Conference Videos

Fostering Resilience in Trauma Work by Eileen A. Dombo

Research shows that there are expected and normal reactions to working with individuals, families, and communities who have experienced trauma. There are clear bio-psycho-social-spiritual costs of the work, as well as real interpersonal consequences on the worker, if left unaddressed. All professionals responsible for the ethical treatment of those who seek help have a responsibility to address the impact of our work so that we may continue to stay empathically attuned to clients. The goal of this workshop is to raise awareness of the impact of work on professionals. Attendees will gain insight into the effects of the work personally and professionally, and create strategies to maintain resilience for optimal effectiveness in their work.



Armor Up! The StrongBlackWoman as a Response to Cultural Trauma by Chanequa Walker-Barnes

It has been 100 years since Black (and overwhelmingly Christian) clubwomen crafted and disseminated the ideology of the StrongBlackWoman as the defense against racist and sexist stereotypes. In recent years, however, there is growing critique of this cultural identity as Black women have recognized its deleterious impact upon their health and well-being. These critiques have often overlooked an important dimension of the StrongBlackWoman, namely that it is a racial-gender specific response to trauma, hardship, and loss that has both adaptive and maladaptive elements. This lecture, therefore, offers a trauma-informed perspective on what it means to move toward wholeness for StrongBlackWomen.

The Impact of Gender-Based Trauma and the Role of Mindfulness-Based Interventions by Mary Ann Dutton

This presentation will focus on trauma in the form of sexual and physical violence and abuse as experienced by girls and women, as well as boys and young men. Scientific study and clinical observation have helped us to understand the impact of trauma on the mind and body; on one’s sense of Self, others, and the world; and on the Spirit. There is an array of approaches to healing trauma and this presentation will focus specifically on mindfulness-based interventions as an integrative treatment approach. We’ll examine the rationale for mindfulness with trauma, review empirical evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness approaches, and take a closer look at some components of mindfulness-based interventions.

Punishing and Compassionate: Biblical Images of God Engaged as Resilience Narratives in Safe Liturgical Spaces by Christopher G. Frechette

Employing insights from the study of trauma and resilience to interpret biblical images of God can open avenues for using those images to inform contemporary liturgical practice that supports resilience. Resilience here involves a dynamic, interactive, and ambivalent process that enables people to cope with psychological crises dominated by clashing understandings of self and world. Texts and images function as resilience narratives when they help to interpret the crisis by symbolizing meaning and organizing experience in ways that support endurance and wellbeing. Psychological crises, including trauma, can cause people to experience barriers, often hidden from awareness, to believing deeply the good news witnessed throughout the Bible. Such barriers can include toxic assumptions about themselves and the world that compromise their ability to relate well to God, to themselves, and to others. This presentation will explore how a symbolic program that combines some images of God as angry and punishing, along with others of God as compassionate and forgiving, can help to diminish such barriers. Their capacity to address diverse needs within survivors of psychological crises enables such images to do this. The presentation will also consider how to apply these insights today in constructing safe liturgical spaces that support resilience.