Peer Engagement Guide for Women
Trauma Survivors
Under Development by SAMHSA’s
National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC)
1
Presented by: Darby Penney and
Cathy Cave
SAMHSA’s National Center for
Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC)
Provides technical assistance to publicly
funded systems and organizations to build
awareness and promote implementation of
trauma informed systems and supports:
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Behavioral health
Criminal/juvenile justice
Homeless programs
Learning collaboratives
Gatherings of people seeking trauma support
NCTIC and Peer Leadership
Unique commitment to promote peer/survivor
leadership in trauma-informed systems change
through:
– Public education and community outreach
– Workforce Development, including Peer Specialist
Training
– Peer-developed products
– Organizational development within peer-run services
and supports
– Strategic planning for integration of peer/survivor
voice across all health and human services systems
Peer Engagement Strategies
• Continue to build dialogue and awareness
within consumer/survivor communities
about trauma and its impact
• Address trauma in the context of mental
health and substance use recovery
Peer Engagement Strategies
• Create learning communities to enhance
consumer/survivor voice and increase
knowledge
• Develop peer trauma champions at the
national/state/local levels to ensure
integration of peers in systems’ change
activities.
Why Women?
Why Now?
Peer Engagement Guide Overview
Part 1: Fundamentals:
– What is Trauma?
– Trauma-informed services and supports
– Am I a Trauma Survivor? Applying this
concept to self and others
– Introduction to Peer Support
– Gender Politics; Criminalization of
Women
– Cultural Considerations
Peer Engagement Guide Overview
Part 2. Moving Into Action
– Trauma & Peer Support relationships
– Self Awareness/Self-care
– Organizational contexts
– Trauma-informed Peer Support
Practices
– Leadership, Power, Social Action
– Trauma Across the lifespan
– Religion and Spirituality
What is Trauma?
• An external threat that overwhelms a
person’s coping resources
• May result in long-term emotional and/or
physical distress
• Normal response to extreme events
Some Sources of Trauma
• Sexual, emotional, and/or physical abuse or
neglect in childhood
• Interpersonal violence in adulthood:
– Rape, sexual assault
– Domestic violence
– Psychological, emotional, and verbal abuse
– Assault, other violent crimes (experienced or
witnessed)
Some Sources of Trauma
• Historical/generational trauma; racism,
genocide, forced immigration/migration
• Catastrophic injuries, illnesses
• Institutional abuse (including coercion)
• War
• Natural disasters
• Terrorism
Impact of Trauma
• Shatters trust, sense of safety
• Often results in feelings of shame,
guilt, rage, isolation & disconnection
Impact of Trauma
• Feelings of Powerlessness
– Loss of voice
– Loss of choice
– Not feeling safe
– Loss of control over what happens to
you
Research shows that the
vast majority of people with
psychiatric diagnoses,
substance abuse problems,
and/or criminal justice
involvement are trauma
survivors
Trauma-informed Services & Supports
• Ask “What happened to you?” NOT
“What’s wrong with you?”
• Eliminate practices that can re-traumatize
people
• Can be applied to any service setting
Trauma-informed Services & Supports
• Emphasize:
– Safety
– Choice
– Trustworthiness
– Collaboration
– Empowerment
Trauma-specific Interventions
• Designed to treat the aftermath of trauma
– EMDR
– Systematic desensitization
– Groups/curricula such as
• Seeking Safety
• TREM
Understanding Cultural Considerations
• Trauma survivors are found across all
systems
• Culture counts in what, where, and
whom is viewed as helpful
• Disparities exist
PRIMARY
dimensions
influence “who”
an individual is.
C
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C
N
U
S
L
I
T
D
U
E
R
R
A
A
L
T
I
O
N
S
English
Language
Proficiency
SECONDARY
dimensions influence
an individual’s
participation.
Family &
Extended Family
Community
Networks
Employment
Culture + History
Class
Knowledge/Experience
Income
Gender Language
Age
Economics Perceptions of
Physical Qualities
Ethnicity
Geographic
Political
Self-identification
Context
Location
Marital
Status
Education
TRAUMA
Geographic
Location
Parental
Status
Country of Origin
Race
Literacy
Sexual
Orientation
Immigration
Physical
Status
Abilities
Military
Spiritual Experience
Beliefs
Challenges
• Stereotyping
• We all have biases
• It may be difficult to see and
understand differing cultural
perspectives
Challenges
• Individual cultural identities can be
minimized in effort to create belonging
• Individual cultural identities can mistakenly
be viewed as less relevant than the shared
lived experience of surviving trauma
Cultural Views
• Culturally, people have different beliefs and
understanding:
– Cause and effect
– Justice
– Relationship to self and others
– Power
• Trauma impacts these beliefs
• What “surviving” means and how we cope
is constantly evolving
Peer Support Basics
• “Peer”: an equal, someone who has
faced similar challenges
• “Support”: encouragement, empathy,
information & assistance
Peer Support Is…
• People from diverse backgrounds who
share a common experience come
together to:
– Share their strengths
– Help each other cope and grow
– Find understanding among likeminded people
Principles of Peer Support
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•
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•
•
•
Voluntary
Reciprocal
Non-judgmental
Respectful
Direct, honest communication
Power-sharing
Mutual responsibility
Peer Support
• Not about diagnoses or symptoms
• Rooted in compassion for self & others
• Promotes growth & healing by:
– Taking action
– Building relationships among a community
of equals
Peer Support is…
• Not just structured self-help groups or
1-1 interactions
• Also:
– Education
– Advocacy
– Activities: arts, sports, cultural, etc.
– Informal support
– Internet and social media
Trauma-Informed Peer Support
• All the basic tenets of peer support are
enacted through a cultural lens
• Respects each individual’s ability to name
and make meaning of their own
experiences
• Understands the dynamics of difference
and perspectives about power and conflict
Trauma-Informed Peer Support
•Driven by survivors’ voice and choice
•Focuses on collaborative problem-solving,
mutual growth, exploration and learning
Trauma-informed Peer Support
• Sees “coping strategies,” not “symptoms”
• Focuses on building relationships, not on
controlling or eliminating behaviors
• Negotiates relationships based on mutual
needs and comfort levels
Trauma-informed Peer Support
• Appreciates strengths and capabilities
• Supports survivors’ decision-making
• Consciously avoids re-traumatization
Self-Care for Peer Supporters
Protecting your empathy
– Know the impact of trauma on your life
– Be aware of experiences, sounds, sights, smells, and
environments that are personally relevant
– Know your limits
– Proactively develop and use personal strategies
• Get and keep a life
• Have a social network
• Create down time
Let’s Hear From You
• How might the Peer Engagement Guide be
helpful to you?
• Is there something missing?
Presenter Info
•Darby Penney
• TEL: 518-729-1225; E-mail
[email protected]
•Cathy Cave
• TEL: 518-729-1261; E-mail
[email protected]