23rd November 2014 Inspirational people by Beth Hardwick
As I travel further along the T+AFA journey, I am becoming more aware of some admirable people out there who are working in this field, highlighting a wide range of stories of trauma and the impact this can have over the lifetimes of many. More importantly, they give us insights and understanding of how, together, we can deal effectively with the core issues surrounding this subject. I am encouraged at how many organisations are now working to address these matters.
A friend of mine has just started a Masters in social work. She is being inspired by the topics and visiting speakers – I am reminded of the stimulus of student days. She told me about a talk she had heard that week from Jacqui Dillon – a writer, campaigner, international speaker and trainer. She has personal and professional experience, awareness and skills in working with trauma and abuse, dissociation, ‘psychosis’, hearing voices, healing and recovery. Jacqui’s experiences of surviving childhood abuse and subsequent experiences of using psychiatric services inform her work and she is an outspoken advocate and campaigner for trauma informed approaches to madness and distress. Check her out – she is inspiring!
This week I set off to Birmingham to listen to an incredibly inspiring man – Bruce Perry. This is no ordinary great guy, he really is gifted! Bruce is an American psychiatrist, currently the Senior Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston. He has written countless books, articles and research papers – spoken all over the world, whilst he runs an incredible Academy. Not only was the day thoroughly entertaining with his humour, it was deeply connecting and insightful and I came away feeling full to the brim with relevant and helpful information. If you haven’t already – go check him out: www.childtrauma.org
Both these speakers talk about the long term damage that can and does occur, time and time again when the community around us fails to understand, recognise even, the impact and effects of trauma to a child. Moreover – a lack of ‘know how’ as to what to do, when working or living with a child affected. Far too often in this new journey with Taafa, I am hearing people say ‘oh well we don’t have those troubled children here’ or ‘that sounds excellent for schools that have those issues’. Really? Are you seriously telling me that none of your pupils have or will have experienced any form of trauma in the years they are with you? Do you know all their background stories?
I think it’s time we really wake up to this, be willing to get clued up and start being a far more effective community of people around these children, all children, and safeguard the years of life-long impact that can result if we fail to do so.