We are here to bear witness to you and your experiences. We offer practical skills for reducing the impact of trauma. This empowering approach increases your capacity to experience a state of well-being. We know it can be challenging to obtain appropriate compassionate support to help understand what you are experiencing. We know how important it is to recognize the normal biological responses to trauma.
There are different approaches offered in the therapeutic community (talk therapy, somatic experiencing, EMDR, etc.) and given that there are many ways to recover and heal from trauma it can be confusing to decide what avenue to pursue. Most importantly, research tells us that often it is a lack of support after experiencing trauma that results in more difficulty in recovery than the actual trauma itself. Without a nonjudgmental compassionate presence and witnessing, the wound can deepen and the scar can take longer to heal.
CTSS offers programs and services that fill this current gap in trauma support. We recognize that there is no one way to heal/recover from trauma and that there needs to be comprehensive approaches offered over time. As trauma specialists we offer:
- Education/information on trauma – thereby creating “trauma-informed” crime survivors
- Trauma Support Coaching
- Victim-Centered Offender-Sensitive Facilitated Dialogue
Our trauma support provides a caring relationship that offers education and wellness skills that reduce the feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that are the core injury in experiencing trauma. Through our programs you will learn to recognize what is a traumatic trigger (the mind and body’s way of saying that the harm that was done might deserve a little more attention and care), the impact on the nervous system, and how to apply specific tools to experience well being once again.
We also make referrals to practitioners of other healing support services, as needed such as:
- Treatment/Therapy/Sessions with a Mental Health Professional
- Bodywork – Massage/Reiki
- Physical Exercise – Yoga
We know how common it is to feel isolated, misunderstood, left out, and generally alone. Our trauma support offers information and skills to stabilize, an empathic presence to witness, as well as a companion to follow your lead with a commitment to respond to your identified needs.
CTSS has developed the curriculum and administers a training that provides specific wellness skills that empower and build resiliency. This training incorporates Dr. Zinkin’s research and experience, with some of the skills of the Community Resiliency Model developed by the Trauma Resource Institute in California.
When a crime is committed, a victim (harmed party) often has questions that only the offender (responsible party) can answer. Many survivors also need to explain directly to the person responsible the consequences of his/her actions to experience direct accountability and find a way to make sense of what happened to move forward. Many people who have caused harm are left with a need to express remorse, make amends, be seen as a human being, and help the person they harmed in some way.
To address these needs, CTSS offers community-based Victim-Centered Offender-Sensitive Facilitated Dialogue. Our Facilitated Dialogue Program, initiated by the victim, offers an opportunity for deeper information, understanding, and healing. Facilitated dialogue is a process-driven approach for the harmed party and responsible party to come together and have a conversation. It is less focused on outcomes; rather facilitated dialogue gives space and opportunity for the harmed party to be heard as well as to be able to express themselves and to ask for and receive the information that only the responsible party can give.
CTSS provides the safety and support that is essential for this conversation to take place.
Our trained facilitators are sensitive to victims’ needs, respond from a trauma-informed perspective and keep the process victim/survivor centered. Through the presence of a caring and compassionate third party, people who have been harmed and people responsible for the harm experience healing and accountability in the involuntary relationship created when crime is committed.
CTSS’s experience providing Victim-Centered Offender-Sensitive Facilitated Dialogue has demonstrated the positive impacts that can occur through this process. The connection with the person responsible for the harm provides an experience that often results in deep healing for victims/survivors. Through this deeper understanding of the harm they caused, responsible parties feel more accountable, resulting in healing and a stronger commitment to change.
Are you interested in learning more about CTSS’s Victim-Centered Offender-Sensitive Facilitated Dialogue? Contact Mary Zinkin, CTSS’s Executive Director, for more information.