Trauma, Transformation, and Healing: Conversations between Scientists and Contemplative Practitioners
|Deb Dana, David Robinson-Morris, Rob Preece, Scott Snibbe|
|12 April 2022|
About this Event
Can Covid trigger collective trauma? How can we cope with different forms of trauma and find ways in which trauma can be transformed, and even healed? What can we learn about trauma in relation to our own responses to it?
Trauma can take different forms. One can speak of individual trauma, ancestral trauma, and collective trauma. All of these are happening on different, yet interconnected levels of (all!) our lives. Historically, the word ‘trauma’ comes from the Greek, and literally means ‘wound’ or can be taken in its active form of ‘to wound’. Although originally the word was taken to mean physical wounding, Sigmund Freud was the first (in his book Beyond the Pleasure Principle of 1920) who would use it in his psychological practice with patients to describe their psychological wounding. Currently, trauma is often defined by its response of fear, anxiety, a feeling of overwhelm, and symptoms like PTSD (Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder).
In other words, trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. It is also important to recognise that trauma does not discriminate and is pervasive throughout the world. A World Mental Health survey conducted by the World Health Organization found that at least a third of the more than 125,000 people surveyed in 26 different countries had experienced trauma. While there are no objective criteria to evaluate which events will cause post-trauma symptoms, circumstances typically involve the loss of control, betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, pain, confusion and/or loss. The event need not rise to the level of war, natural disaster, nor personal assault to affect a person profoundly and alter their experiences. Traumatic situations that cause post-trauma symptoms vary quite dramatically from person to person. Indeed, it is very subjective and it is important to bear in mind that it is defined more by its response than its trigger.
During this fourth Science & Wisdom LIVE we will discuss these topics and more with three speakers who work with trauma, transformation, and healing in their everyday lives. Deb Dana, Dr. David Robinson-Morris, and Rob Preece will join us to discuss different perspectives on trauma and the possibility to heal.
We will hear from these scientists and contemplative practitioners about how they have experienced, or perceive trauma, and what their advice is on its transformation and healing.
Tickets are available now on Eventbrite!
Join the conversation LIVE on Zoom! You will receive a link via email after registering for the event. After the dialogue, there will be plenty of time for questions and debate.
About our Speakers:
Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician, consultant, author and speaker specializing in complex trauma. Her work is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, and in creating ways of working that honour the role of the autonomic nervous system. Deb is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible – for clinicians and curious people alike.
Deb has a busy career training therapists around the world in how to bring a Polyvagal approach into their clinical practice – she also works with agencies and larger systems to explore how to incorporate a Polyvagal perspective. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, consultant to Khiron Clinics and advisor to Unyte – and developer of the signature Rhythm of Regulation training series. Her publications include: The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation (Norton, 2018); Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices (Norton, 2020); and Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory (Sounds True, 2021).
Deb can be contacted via her website:
Rob Preece (BSc. Adv. Dip. Transpersonal Psychology UKCP reg.) followed a 4 year apprenticeship in electronics engineering after which he went to university to study psychology. It was at this time he met both the work of C.G. Jung and Tibetan Buddhism. After working as a social worker Rob was part of a small group that founded a Buddhist centre in the UK for his Tibetan teachers. For the next four years he studied the foundations of Tibetan practice in that Buddhist community. In 1980 he travelled to India and was in meditation retreat for much of the next five years. While in India he was fortunate enough to receive teachings on many of the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism from Lamas such as H.H. Dalai Lama, Lama
Thubten Yeshe and many others.
Returning to the west in 1985 he trained as a psychotherapist principally with the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology in London. This began the process of bringing together the two worlds of Buddhism and Western psychology. He has been a practicing psychotherapist since 1987 gradually developing a style that is a synthesis of Buddhist and Jungian understanding. Over this time he has led many workshops exploring a Buddhist perspective in Transpersonal Psychology.
Since 1985 he has been leading meditation retreats guiding an approach to meditation that incorporates Western psychotherapeutic understanding within Buddhist practice. Today Rob is particularly involved in spiritual mentoring bringing together his experience of both Eastern and Western approaches. This has also led to writing The psychology of Buddhist Tantra; The Wisdom of Imperfection; The courage to Feel; Preparing for Tantra and Feeling Wisdom. His recent book is Tasting the Essence of Tantra. Rob lives in the UK with his wife Anna and is father of two sons and a keen gardener.
For more information, see Rob’s website:
David W. Robinson-Morris, Ph.D. is a scholar, author, philosopher, social justice and human rights advocate-activist, educator, philanthropist, community organizer, DEI practitioner, and administrator. Dr. Robinson-Morris serves as the Executive Director in service to The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (CMind), a global community of contemplative practitioners and scholars whose goal is the ongoing development of racial, social, economic, and environmental justice and the advancement of human flourishing.
Concurrently, Dr. Robinson-Morris is the Founder and Chief Reimaginelutionary at The REImaginelution, LLC, a strategic consulting firm working at the intersections of imagination, policy, practice, and prophetic hope to radically reimagine diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) toward racial justice and systemic transformation by engendering freedom of the human spirit; and catalyzing the power of the imagination to reweave organizations, systems, and the world for collective healing and liberation. David believes so much of the work of oppression and oppressive systems is about policing imagination; shutting down any thought of what could or must exist to become (more) free.
Most recently, Dr. Robinson-Morris served as the Regional Director of Diversity and Inclusion of the Bayou Region for Ochsner Health. He is the Founding Director of The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit, former Assistant Professor in the Division of Education and Counseling and served as Assistant Vice President of Development at Xavier University of Louisiana.
David holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research with a dual concentration in Higher Education Administration and Curriculum Theory, and an Education Specialist (Ed. S.) Certificate in Educational Leadership with a focus on applied research, measurement, and evaluation both from Louisiana State University (LSU). He is a 2006 alumnus of Loyola University New Orleans and a 2011 graduate of the University of New Orleans. David is the author of a research monograph titled, Ubuntu and Buddhism in Higher Education: An Ontological (Re)Thinking published by Routledge in 2019.
Dr. Robinson-Morris’ career as an upper-level administrator is grounded in his work as a social justice and human rights advocate and academic, whose engagements across several platforms including higher education institutions, government, human rights organizations, corporations, non-profit, religious, and philanthropic organizations seeks to impact policy, change practice, and uplift the human spirit wherever it is diminished.
Influenced by his understanding of Ubuntu—a South African philosophical notion of communalism and shared humanity—Dr. Robinson-Morris’ work promotes deep dialogical engagement as an approach to achieving racial, gender, and health equity when communities come to understand that our humanity is shared and is a quality we owe another. True equity and systemic transformation, in our communities and in our institutions, can only be realized when we come to understand difference as generative and the collective mandates systems to align policy and practice toward inclusion, which leads to a sense of belonging and mattering for every individual. His understanding of Ubuntu coupled with that of Eastern (Buddhist) philosophy informs his ongoing understanding of our shared, collective humanity.