Smiles and laughter. When we are hosting a virtual workshop, these are two of our favorite things. When people come back from a breakout room and we can see them smiling and laughing, we know that the people in that breakout room connected in some meaningful way. Just last week, we were finishing up a workshop series focused on tips for implementing a trauma-informed approach with CommuniCare Health Centers. When people came back from their last breakout we heard laughter and saw smiles beaming from the virtual squares. Perhaps not surprisingly–we had just invited them to share a work-related strength that they value about each of the people in their group. And who doesn’t love to hear what other people view as their strengths?

But then something else unexpected (and sort of magical) happened. Right after this workshop, Andi and I had our own conversation naming some of the strengths the other brought to our own team at Origins. I told Andi that she was always willing to dive in and learn something new to get something done. That I appreciated how she always focuses on connection first and speaks from the heart. Andi told me she appreciated my ability to frame a conversation (which made my left-leaning brain happy!). And we have leaned into those strengths even over the past week as we have been sorting out who needs to do what on various projects. Just today, we had a meeting where we had multiple technology-related needs on the spot and I and I turned to Andi, knowing she could pull them off no problem. Recognizing and celebrating one another’s strengths has impacted our organizational culture and made us more connected. Which makes our Origins team stronger. 

One of the things we like to say is that a trauma-informed approach is simple, but not always easy. When we consider the various lists of principles (which we have recently simplified here) and the 4 R’s and where to even begin, it can be overwhelming!  It really comes down to identifying ways we can decrease stress and increase connection.

Since we came together in 2017 to form Origins (read our Origin story here), we have focused on supporting the people who are as passionate about making a difference as we are. After hearing about the ACE Study and its implications on how we understand health and behavior, we both wanted to share this information with as many people as possible. Our first training workshop, which is now The Basics, does just that. Participants over the years have left as inspired and curious for more. Those who experienced what we like to call an “Aha moment” during the training wanted more. We developed The Resilience Champion Workshop Series to support those folkx, people like you, as they translate the concepts into a culture within their own organization or setting. Developing a shared language across an organization helps people talk about what they are experiencing and the workshop series supports the development of a culture of safety and connection. 

Working with people over the years, we know that implementing this approach can sometimes feel overwhelming. With that in mind,we are now offering a new series for those champions looking for simple and concrete ways ways to sprinkle this approach into everyday activities and bring this approach to life. Our Principles in Action Workshop Series allows you to take a tip and apply it to what you are already doing. We were excited to partner with the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) to present these materials at their recent Family Medicine Prism of Practice (POP) in August 2023.

As early adopters of a trauma-informed approach, we are often the first to introduce people to the concepts and we continue to develop products that meet the needs of the movement. This work is still all about connection and smiles for us and we hope to work with you as you continue to navigate your trauma-informed journey.