Beyond the mere understanding
Once we understand what trauma is, how it manifests itself in the brain and body, and how behaviors and relationships play out because of exposure to trauma and toxic stress…we have still only just begun the work necessary to walk through the healing journey and help build resilience. And this understanding applies not only to the trauma survivor, but to all who have interactions with family, friends, co-workers, clients, customers, neighbors, children, senior citizens, patients, and yes, even strangers. For those who are the interactor, the family member, the teacher, the co-worker, the professional, the knowledge and understanding of trauma becomes a predictor of possible reactions/aka behaviors. Because we know that behaviors are the tip of the iceberg, we also know “what is predictable is preventable”. Example: a child who comes to school irritated, agitated and yes, perhaps even disrespectful, is not going to be okay. To prevent a day full of unacceptable behaviors, a member of the school staff can “be there”, can “be caring”. They can listen, they can actually hear what someone is feeling, they don’t have to fix it…but in some ways truly listening is helping to fix, because what is “shareable is bearable”. AND, “to name it, is to tame it”. And going beyond just understanding trauma and toxic stress helps on the journey of healing and helps build resilience.