RYSE Trauma and Healing Series

News, Racial Justice and Collective Trauma, Trauma-Informed Systems

In the field of trauma work, there seem to be countless trainings designed to understand the factors involved in traumatic stress. I know because I feel like I have been to thousands and delivered half as many myself. Fortunately I knew the work of RYSE well enough to know that their 2017/18 Trauma and Health Series would be something different. I knew it would be more than the oft distant theoretical templates that try to humanize trauma for the audience, and instead continue to propel a narrative that trauma is somewhere away from us.

RYSE has developed a model that highlights the interacting layers of trauma, the focus of their 2017/18 series. The interacting layers model attempts, quite successfully, to speak to the complexity of trauma for individuals of color, and those marginalized by society. The series itself is a chance for those who wish to learn, share, experience, express, and to come together in a common safe space. Make no mistake, the information is informative, eye opening, and accessible. But that isn’t what makes the time special, not what makes it unique, and truthfully, words will fail here. To come together in a space created by those most impacted by trauma and racism/oppression, is an apt symbol for the interacting layers model. Through creation, relationship, safety, rage, and bravery we can begin the process of healing.

Thus far, the series has brought together folks from all areas of helping professions. The diversity of the audience has allowed for a breadth of opinion, learning, and most importantly the much-needed space to feel supported.

As a white male, I have tried my hardest to remain silent and learn during these meetings. It has challenged my view of struggle, trauma, and has reinforced my belief that the process of healing begins with community and shared space. Trauma Transformed and I feel honored to struggle in and support this work.


Matt Reddam, LMFT