Our Bodies Were Not Designed To Process Social Despair and Collective Trauma Alone

Patrick Dougherty, M.A., L.P. October 16, 2018

Many of us are experiencing an overwhelming amount of collective turmoil, chaos and trauma in the world today and are feeling adrift when trying to figure out how to cope with it all. For some of us, the social fabric that held us together feels like it is being torn apart, more and more every week. Old patterns and structures of power and oppression many of us thought were dying, have shown themselves not just to be alive, but to be growing.
Certainly, most of us don’t know what to do when the … Read More

Therapist Peer Groups – The “Emotional Lifeboat – Self-care isn’t always enough

One morning, a few days after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a female client left me a voicemail just minutes before her 8 a.m. appointment. Her voice shook as she struggled to speak. An hour earlier, her son had showed her pictures on Twitter of a classmate posing with an assault rifle. The day before, this classmate had been beaten up for mocking students who cried after hearing about the Parkland attack. “I might be a little late to our appointment,” she said. “I’ve already spoken about this with the police, and I’m waiting for a call back from … Read More

Reducing the stress for those who work with personal and collective trauma

April 20, 2018
movingthroughit.org

There is no such thing as “secondary trauma” to the nervous system. We use that term to help us know that the impact of working with traumatized people can be overwhelmingly stressful and needs our attention. And when you work with groups of people suffering from any form of collective trauma, such as battered women, refugees, the homeless, those displaced by war, etc., your own nervous system can easily feel not just stressed, but traumatized.

When working with these populations it is normal at times to feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, hopeless or dissociated. These are all … Read More

Helping your Brain and Body Survive the Collective Trauma of 2017

(Originally published in thesaltcollective.org on June 13, 2017)

Already, 2017 has been an extraordinarily difficult year for liberals and progressives. In my practice as a psychologist I have talked with people who are experiencing everything from outrage to dazed disbelief. Myself, I vacillate between the two.

On the basis of these conversations I believe many of us are experiencing what psychologists call Collective Trauma. The technical definition of collective trauma is a blow to the basic tissue of social life that damages the bonds attaching people to one another and impairs the prevailing sense of community.

For the last few … Read More

Six Critical Elements of Healing

Here are 6 Critical Elements of Healing. The ritual is simple once you understand their nuances.

 

1. Connection

The primary component for helping social despair and collective trauma move through you is a meaningful connection to others. That connection can be to your loved ones, to a group or community you feel part of, to your god, to beauty, to something that is outside of you that opens your emotional heart and leaves you with a sense of connectedness. And by meaningful I mean a connection that touches your heart in a way that makes you feel … Read More

Visualization Ritual for Moving Through Social Despair and Collective Trauma

This is one simple way to help you begin to move through social despair and collective trauma. While this is written in the most direct and simple way possible, it is very nuanced, with layers of complexity, and if you use it, try to give yourself time to feel into it and try and understand it as best you can. Then please adapt it in any way that works for you.

 

Step 1: Physical Posture

Sit comfortably, drop your consciousness into your body by becoming aware of the volume of your body, your breathing and any sensations you are … Read More