TRAUMA IS TRAUMA IS TRAUMA: USING OUR LEARNING ABOUT TRAUMA IN CONFERENCES TO IMPROVE OUR ABILITY TO WORK WITH TRAUMA IN ORGANIZATIONS
Presentors: To include some but not necessarily all of the conference staff: Patricia Kummel, JD, PhD; Earl T. Braxton, PhD; Janice Wagner, LICSW; Raymond Lewis, Jr. MSW; Katherine Harding, PsyD; Frank Dwyer, MA, MPA, M.St., MSW, D. Crim (Candidate); Richard A. Lewis, PhD, MBA; Mo Sook Park, EdM; Diandre Watkins, BA; Minnie Tao, LPC.
In the final 15 minutes of the final Large Study Group (which was also the final here and now event) of the conference, the Artistic Director of the conference entered the LSG and sat in the center of the spiral, violating a boundary that had been specifically and repeatedly set even before the conference began. The trauma of that experience, and the staff’s inability to find a way to process it, came at the end of an already trauma-filled conference, and threw staff and at least some of the membership into an emotional state that continued long after the actual conference had ended. Various processing attempts were made by email and phone discussions, including 3 or 4 formal debriefing opportunities that were scheduled with the membership and staff.
We will discuss our learning about trauma and its impact on our ability to function as a staff and connect it to the impact of trauma in organizations and the importance of learning how to recognize and address it directly in the moment or as soon thereafter as possible.
Video will be shown of relevant parts of the conference, including the final incident and the closing plenary which followed immediately thereafter.