My approach to training and consultancy is:
- Trauma-Informed. I model trauma informed practice in her facilitation, in addition to training agencies to be trauma-informed. My work is safe and supportive for survivors of trauma.
- Focused on what you want, rather than “what’s wrong”.
- Dynamic and interactive. No one will be bored or uninterested.
- Strengths-based. I highlight what everyone brings to the table.
- Compassionate and supportive. I keep in mind that we are all dealing with struggles as human beings. We all want to be free from suffering, we all want health and happiness, we all want to be loved.
- Informed by an analysis of power and privilege. I balance having compassion with having a critical analysis of power and privilege, in order to support the liberation of those most marginalized.
- Multimodal. I integrate practices from social work, theatre, education, yoga, meditation and coaching to design and implement trainings and workshops.
- Honest and authentic. I bring up and skillfully navigate possibly difficult conversations among staff in a professional and effective way.
- Harm-reduction focused. I believe there is always a way to reduce harm, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
- Practical and skills based. We will never engage in theoretical ideas or discussion without practical application. I am committed to making all of my workshops practical and immediately applicable.
- Focused on accountability. I support agencies to create systemic practices that help us acknowledge and learn from our mistakes.
- Needs-based. I create customized trainings, workshops, retreats and assessments for the specific needs of each agency I work with. I am also able to adjust on the spot when a group has a shift in need.
- Bilingual. I can provide trainings in English or Spanish.
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What does it mean to be trauma-informed?
Being trauma-informed means creating an organizational culture that supports safety, choice, empowerment, collaboration, and education for both staff and clients. A trauma-informed agency has an effective structure and system in place for recognizing and responding to the needs of people with trauma. It also means that staff feel physically and emotionally safe, and empowered, so that they can best support themselves, clients and community members.
The Seven Components of a Trauma Informed Approach are*:
- Safety: Ensuring physical and emotional safety
- Trustworthiness: Maximizing trustworthiness, making tasks clear, maintaining appropriate boundaries and having accountability practices in place
- Choice: Prioritizing staff and client/community member choice and control
- Collaboration: Maximizing the sharing of power and decision-making with staff clients
- Empowerment: Prioritizing staff and client/community member empowerment and building skills
- Education: Staff and clients/community members understand the impact of trauma and how to respond to trauma with basic skills
- Cultural affirmation: The cultural experience of staff and clients/community members is acknowledged and affirmed when choosing intervention approaches
*Points 1-5 are from R.D. Fallot & M. Harris’s 2006 Trauma Informed Service and Self-Assessment Planning Protocol. Points 6-7 are derived from my personal work experience.