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Trauma and Diversity

Recently I was asked: If individuals have complex and intersectional identities, what special considerations around trauma treatment might you have in when working with diverse populations? 

I think in some ways, many of the skills will be transferable. The ability to simply bring myself, authentically, into session is the most transferrable skill. However, part of that skill comes with doing our work. Resmaa Menakem so beautifully articulates  “It's not that we've been lazy or insincere but we’ve focused our efforts in the wrong direction. We've tried to teach our brains to think better about race. But white body supremacy doesn't want you to think better about race. White body supremacy doesn't live in our thinking brains. It lives and breathes in our bodies.” Being on this, often painful, journey to uncover this prejudice that breathes in our bodies is part of the process of being able to then bring myself integrally into session. For me, it has been partly tied into becoming aware of how my body reacts to certain information and knowledge. When I hear words that make me reflexively constrict it is a cue that those words hold power for me and carry a message that I may not be wanting to hear… maybe they are words that I find threatening in some way, threatening to my privilege and my power that I have as a result of that privilege. It then becomes important for me to not go into Fight Flight or Freeze mode, to invite myself into gentleness, softness and then to reflect on if there is a new way I am being challenged to be or new information/truth I am being asked to take in.  

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