Understanding Trauma: How Do We Strengthen Resilience?

Students will learn the different levels of trauma and how a traumatic event affects the brain and body. Practitioners will also learn how to recognize trauma-affected behavior and how to apply the appropriate tools and approaches with these populations. Individual and team resilience is critical in conflict environments in order to prevent secondary trauma and compassion fatigue. Self-care strategies will also be taught.

Photo Credit: New York Times
Instructor: 
Nina Sughrue

Trauma affects the mind, body, and spirit of individuals, families, communities, and nations. It contributes to the cycle of violence around the world. Practitioners working in conflict zones need a high degree of trauma awareness, a "trauma lens”, to work effectively in these challenging, fluid environments. Understanding the micro- and macro-levels of trauma is required for all professionals working in conflict zones.

Participants will learn how the brain responds to a traumatic event and how these reactions manifest themselves in the body and behavior. Participants will also learn how to apply the appropriate strategies when working with trauma-affected populations to become more effective practitioners.

Additionally, practitioners need to be mindful of their own resilience when working in these physically and emotionally challenging environments. Participants will learn self-care strategies in order to build individual and team resilience.

I think that the issues discussed in the course should be mandatory for all NGOs and human rights organizations that work with victims/survivors of atrocities, violence, and abuses. The combination of theory, case and practices, as well as the exercises to put ideas and practice, was good. The class surpassed my expectations and inspired me to learn more about the subject.”  -- NGO participant

To Apply: Please email your resume/CV and a short statement explaining your interest in the course, to the Academy registrar at academy@usip.org.

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