What I help organizations with….
If we work in any type of helping profession or activism we have all felt the hopelessness and suffering of the world. We see co-workers burnout, our own fuel tanks might be running low and we are using coping mechanisms that might not be healthy such as repressing feelings, not taking care of our own needs, or re-creating oppressive systems that we are trying to destroy. I worked in many social change organizations where we never addressed how the work we were doing was impacting us (or acknowledging that the reason many of us came to this work was because we were impacted by the issue we were working on ourselves) I saw people suffer in silence and slowly leave social change work.
Things don’t have to be this way! Trauma awareness and daily self-care can help us sustain our work and offer the best care to others. Suffering is not sustainable and we need to acknowledge how our work impacts us and organizations need to give space and resources to their employees to help them take care of themselves, the people they work with, and to make trauma informed care and self-care part of their core organizational values not only for the people they serve but for their employees.
How I work with organizations…
Workshops for employees and leadership on Trauma Awareness and Trauma Informed Care (many organizations claim to be trauma informed but do not know what that means) This can be a basic overview of what trauma informed care is and then be followed by a training on creating a trauma informed workplace implementing the basics that were learned in the first session
Self-Care workshops for employees on how to create individual self-care plans for themselves and with leadership on how to maintain an environment that prioritizes self-care and works with employee’s plans to create a workplace that cares about its employees as much as it cares for the issue they work on. At the end of the consultation each employee will have an individualized self-care plan, will understand how trauma is impacting them, the signs of compassion fatigue and practical tools they can use to take care of themselves.
Evaluation of current polices and practices through a trauma informed lens with a detailed report and implementation items provided to leadership.
Each organization has different needs so I work with each one on an individual basis. If you have questions on your specific needs please contact me for a consultation on my contact page.
Previous Workshops and Consultations:
Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) DC
Washington Peace Center
Presentation at the Pre-trial Services conference in DC
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence advocate training
East-West Center Master class for leadership training, Honolulu Hawaii
DC Youth Human Rights Summit (with the American Friends Service Committee)
NVRDC -Network for Victim Recovery DC
DCFNE - Forensic Nurses Examiners
Other topics that can be included with consultations , some specific areas of expertise I have :
Human Rights Movements
As an activist I have a lot of experience working with grassroots movements both as an organizer and a group member. I understand the dynamics of working within human rights movements and the typical complications that arise when doing human rights work. Since many activists have trauma history or have experienced trauma while they have been in the movement it is important to recognize how this trauma can manifest itself in a group and make sure it doesn't make the work they are trying to do ineffective.
I have extensive experience working with domestic violence shelters and survivors of gender-based violence. I have done organizing work and research on honor based violence and was a guest lecturer at George Washington University School of Law speaking about forced marriage. I have also acted as a trauma informed care consultant for a DC based domestic violence service provider. I currently advocate for survivor-centered practices and legislation in sexual assault response in Washington DC.
Conflict/ Post-Conflict Settings
I lived and worked in the Middle East for five years and I received both of my graduate degrees in Belfast, Northern Ireland and am very familiar with issues in conflict and post-conflict settings. I have also completed a course at the United States Institute for Peace on Trauma and Peace building. My BA was in Intercultural Religious studies.
For further information on customizing the training for your organization or group please use the contact form.
The content of the trauma awareness part of the workshop is based on :