On Friday, October 19, 2018, the TAP staff participated in an innovative conference bringing together experts in the field of trauma. Rethinking Trauma Treatment: The Power of Compassion and Community was hosted jointly by the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Lesley University, both located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference offered a global outlook on trauma treatment and the importance of treatment having cultural relevance and accessibility for the populations being served. The conference revolved around the work of Susan Gitau, Ph.D. from Kenya who has been a powerful voice for traumatized and underserved populations in her country. (www.sgcfoundation.org).
The TAP presentation kicked off the conference and set the tone for lively interactive participant engagement. The presentation was a brief example of how TAP workshops are designed to follow the arc of recovery from trauma and to be sensitive to the issues most saliently experienced within each phase of recovery.
Barbara began with a guided mindfulness practice which she combined with the song and vibration of a singing bowl. This offered the opportunity for participants to locate themselves in both their inner and environmental space. The theme of becoming aware of “The Space You Occupy” was introduced. L’Merchie expanded the theme through imagery and language and a process which invited each participant to create a poetic representation of their space and, ultimately, to the space between themselves and another. Mary, as discussant, made the implicit connection to the reparative aspects of mindful awareness, creativity, the connective tissue between personal and community resiliencies and the recovery from traumatic events.
The earlier vibration of the singing bowl was soon replaced by the vibration of laughter, the sigh of recognition and exhale of acceptance.