Trauma and Culture The purpose of this article is to highlight key considerations when working with psychological trauma from a cultural perspective.  Culture is a broad concept and can be difficult to pin down.  Often culture is understood as ethnicity or race, however it can involve many other facets of identity (or social locations) including and not limited to, religion, disability, and age (Brown, 2008).  Broadly, culture is considered as a system of values, norms, behaviors, language and history that …

BUILDING EMPATHY THROUGH READING By Kenzi Dirks, M.A., R.C.C.   “We really emphasize saying sorry,” a concerned foster mother said to me, “when Milo hurts someone we always make him apologize.” “How is that working?” I inquired, genuinely curious. “I don’t think he means it,” she responded. Children who have experienced complex trauma can have increased difficulty in understanding their own emotional experience (https://www.complextrauma.ca/weeping-willow-helping-traumatized-child-find-feelings/).  To empathize—get inside another’s emotional experience—can prove even more challenging. Milo’s parents were very well intentioned …

Factors that can influence the level of Care Team Functionality by David Brown I have been reflecting on my behaviour during some recent events, meetings and interactions with both colleagues and friends. I noticed with significant disappointment how often I would hesitate to say something due to my own uncertainty regarding whether, by saying it, I might look foolish, uninformed or in some way not as competent as I wanted to present myself to be. It struck me that even …

Inter-Generational Trauma by Fred Chou Sandy was a young adolescent boy that was currently in a foster care placement with two care groups; he was with his grandmother on the weekend in his own reserve and then during the week days he stayed with a foster family in his city.  He presented with behavioral issues; anger and violence which was often directed in the form of self-harming tendencies as well as periodically lashing out at those who cared for him.  …

Relationship Repair by: Dr. Kirk Austin It seemed that every time Johnny returned from visiting his mother he would have an “off day”. He had spent the last year in a foster home because his mother was unable to care for him. Her mental health and addiction issues had provided the backdrop of their relationship over the last ten years. His removal from his mother was hard for him. Despite her struggles, he cared for her. She was the only …

Yoga for Trauma by Lisa Frede Jaime sat cross legged on her new yellow yoga mat, wondering why she had ever agreed to try this. The instructor at the front of the room was addressing the class, yet Jaime’s mind was racing and she could hardly focus on what was being said – something about bringing her attention to her breath and settling into her body, whatever that meant. It was all so unfamiliar: the soft lighting, soothing music, a …