Throwback Thursday: It’s been a heck of a journey!

September 24, 2020|  BY: Andi Fetzner PsyD

It was on a chilly Fall day after a long, hot summer in Arizona that I boarded the plane to San Francisco attend the 2016 ACESCONNECTION conference. I think of this day and the day I first learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study  as days that I will never forget- days that changed my life. I was (and continue to be) passionate about work in the trauma-informed space. It grounded me as so many transitions were already happening in my life at that time. I had just decided to make the move to Los Angeles from Arizona after a short courting with my current partner. I was working towards a doctorate in clinical psychology. Most importantly, I had decided that I wanted to start my own training organization focused on nurturing systems change and resilience.

I met one of my dearest friends and colleagues at the airport (who I had only known through phone conversations at the time) and we headed to our respective hotels for a weekend of meeting other people who shared our passion for compassion. A trauma-informed and resilience-building approach assumes that our own behavior and the behavior of others are adaptive — that there’s a root cause behind everything. I’m all about getting to the root cause and I knew that these people were my people!

In the spirit of connection, I sparked up a conversation with the woman in front of me in the registration line. We talked about our frustrations with the systems we were working in- Lori was working as a healthcare consultant at the time and was concerned that many in that field  were not asking why people were sick in the first place. (You can read our full origins story here.) I had just transitioned from my role as a therapist in community behavioral health and was downright angry that due to the lack of coordination of the systems that were supposed to help, families were often left more hopeless and hurt than when they arrived. We knew something had to be done. After working together for several months, we decided to formally partner under Origins Training & Consulting, a firm focused on supporting leaders transform their organizations and communities through the science of adversity and resilience.

Since then, we’ve learned so much! We developed The Basics as a live half-day course help anyone (from parents to professionals to politicians) understand the basic science behind the ACEs framework and what it means to develop a trauma-informed and resilience-building approach. We then realized that we could reach more people if we offered the course online (even before it was cool!) From there, we continued meeting the needs of the ACEs advocate community by developing The Resilience Champion, an on-demand self-paced professional development course (which includes access to The Basics) that will guide you as you move from trauma-aware to trauma-informed and trauma-responsive. We also updated our website to include an interactive ACE survey and resilience survey. (ACEs and resilience set the framework for what we do).

Which brings us to today. We’re now in a pandemic. Climate change is real and affecting our communities now more than ever. Breonna Taylor’s killers are running free. Our previous sources of resilience (and sanity) like social interaction, school, work, community are no longer as accessible as they once were. As we reimagine the “new normal,”  now is the time for a trauma-informed approach and we truly feel like this is the moment we’ve been training for. With all of the opportunities for Aha moments that have surfaced over the last six months around these and other issues, you might be feeling angry. You might be frustrated. We are here to help you do something about it. 

With all of that in mind, we will be be offering a LIVE version of our Resilience Champion Certificate. The Resilience Champion Live, starting on October 14th is a six-week course  for leaders who want to integrate a trauma-informed approach in their setting. Join us and be a part of the change you want to see. It starts with you!

Start here to develop a shared language

The Basics is a two-hour workshop helps introduce to you and your staff establish a common language around trauma-informed principles and practices so everyone can develop a culture centered on resilience-building together.

Begin by exploring the impacts of toxic stress on both clients and staff, while deepening your team’s understanding of ACEs, as well as the role of systemic and intergenerational adversity. Finally, learn more about the concept of resilience, identify how protective factors can help heal the impacts of trauma, and discuss how resilience can be built and sustained within an organization.

Note: Action team members should participate in this workshop before “graduating” to The Resilience Champion series.

I’m ready to build a resilient organizational culture

The Resilience Champion is a six-week course is for leaders who want to integrate a trauma-informed approach in their setting and start building a resilient organizational culture. In the Resilience Champion series, your action team (who will lead your implementation) will participate in a six-workshop series which helps translate and operationalize the key concepts of a trauma-informed approach in your unique organization. Together with your colleagues, you will develop a shared foundation, specific goals, and concrete steps to create and sustain a resilient culture.

The time is now and the person is you!