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

Who Carries the Collective Trauma of War

Although I have been studying, teaching and writing about collective trauma for many years, I had a breakthrough of understanding recently. In June, I joined a group of 150 people from 39 countries who traveled all the way to Israel to begin a deep and rich training about Collective Trauma (CT) and its impact on our social psychology.

And I learned some things I think I had to leave the country to see more clearly. Namely, the extent of the Collective Trauma of war in the US and its impact on our veterans, me being one of them. I also … 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

Navigating through these dark times and not losing our light.

Navigating through these dark times and not losing our light.

4 tips for helping you move through Collective Trauma and Social Despair back to an active engagement with life.

Collective trauma and social despair, like personal trauma and despair, can easily disconnect us from what is meaningful in our life and diminish our hope for the future. Now that the reality of the Republicans taking over the country and dismantling so many of the structures of human rights and environmental protections, we have to care for ourselves, in ways most of us have never had to, so we stay Read More