I have decided that to understand trauma and toxic stress, i.e. the effects of trauma and how it settles in the body and the brain, a dialog about the principles of trauma is vital. The understanding of what trauma is and where it settles within a person; how to recognize and respond to the signs of trauma is crucial for the lay person. And in order to understand this subject on a very human level, which can easily be very personal to many people, we need to talk. We don’t need to just be handed tools or handouts of an educational nature. We need a space to learn AND process the information. And I can help. Yes, I can talk with groups of church people, non-profit board members, attorneys, mentors, peer counselors, parents, etc. The definition of trauma is NOT only for the professionals; the understanding of the experience of trauma and effects are NOT only for professionals, the how to’s of creating trauma informed spaces are NOT only for professionals…it is for everyone and anyone, who has experienced life and interacts with others. The understanding that leads to acceptance and not judgment, that leads to connection, not dismissal. These are the reasons for dialog about trauma and not simply learning without processing. It’s about waking to the understanding of what many have gone through and equally important, how we as individuals and as a community can intervene to help build resilience in children, young adults, and yes, even full grown adults. It is the understanding of how we can let people know that their safety matters, their voice matters, their choices matter, their needs matter…they matter.