Addressing Trauma and Building Resilience

Skillshare by Jenica Wright

 Objectives of Workshop

  • Distinguish between various types of trauma and responses to trauma
  • Examine cycles of violence and other issues that occur with unhealed trauma
  • Understand trauma informed care and how to create safe spaces for trauma survivors
  • Explore ways to use trauma release exercises to help with your work
  •  Learn concrete ways to build resilience and healing in your community
  • Steps to make sure Compassion Fatigue is avoided

The training used the STAR Multi-Disciplinary Framework - It’s based on a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model

 Types of Trauma

1. Individual Traumas

                a. Acute Stress Disorder

                b. PTSD

                c. Developmental Trauma (Complex Trauma)

2. Collective Trauma – It can be single or on-going and continuous (cumulative)

Trauma can be caused by the following:

                a. Secondary or vicarious trauma

                b. Participatory trauma

                c. Dignity Violations

                d. Structural trauma

                e. Cultural trauma

                f. Historical trauma

3. Responses to Trauma include the following:

                a. Fight

                b. Flight

                c. Freeze

4. Three parts of the Brain

                a. Thinking/Rational Brain (Cerebral Cortex) – Past, Present, and Future

                b. Emotional Brain – Limbic System (First Alert)

                c. Instinctual Brain – Now/urgency

5. Trauma Experiences

-          Physiological Changes

-          Shock, injury, denial, anxiety, fear

-          Realization of loss – panic

-          Suppression of grief and fears – numbing /isolation

-          Anger and rage – spiritual meaning

-          Survivor guilt/shame/humiliation

-          Learned helplessness

-          Re-experiencing events/intrusive thoughts/avoiding reminders/hypervigilance

-          Fantasies of revenge/need for justice

6. Unhealed Trauma results in people inflicting violence against others or themselves.

7. Trauma impacts our thinking, behaving, our physical bodies, and our emotionality and spirituality

8. It’s important to NOT tell individuals experiencing “trauma” to GET OVER IT.

                a. People need spaces to heal.

9. Human beings need the following:

                a. Safety

                b. Justice

                c. Expressions of culture, identity, and values

                d. Economic resources

                e. Respect and dignity

10.  Somethings not to do:

a. Make people share their stories

b. Give simple reassurances

c. Tell people how they should be feeling

d. Tell people why you think they have suffered

e. Make promises you can’t keep

f. Criticize existing services

11. Do Promote

a. Safety

b. Calm

c. Connectedness

d. Self-Efficacy

e. Hope

  • There are ways to release trauma energy by looking at where the pain goes in your body part when you are traumatized/angry
  • You can do finger-holds
  • You can tap

12. Resilience – “the ability to bend but not break”


What are some qualities of resilient people:

a. Have a Sense of Personal Control

b. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

c. Pursue Personally Meaningful Tasks

d. Have Social Support


13. Breaking Cycles of Violence

a. Acknowledging and memorializing – this includes rituals, story-telling, acknowledging others  and their stories

b. What types of rituals help you (e.g., religious, traditional, formal, socializing, constructive)


14. Reconnection

a. It’s a process and has health benefits

b. Has health benefits

c. Freedom from power/ control of the offender

d. An act of courage

e. Is more effective with a support system


What forgiveness isn’t:


a. Condoning the offense

b. Letting go of the quest for justice

c. A mandate to maintain a harmful or abusive relationship

d. The same as reconciliation

e. Does not apply to systems


Compassion Fatigue (are you burning out?)

a. Feeling hopeless/helpless

b. A Sense you can never do enough

c. Hypervigilance

d. Diminished Creativity

e. Inability to Embrace Complexity

f. Minimizing

g. Chronic Exhaustion/Physical Problems/ Addictions

h. Inability to Listen/Deliberate Avoidance

i. Dissociative Moments

j. Sense of Persecution

k. Guilt

l. Fear

m. Anger and Cynicism

n. Inability to Empathize/ Numbing

o. An Inflated Sense of Importance


Compassion Fatigue and Self- Care (How To Not Burn out)


a. Take your emotional temperature every day-understand your body’s signals for stress

b. Pay attention to life/work balance

c. Remember you have trauma work to do also

d. Establish a support system

e. Be honest about what you can realistically do

f.  Eat well and exercise (get rid of trauma energy)