“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it, is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” Rachel Naomi Remen Screeching tires. Smell of burnt rubber. Windows breaking and metal crunching. These are sensory triggers that may remind us of traumatic events known as direct trauma experiences.  We also can experience vicarious trauma – stress-related symptoms caused by indirect exposure to traumatic material. Vicarious trauma could be stories or experiences that our friends and families...

My African American mother, aunts and uncle lived through the Jim Crow laws and experienced racial violence throughout much of their childhood.  My Congolese father and aunts experienced the trauma of war in DRC. The recent killings have touched trauma wounds in some members of my family. I imagine that many survivors of intergenerational trauma are recalling warnings from their elders who communicated that this world is unsafe for Black people --that Black people do not really fit in American society.  The painful and harsh reality lingers as a backdrop for...

“We’re hardwired for connection.”  This is one of my favorite quotes from a shero in our field, Brené Brown. Through her work on shame and vulnerability, we are able to get a closer look at aspects of the human condition that are often overlooked. Her quote reminds me that an authentic connection with others is comforting and reaffirming. It invites a sense of security into our world…security about who we are and where we fit. Connection with others solidifies our sense of identity and belonging. We want to belong to something...