Creating trauma and resiliency informed services across diverse sectors

CORE provides consultation, training and information on how to implement trauma and resiliency informed policies and practices across sectors. CORE’s work in this area is geared toward:

  1. Promoting an understanding of trauma and the actions we can take in all sectors to promote healing and resilience.
  2. Creating trauma and resiliency informed organizations and systems.

The Neurobiology and Ecology of Stress and Trauma

Cutting-edge information is transforming our understanding of how trauma manifests in individual, families, communities and societies – and how it is transmitted inter-generationally. We now know that:

  • Trauma is preventable. We can prevent trauma from occurring or worsening by creating trauma and resiliency informed homes, schools, communities, human service systems and societies.
  • Trauma occurs in a specific context. Traumatic experiences occur in specific relational, social, cultural, political and economic contexts. This context impacts what is considered traumatic, the kinds of trauma individuals experience and how people heal.
  • Trauma impacts mind, body and spirit. New research and cross-cultural observations show how trauma impacts mind, body, spirit and relationships.
  • Trauma is not just an individual experienceWhen one person suffers the devastating impacts of trauma, we are all impacted. The larger community suffers in subtle yet powerful ways. 
  • Trauma is experienced by communities and entire societies. Mass tragedies can cause collective trauma. Community meaning-making and healing requires culturally specific approaches and attention to existing strengths and capacities for resilience.
  • Survivors can and do recover. We all have an innate resilience and capacity to heal. The most effective services and supports nurture human resilience and position survivors as experts of their own experiences and healing needs.

Vicarious Trauma and the Importance of Staff Wellness

In many human service organizations, staff members work with clients who face multiple stressors and traumas, including those associated with poverty, mental illness and social isolation. Vicarious trauma is increasingly common among staff members who are often facing their own personal stresses and traumas. Organizations can take steps to reduce the incidence of vicarious trauma among their staff and effectively provide support when it occurs. Such steps – strengthening the staff team, addressing unhealthy interpersonal dynamics, providing staff training and support, making self-care a fundamental part of the organizational culture, etc. – can prevent the effects of vicarious trauma from undermining organizational productivity and success.

Creating Trauma-informed Organizations and Systems

Organizations can absorb and perpetuate the stress and trauma that pervades modern society. Organizations that provide services to traumatized individuals, families and/or communities are particularly susceptible to becoming “traumatized systems” (Hormann & Vivian, 2005). The effects of trauma influence an organization’s identity and worldview in the same way that an individual is influenced by her/his trauma experience. CORE works with organizations to bolster their resilience and recover from the systemic and inherited aspects of trauma so they can optimize their functioning and become places of hope and transformation.