Trainings and Workshops

Creative Expression

Healing Trauma through Storytelling and Performance
The one-day workshop is designed to help trauma survivors to find their voice on the stage. Topics to be explored include: your storytelling personality; elements of compelling storytelling; trauma disclosure: what to think about and what to expect; comic relief: when and why to include humor in your story; performance tips, tricks, and techniques; coping with "stage fright;" “vulnerability hangovers” and how to deal with them; and promoting social change with your story.

Suggested audience: survivors of childhood and/or adult trauma (disclosure not required). All levels of experience welcome.

Re/Write the Story: Becoming the Author of Your Own Journey
This one-day workshop is designed to help people who are survivors of trauma to find their voice on the page. Through a series of interactive discussion and writing exercises, participants will examine what it means to reclaim one's voice; what forms of writing are most effective in healing from traumatic experiences; and how to integrate the body in the writing process through gentle yoga and movement. We will explore poetry and prose by other trauma survivors as a springboard for discussion of craft, voice, disclosure, and "what is left unsaid." 

Suggested audience: survivors of childhood and/or adult trauma (disclosure not required). All levels of experience welcome.

Writing Down the Body: Mind-Body Skills for Writers and Survivors
International trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk notes that for trauma survivors, "physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past." This one-day workshop is designed for anyone who has survived trauma or loss and wishes to explore it through the written word, while remaining grounded in physical self-awareness. Through a series of writing prompts, breathing exercises, and mind-body skill-building exercises, participants will notice how writing and memory impact the body and vice-versa. Together, we will explore what it means to be an "embodied writer."

Suggested audience: survivors of childhood and/or adult trauma (disclosure not required). All levels of experience welcome.

Thriving as a "Highly Sensitive Person" or Empath
Do you sometimes struggle with being overwhelmed by life? Are you especially sensitive to your environment, including external stimuli like loud noises or bright lights? Do you tend to "take on" the emotions of people around you? Do complete strangers tend to open up to you? This interactive workshop will discuss the relationship between trauma, "sensitivity," and empathy; the differences between HSPs and Empaths; and concrete mind-body-spirit strategies, meditations, and visualizations to increase our sense of control, safety, and comfort in a variety of life situations. 

Suggested audience: survivors of childhood and/or adult trauma (disclosure not required).

Parenting as a Trauma Survivor Becoming a parent is one of the most powerful transitions in a person's life. Parents are often fraught with insecurities or worries about "not doing it right," but these feelings are magnified when one is a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse and may have no role models for positive parenting. This workshop will allow parents who are trauma survivors to process and explore some of those feelings and fears in a safe space using group discussion, writing, and mindful movement. Parents will learn strategies for self-soothing that they can use themselves (and teach to their children!) including breathing techniques, affirmations, and visualization/imagery for processing painful emotions.

Suggested audience: parents who are survivors of childhood and adult trauma, community programs, social service agencies serving families

Trauma-Informed Leadership

Trauma-Informed Leadership Institute (TIL) 
Day 1 - Fundamentals of Trauma-Informed Leadership
This interactive training applies the principles of trauma-informed approaches to leadership development. Topics to be covered include creating a sense of safety within your group or organization; collaborative approaches to leadership; how to recognize and respond to internalized oppression; power, privilege, and leadership; and gender/cultural awareness.

Suggested audience: people working in peer support or community health worker programs, community activists, service providers, and students.

Day 2 (optional): Storytelling for social change
Leadership requires effective storytelling skills. In this training, participants will learn the fundamentals of storytelling; how to craft a compelling message; knowing your audience; and inspiring social change. Participants will be guided through a story-crafting process and will leave the workshop with an outline for a spoken or written personal story which can be used to raise awareness or influence decision-makers.

Suggested audience: people working in peer support or community health worker programs, community activists, service providers, and students.

Healing Modalities

Incorporating Trauma-Healing Practices into Your Program/Organization
One day training

In many social service programs, people using services as well as people providing services may be survivors of trauma. This fun and highly interactive workshop will take you through a series of experiential practices that you might offer or consider providing community linkages to. These include: expressive movement, mindfulness practices, breathing techniques, mind-body skill building, poetry/spoken word, and storytelling circles/ciphers.

Suggested audience: social service agencies, peer-run programs, community programs, non-profits

Suicide Prevention

Creating a Suicide Attempt Survivor Speakers’ Bureau - two days
In recent years, people who have been suicidal are speaking out about their experiences and calling for change in the way we collectively understand and respond to suicide. There are special public health implications to consider when forming a speakers’ bureau to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. This workshop will guide people who have been suicidal throughout the process of crafting a 7-12 minute story, using best practice messaging recommendations from the research.

Suggested audience: social service agencies, peer-run programs, community programs, suicide prevention nonprofits

Trauma-Informed Suicide Prevention
Half or one day training
We now know that childhood and adult trauma substantially increase the risk of suicide for youth and adults. Yet current suicide prevention, intervention, and follow-up practices don’t often take this into account. This training will discuss the principles of trauma-informed care and how they might be applied to suicide prevention efforts.

Suggested audience: social service agencies, peer-run programs, community programs, suicide prevention coalitions or nonprofits