Welcome to my first podcast minisode! I’ll be dropping these short episodes on the first and third Fridays of the month (in addition to the regular episodes every Wednesday). They’ll be about ten minutes long, ad-free, and it could be anything from a book I’m reading that I think you might like, or my hot take on something happening in pop culture.
Since the theme we’re talking about over the next few months is all about healing; more specifically around trauma and different healing modalities, I wanted to take a moment to talk about something important, and that’s how we talk about trauma publicly.
I wanted to give my opinion, as someone in the personal empowerment field.
The good news is that trauma is talked about now more than it ever has been. Previously, the only “appropriate” time to talk about it would have been in a psychiatrist's office. If you spend any time in the self-help spaces on social media, you’ll see that the topic of trauma is having its time in the spotlight. Which is great, but does come with a drawback.
In this minisode, I talk about:
- The difference between trauma-informed and trauma-responsive
- Why that should matter to you
- What to look for in a practitioner/coach and what’s okay and not okay in terms of treating trauma
Don't forget– if you’re interested in learning more and possibly signing up for my next Daring Way™ Retreat (the first one in almost three years!) hop on over to THIS page, read the details and sign up to be notified when we open registration.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 425.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insights to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable competence, master resilience, and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.
Hi, hello, podcast people. I am so excited to be here, because this is my first minisode. I am going to start doing minisodes twice a month, the first and third Friday of every month. And I'm kicking it off, as we are also kicking off the new way that we're doing the podcast. For those of you that may have missed it, I'm not really changing things up too much just mostly in the execution of how we're doing things. So we're doing themes, instead of just random willy nilly different topics as I bring people on to the show. This first theme is all about how do we heal? Answering that whopper of a question. How do we heal so I have therapists coming on, I have psychiatrist coming on and people who are trained and often licensed to treat the deeper issues that the vast majority of us have. And so these minisodes are going to be about 10 minutes long, I can't promise that they're, they're only going to be that long. The minisodes I can promise they will be advertising-free. And they're going to come out twice a month. And I will probably be speaking, you know, pointing towards the topic at hand that we're talking about, which this first one is no exception.
I wanted to talk to you about trauma and the difference between someone who is trauma informed, and someone who is trauma responsive, or able to treat someone who has trauma. And the reason that I wanted to talk about this as it came up recently, I have a contact form on my website, and people can pitch us to be guests on the show. And it's fairly extensive the questionnaire and I asked people, are they trauma informed, also, you know, just give us more information. And I had someone that applied to be on the show. And she seemed fantastic. I loved her message. I loved what she stood for, and how she talked about the ways that she helped people. I believe it was mostly women. And I'm reading about it and I when I am interested in someone who's pitching the show, I always go to their website. I also want to check out other interviews that they've done before they've done previously and I was on this person's website, and I always look at their About Page to see, where are you trained, what are your qualifications, what is your specific areas of expertise, do you have certifications, etc. And I went to this person's website, and I couldn't find any. It was all about her story, which was very intriguing. It was it was actually very similar to mine. So of course, I'm like, ooh, parallel lives. I definitely want to talk to you. And this person called herself a trauma coach. Someone who you know, her niche, if you will, was helping women heal their trauma. And I was perplexed and concerned as well. And it and it really got me thinking and what we ended up doing is I asked Emily, my big wig hope here on the team, can you reach out to her and ask or did we just miss it, what are her qualifications? And apparently, she came back and said she doesn't have any. She has worked through her own trauma and that's how she helps people work through theirs. And I was, hmm. I was shocked but not totally surprised. And I'm going to tell you why.
In my opinion, and you know, please understand, like, I do my best to not be judgmental. I do. But we're human, and we all do it. And at the same time, I as part of my personality, and I think just it's just important. I also get very protective of you the listener, protective of people who have been through really difficult challenging times who are who are looking to have someone help them heal from it, and I am, I am I'm really strong in the feeling that the people who put themselves out there, hang out a shingle, and take money from people who are trying to get help, you need to be qualified. You need to be qualified. And I believe that it's reckless to not be qualified and say that you say that you do this.
So I posted this on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. And I had a lot of responses. Probably 99% of them agreed with me and the people who disagreed with me, once we kind of talked it out, I'm like, I think we're actually on the same page here. It's complicated. Okay. So I want to read you just one comment that someone left who I feel, said it so eloquently. And that this is my friend, Julie Parker, she has been on the show a couple of times. She's Australian, she's amazing. And here's what she said. Julie says, “As both a psychotherapist and coach, I can see very clearly there is a huge misunderstanding amongst many people on what the varying responses to trauma actually are. For example, there is a huge difference between being trauma informed, which someone such as a life coach can be, and trauma responsive, which only a licensed clinician, or therapist or professional can be. Only people who are or at least should be trauma responsive can treat and work with people who have active trauma needs. People who are trauma informed, cannot. And the irony is that if they were trained properly, and knowing what that actually is, then they would clearly know and how to refer appropriately, if necessary, and not even try to do such work given they can bring about harm to someone else, and themselves very quickly. Trauma Informed does not equal trauma responsive with ability to treat. It means only that you have a good working knowledge of what trauma is and how to create space that does not cause deliberately further harm. Big, big difference.” End quote.
And I think that the reason I wanted to come on here and talk about this, as all these episodes are coming out with different experts, is because I imagine there's going to be an uptick of people who are going to look for people who can help them with their trauma. And I want to sort of just elaborate a little bit about what Julie was saying. And this was a part of the discussion that was going on in the comments on that post on Instagram. There is a difference between holding space for someone to share their traumatic experience or story and actually treating it. So for instance, The Daring Way retreats that I facilitate, we actually have one coming up this year, I'll tell you about it at the very end of the episode, there is a module in there where you are asked as a participant and you are asked to recall a shame story that you have, whether it was in childhood at school, you know, in the older years at work with a partner or anything. And if you're willing, which I think all of my participants have done, you share that story with the group. And if someone's doing it one on one with me, they just they just share it with me. And it was made very clear in our training, that shame work is trauma work. We are facilitating that. And so what I do as a facilitator is I make sure that there are a few things happening, I make sure that ahead of time, everyone knows. These are important, deep, painful stories for people. So if you have to use the restroom, can you hold it until the person is done. If you need to refresh your coffee, can you wait until they're finished telling the story and we're through this moment. So it's things like that you need to create the space the, container if you will, so someone feels safe telling their story.
Let me give you an example of how this can so easily cause a bump in the whole thing. So when we were in our training. P.S. this episode is probably gonna go a little bit longer than 10 minutes. When we were in our training, we were in small groups of 12 and the way that they did our training is that they trained us and at the same time had us go through the work. So we had to self-manage like crazy. I believe that they did that on purpose to see if we had the ability to be able to navigate back and forth being in a place of being the student and the teacher. And it came time for me to share my shame story. And one of the other women in our group, I had had some you know, some conversations with her, we were very friendly with each other and then she had had a moment of massive discomfort. She had a little bit of an argument with one of our teachers and it was a little tense. She was feeling very tense. I could tell. So I'm sharing my shame story and I'm crying and I'm I quickly look up to look up around the circle and make eye contact with people. And she made eye contact with me and quickly looked away, and crossed her arms over her chest and did like a quick inhalation of breath. Now, that may not seem like a lot, but it instantly pulled me deeper into my shame. It was, it was what I internalized that as is that she was judging me, she was thinking, I don't know, I don't know what it was. But it instantly made me feel worse. And I say that, because I wanted to give you an example of how easy it is for things to get sort of turned on their head. And that's why I take very seriously about this type of work. So again, these people who are facilitating that training, were not there to do somatic work with me to help me move through the shame story. It was simply part of the process in us learning the steps of shame, resilience, which is what we teach. They wanted us to really sort of drop into those moments ao we could learn how to facilitate it, because there's, there's all these different few different steps. And I'll tell you what it worked.
But it was just it was just a time to hold space. And that is again, that is very, very different from actually treating it treating trauma is complex. It is a very sacred process. And it takes training, it takes hours of supervision, it takes a lot more than just being trauma informed. So I sort of went on and on about that. And I, my point is, is that I really want you to take careful consideration, if and when you decide to work with a therapist who will help you move through your trauma. Or if you decide to hire a coach who is trauma informed, maybe ask them from the beginning, what is what is the scope of your practice? Like, how much are you trained and experienced to be able to help me through this? What are some of the results that I can expect from this, like do some expectation management, if there's a coach, who is not a licensed therapist or counselor who's telling you that they can help you heal their trauma, personally, that is a red flag. That is not that is beyond the scope of what they are trained to do. I refer out clients on the regular when something comes up, and I can hear this story, I can ask them a few questions about it, and when I have, I think because I've been doing this for so long, I have an intuition that tells me this is beyond the scope of what you do. This is beyond what you are trained to hold for them. You need to refer them out. And I often hold them accountable and give them resources of like how to find somebody who's a great fit for them who can do that. I would say most of the people that I work with are simultaneously working with a therapist, because we do different things.
That's about it. That's all I wanted to get off my chest today. And just make sure that when you are looking for the right support, that you know what the difference is between someone who is trauma informed, and someone who is able to treat also known as trauma responsive. And that's it. That's my first minisode.
Again, I am like 99.9% sure that I'm going to host a Daring Way retreat at least one this year. And I do have interest for some of you who want to come where we can do a specific Daring Way retreat for people in recovery, who are recovering from something whether it's alcohol, love addiction, codependency, etc. But either way, if you are interested in seeing more of the details, the price range is on there, the location, etc. It's at AndreaOwen.com/retreat and sign up to be the first person, well, the first group of people I should say, to be notified when we do open registration, because it will likely sell out. Thank you everyone for being here on my first minisode. This is so exciting. And remember, it is our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our lives responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.