WHERE Healing BEGINS
What is Racial Trauma?
The cumulative effect of racism on someone's mental and physical health (Murray, 2020). Race-based trauma is the result of chronic experiences of racism, discrimination, microaggressions, lack of diversity, and systemic racism that includes health disparities, pay inequity, housing discrimination, etc. (Kniffley, 2020 and Murray, 2020). Dr. Steven Kniffley Jr.'s research revealed that Black individuals experience elevated levels of PTSD which cannot be explained by the exposure to physical trauma. "Racial trauma contributes to a constant state of hypervigilance for racially based slights and micro-assaults at the individual, institutional, and cultural levels. Over time, individual coping techniques are exhausted leading to negative health outcomes, caused by race-related stresses" (Kniffley, 2020).
What is Intergenerational Trauma?
A collection of deep and distressing experiences within and across generations and embedded in emotional, psychological, and biological responses (Barlow, 2018). Trauma is either directly or indirectly passed down from generation to generation within the family system. For example, a family with generations of neglectful and/or unemotionally available fathers is a form of intergenerational trauma. A family with generations of sexual abuse victims is another example of intergenerational trauma.
What is Cultural Betrayal Trauma?
When a person's trust has been betrayed or violated by a perceived member within their minority group (Gomez, 2018). Minority groups include: people of color, women, LGBTQ+, etc. This violation of trust is experienced through interpersonal trauma such as emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. What's unique about this trauma? People who experience this type of trauma are pressured to protect the needs of the perpetrator and/or the minority group above their needs for the wellness and progression of the minority group as a whole. They are discouraged to get the help and support they need when family, friends, and religious leaders tell them:
What goes on in this house stays in this house
To protect the perpetrator from the local authorities and/or government who is already systemically oppressing them
To not disclose to a professional therapist
Keep the family together so the children can have a 2-parent home
To pray about it and let God handle it
"Cover" the sins of your religious leaders as Noah's son "covered" him when he was drunk (Christian biblical reference)
Can We Recover from Trauma?
YES! But it starts with us being intentional about our healing journey. I offer individual sessions, group sessions, and retreats focusing on how to get "unstuck". I'm a firm believer in the adage, "We hurt in relationships and we heal in relationships." My groups and retreats are wonderful and safe spaces for you to discover that you're not the only one. I build nurturing, genuine, and encouraging communities that will refresh your soul.
Examples of Trauma
Have you experienced trauma that isn't on this page?
Signs of Trauma
Can you think of any other ways trauma has impacted you?
WHAT Clients ARE SAYING
The counseling services provided by Faith have been life changing for me. I have a background in psychology and I have seen therapists in the past, but Faith's approach is different in the sense that I am able to connect with her (she is easy to talk to and has a great sense of humor), I feel comfortable being completely open and honest during sessions (she is able to build rapport quickly), and most importantly she challenges me (she provides "assignments" or things to work on after the session). I am a survivor of sexual assault and for many years I blamed myself for things that happened to me in my past. I did not release that blame until I started sessions with Faith because she told me point blank, "It's NOT your fault!" I also used to be a very passive or passive-aggressive communicator and didn't even realize it until she brought it to my attention. She helped me identify when I lost my voice and provided me tools and assignments to help me become an assertive communicator. If growth is important to you then trust me when I say that the services provided by Faith will change your life for the better.
Faith has been really valuable with my journey of healing and self-care. Not only does she challenge me to think for myself, she gives me scenarios that I do not normally think for further reflection. She also provides me with homework and tools that would help me once I leave her care. She genuinely cares about me as a woman—aside from all of the expectations of being wife, mother, and daughter.
..I wanted to just let you know that I met someone and I really really really liked him a whole bunch and I thought oh my gosh I have met the man of my dreams and then I saw two of those red flags that I learned about with you and hit the road! And I did spend about three weeks crying and heartbroken. So I just want to say thank you I still haven't forgotten what you taught me...