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Thursday, May 6 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Understanding and Working with Race-based Trauma in Counseling and Spiritual Care

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Clinical cases and empirical research demonstrate evidence of long-term mental health effects of racism and discrimination (Carter & Sant-Baret, 2015;  ). Known by several names--cultural, historical, intergeneration, and transgenerational trauma—the exact meaning of these terms and presumed mechanisms of transmission differ. The terms and mechanisms will be examined in light of research on trauma among Comfort Women in Korea, post-Apartheid South Africa, Native Americans, Cambodians, and African Americans. Practical applications of existing measurements of race-based trauma and evidence-based trauma-informed therapeutic techniques will be explored for clinicians, especially spiritually integrated psychotherapy and spiritual care. Particular attention will be paid to the experiences of people of color who experience the effects of both historical trauma and ongoing racism.  

An abundance of research suggests that while negative symptoms of trauma such as PTSD are real, enduring extreme stress and moving through extreme stress can have positive psychological consequences that are also real. The most widely recognized term used to describe the phenomena is posttraumatic growth (PTG; Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2006), with other terms such as stress-related growth (SRG; Parks, 2002) also used to describe the process. The PTG literature highlights that the act of enduring stress or trauma can set a person on a quest for meaning that encourages a major reconstruction of her global assumptions. This can result in the transformation of a person’s experience of herself, others, or the world. There is limited research emerging in the area of race-based trauma, posttraumatic growth, and resilience. This research and clinical examples will be explored with participants.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and distinguish types of cross-generational traumatic symptoms.
  • Summarize proposed mechanisms of cross-generational trauma
  • Locate and apply race-based stress symptom assessments and techniques in clinical settings
  • Recognize evidence of resiliency and Post-traumatic Growth despite ongoing interpersonal and institutional racism.


Thursday May 6, 2021 6:30pm - 8:00pm PDT
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