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Trauma Informed education: Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Biology, Brain, and Behavior

In this workshop, I aim to educate individuals on being trauma-informed, which means taking into account the biology, brain, and nervous system of a person or group when considering their experiences. This includes understanding their background, cultural influences, intergenerational trauma, and recognizing signs of trauma in their behavior and nervous system responses. You will also learn to recognize in a person Adverse Childhood Experiences (the ACE study). The trauma-informed approach is to stop asking ‘What’s wrong with you’, and instead ask, ‘What happened in your life?’ with a focus on creating safe experiences for people instead of harsh punitive experiences to allow for regulation of the nervous system, repair, healing, resolution, and rehabilitation instead of retraumatization.

Understanding the impact of trauma is crucial because it changes the brain, nervous system, and behavior of an individual. Trauma survivors often operate from a place of survival physiology, triggering fight, flight, or freeze responses before they can engage their rational logical brain to choose to respond appropriately. This impacts relationships, daily life, goals, work, school, healthcare, and engaging in matters of the law. It is my belief that if everyone were trauma-informed, there would be more compassion in all areas of society, leading to healthier relationships and a greater capacity to hold space for differences without internalizing or harshly judging behaviors. The holistic understanding of how trauma changes biology has the power to change the world. 

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