We are moving through the season of gatherings, celebrations, rituals and ceremonial practices. It’s a time throughout the year that we may see family members and old friends we don’t see often. For some of us it’s a time of remembrance and deep wounds that were never healed, so moving through this season may bring about stress. So often during this season our good intentions fall short and we find our self-responding to the present from our past.
It was a simple statement: “She’s not white, she’s light skinned.” This seemingly simple statement opened important questions, observations, and opportunity to engage with colleagues, clients and families of diverse backgrounds in deeply meaningful ways. This post shares these insights and challenges us all to address systemic practices that undermine connection, and most importantly to foster brave spaces where all voices are used, all voices are heard, and all elicit responsive action.
As understanding of Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) has moved from the world of research into the mainstream, close attention must be paid to what is meant by “ACEs” and how the they are considered within a larger social construct. Since our interpretation of information will drive our intervention, it is important to be informed consumers of data -understanding what data tells us, and what it doesn't.
In this month’s newsletter, we’ll be exploring the topic of trauma-responsiveness within residential care and treatment. Profound work is being done throughout our state and nationally that seeks to apply what we know about trauma to working with the most vulnerable in our communities. My own experience with this topic is indirect and yet it made a profound impact on my life and professional perspective.
We now have a deeper appreciation for how people react to trauma and victimization. This is good news. And the other good news is that there are over 200 programs in New York State funded by the NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) where crime victims can get assistance to go from victim to survivor to thriver. These programs offer trauma-informed services to provide victims with help, hope and healing.
Whether an organization is just getting started in change or been working at it for a long time, it can be overwhelming to see all the different terms associated with the work. Trauma-Informed, Trauma-Responsive, Trauma-Sensitive, Resilience, and Healthy Development frameworks can all be applied. Seeing and hearing all these terms can be confusing. What steps do we take? What framework is the right one to follow?
It took becoming a mom and settling into my own restless soul before I really started to see how and in what ways I could “not be like them.” Yes, throwing graduation caps in the air and building a career around using my empathy to my advantage was a part of that for me, but it’s been moments in which I am triggered as a parent and can acknowledge it, and use it that I can literally feel the breaks in the cycle. Triggers now liberate me, not trap me.
The next generation is less likely to wear predisposed shackles of trauma because as trauma-informed parents, we are re-wiring the traumatically stressed DNA that was passed down to us. Radical transformation is taking place because, using education and awareness, a generation of survivors have learned how to radically love themselves.
We are standing up, speaking out, reaching out, and lifting our children out of the generational dysfunctions that previously we felt powerless to do. The rise of the trauma-informed parent is empowering the systems that foster our recovery to re-think recovery as usual.
Welcome to the New York State Trauma-Informed Network! Our goal is to help individuals, caregivers, professionals and organizations connect with one another to help enhance trauma-responsive practice change throughout New York. This site will be dedicated to sharing quality resources, promoting events/training opportunities, and providing access to champions throughout the state engaged in these efforts. Here is a brief orientation to help you get started.