Success: Our First Trauma-Informed Conference!
We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support we have received about our conference from those who attended!
We had over 50 people attend our First Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO; people even came from out of state! It was incredible to witness a room full of social workers, art therapists, yoga teachers, counselors, elementary school teachers, massage therapists, students, and many other human service providers looking to learn about how to provide a holistic and integrative approach to trauma-informed care.
Here’s what a few of our attendees had to say about their experience:
"The way that Integrate Trauma Informed Network organized this conference with no agenda from an institution is so inspiring. Your conference was truly created by people and for people. "
― Chris Diekman, OTR Occupational Therapist, Children's Wellness Center, St. Louis, MO
"All I can say is WOW! The conference was short and jam packed with a variety of providers highlighting a variety of tools for supporting individuals with trauma. I learned so much and am looking forward to putting new ideas into practice. I definitely look forward to participating again next year. Thanks!"
― Maura Marksteiner, MT-BC, Music Therapist, St. Louis, Mo
"I have to say, this was one of the greatest classes that I could have ever chosen to take. I am so thankful that you all decided to put something like this together because what I learned there is no price that can be placed on it. I will most certainly be aiming to come back next year."
― Jessica Marie of Jessafer Marie Art
The energy the room at the conference that day was just beautiful. It was inspiring to be in a room full of human service providers who wanted to learn about how to embed a holistic trauma-informed practice into their professional practice and to learn about trauma healing modalities, such as trauma informed yoga, somatic experiencing, EMDR, Art Therapy, trauma-informed mindfulness, and more.
The collaborations between Sher Nicholson and Natalie Coriell, Julie Johnson and Candice Cox, Victoria Emanuela and Carrie Burnett was a heartening reflection of SAMHA's 6 Principles of Trauma Informed Care acted out among the professionals presenting (p.s. Integrate Network has adopted SAMSHA's 6 Guiding Principals of Trauma-Informed Care into the way we work together among one another).
SAMSHA's 6 Principals of Trauma Informed Care are as follows:
Trustworthiness and Transparency
Peer Support and Mutual Help
Collaboration and Mutuality (decrease power dynamics)
Empowerment, Voice, Choice
Cultural, Historic and Gender Issues
In the planning process for this conference each and every one of us had to really work as a team to come up with the best way to present this information in a way that spoke the language of all human service providers across racial, gender, and socio-economic lines.
It was especially importing to flesh out SAMSHA's 6 Principal's of Trauma-Informed Care when discussing mindfulness based practices, which lead Victoria and Carrie to creating The 6 Principles of Trauma-Informed Mindfulness, and they include (copyright):
Empowerment versus shame (language, motivation, etc)
Individualized practices and acknowledging the window of tolerance
Spiritual bypass and avoiding the culture of dissociation
Radical autonomy (curiosity over giving the answers)
Healthy power differential
These principles were a hit to the audience and provided a much needed foundation in trauma-informned healing in the mindfulness community. Their approach was to show that mindfulness is a wide and diverse practice that many survivors seek, thus it should be held to trauma-informed standards because mindfulness is a people-informed practice, and anything that is people-informed, must be trauma-informed too. It is because these concepts are not mutually exclusive that we look forward to pushing the confines of how accessible mindfulness based practices truly are.
It's safe to say that our experience this year has made us incredibly excited for what's to come at our second annual conference next year! We're discussing whether or not we will have it in St. Louis again or be ready for Oakland, California (where Victoria is expanding the network). Regardless of where we end up, our very first conference will always have a special place in our hearts. Thank you for your support and investment in our mission to providing this country safer resources on trauma-informed care; you are such a crucial part of our cause.
With deep gratitude,
Julie Johnson & Victoria Emanuela
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa