on the west coast isolated inside or even to a single room to avoid hazardous air for a week. Like many, I found my resilience reservoir tapped out. Multiple rounds of focused breathing did not loosen the tightness in my core. Overwhelmed by unrelenting politics and news, systemic racism and oppression, Covid-19 fatigue, and loss of life and property due to fires; I had nothing more to give. I needed to get grounded with nature; let my body touch the wild.  I set off with a small pack and some protective covering for the rain. 

Watching the river muddy from showers and glacial melt tumble over rocks, I sat on a cold boulder. The brown water danced over the rapids and reminded me of the danger of the raging river. I was also aware of the breath still constricted weeks after the smoke cleared. The knot between my ribs holding tight, the part of me stuck in the anxious and fearful past.

Respecting the boundaries of the swollen river, I moved to higher ground. Atop a sandy knoll was a bent tree covered in moss, the perfect place to rest a weary  body and soul. I lay on my back looking up.  The sun poked through the tree canopy as the rain fell. Water collected and then dropped into my mouth off my rain protective cover. I laughed out loud when the first drop surprised my tongue. The delight of cool water was an unexpected gift from the heavens.

The sun shone as the rain fell and brought to mind another memory of sunlit rain many years ago. After a few hours of uphill climbing up Handies Peak, my body was tired from the effort and short of breath from the altitude. Suddenly sunlight blinded my eyes and rain soaked my body; the beauty of being on top of a mountain and beholding the bright sun and clean rain is emblazoned in my memory.

Here I was many years later, mesmerized by the sun and the rain again.  I had come though another arduous time and knew nature would sooth my utter weariness.  I went to the wild, knowing that somehow, my reservoir would be filled.

I breathed. I laid. I waited. I would stay all day. Cool water drops fell one by one into my mouth refreshing and grounding me. A bird with a white tail landed on a branch several trees away. It jumped from branch to branch until it looked down on me. Eventually it flew away.

The softness of the moss and perfect curve of the tree cradled my head and back. I was so grateful for the comfort of the earth and being held.

Bit by bit the knot went away. The bound up feeling in under my ribs somehow slowly let go. Eventually I was ready to move on. It was a gift. Feeling refreshed inside and out, I thanked the tree and the bird and the forest and walked out, my reservoir filled again.

The poet Wendell Berry spoke of a similar experience

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wildfires and Resilience

Growing up in dry southern Oregon, I spent many hot Augusts and Septembers with smoky skies and red suns. My step father managed land that was afflicted by fire every year. We hardly saw him during fire season due to his long days and nights. People lost homes, livelihoods and even sometimes, their lives.

When I grew up, my family moved up to the Portland area in 2000. I forgot about fire season except for the occasional news report until 2017 during the Eagle Creek Fire. We live at the mouth of the Columbia Gorge with the strong East Wind. Those winds moved the fire 20 miles in a day. Our town was put on Level 1. Here are what the levels mean:

I remember making the phone call to ask my out of state if there was anything she wanted me to pack, that she didn’t want to lose.  All my family and friends were worried yet I was calm. Walking through the house and realizing how little I cared about taking was eye-opening.

Fire Evacuation Level 1 Be ready Monitor the news. Pack a Go Bag.

Fire Evacuation Level 2 Be set to go at a moment’s notice. Or go now.

Fire Evacuation Level 3 GO! Leave immediately.

Thankfully the wind slowed. The fire was eventually contained. There was permanent damage and yet we were thankful. Some trails and areas are still closed and may never open. Driving out I-84 along the Columbia River the first time after the fire was emotional. Sight of standing charred trees and downed burnt logs brought tears to my eyes. Gratitude for the many firefighters who had toiled dangerously to save this beautiful place filled my heart.

Today the resilience of the flora is seen. Only a few areas were completely burned. Many trees caught fire but didn’t die. Plants and trees are growing again out of the black ground. Fireweed is among the first plants to grow after a fire. A dear friend taught me to make tea out of its flowers and leaves this year.

That same mixture of sadness and gratitude fills me today when I look online at the many friends and family from around the state who are on Levels 3, 2 and 1. I realize how my loved ones felt when they were waiting for word that my family and home would be ok.

I am concerned for people’s safety, property, livelihoods and mental health. Knowing what is going on in your area  is important for the first three. Staying tuned to local radio or getting alerts is critical. As far as so. If you must, please practice self-care afterwards. Simple things like deep breaths, drinks of water through a straw or hugs (self-hugs are great too).

If you have children and are impacted by the wildfires, tell them what they need to know in a way they can understand. Try to keep a loose structure to your day. Remember during 9-11, children thought their communities were in danger because of constant replaying of buildings falling on the news. Children may get the idea that the fires are everywhere and uncontrollable if all they see are fire related images and stories.

Click here for a great resource for how to support your child before, during and after a wildfire.

Click here for an App called Help Kids Cope. It “helps parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them throughout.”

Click here for information about preparing for a wildfire

Dear friends, know what is going on in your area. Stay safe. As much as you can, limit your stress and protect your children from its harmful effects.  The winds will slow. The fires will eventually be contained. Resilience will rise again.

https://www.ready.gov/wildfires

LGBTQ+ Youth Support Project

Central Oregon Disability Support Network, Matthew Dawson and I are teaming up to support young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer LGBTQ+ or are questioning their sexuality and gender.

Through online learning opportunities rural people under the age of 26* will connect with others like themselves to talk about finding their people and explore real time stress management activities. The first 50 to register will get a free self-care kit. Parents and the community will be invited to a meeting in which they learn how they can help the LGBTQ young people in their lives.  The series will end with an online resource fair.

Matthew Dawson (they/them) is a recent college graduate focusing their studies on neuroscience.

“Early in my life it became apparent that typical gender roles just weren’t for me. Although full of bumps and turns, my path led to a supportive and understanding community around me.”

Their degree in neuroscience allows for a deeper comprehension of the importance of brain states and how trauma can be held in the body. Matthew is particularly excited about connecting with LGBTQ+ youth and listening to their stories.

I grew up in rural towns. Living in small towns can magnify the feelings of being accepted or rejected because differences are more visible in a tight knit community.  Both of my children now identify as queer. When my daughter first came out, stigma was the basis of what I knew about LGBTQ issues. All I had ever wanted was for my children to be safe, healthy, happy and connected to family. Their sexuality/gender did not affect that. I am grateful for those who shared with me so I could care for my kids in the way they needed. I look forward to working with the young people and parents alike.

Youth
Trainings October 13 and 27, 2020 6-7:30 PM

Parent/Community Member Meeting October 19, 2020 6:00-7:00 PM

LBGTQ+ Resource Fair October 22, 2020 12:00-1:00 pm

Download flyer

Join us and spread the word!

**All ages are welcome