Empowered Healing: An Integrated Approach to Trauma Recovery and Violence Prevention – Guest Post

by Dr. Christine DiBlasio

The Safety Team photo

I remember the first time that I had to give a professional public presentation, many years ago.  I lost a lot of sleep beforehand, and spent a great deal of time preparing and practicing.   Of course, after I finished the presentation, I decided to research how to actually give an effective speech.  This research taught me a few things, but what I remember most was a quote that went something like: “The number one fear for most people is public speaking. Fear of death is number two. So if you actually die while you are speaking, you will moved down the fear hierarchy.”

Small consolation, to be sure.

I have given many public presentations, speeches and interviews since that time—and still feel a mix of excitement and nervousness every time.Today was no exception; I was thrilled to be interviewed on Dr. Bruce Chalmer’s and Judy Alexander’s podcast: Couples Therapy in Seven Words I was excited to share information about the non-profit organization that I helped co-found: The Safety Team. Our podcast topic: women’s empowerment as it relates to trauma, trauma recovery, communication, affirmative consent, violence prevention, and relationships.

Here is just a little background information about the Safety Team (follow this link for more):

The Safety team is a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment, well-being, resiliency and safety of women. The Safety Team’s instructors consist of 7 professional women–all of whom have careers that expose them to the realities of violence against women (clinical psychology, law enforcement, education, forensic toxicology, physical therapy, higher education, community outreach). As such, each team member brings valuable, diverse, and complementary expertise to our trainings, as we collectively understand the complicated nature and profound impact of violence against women. Additionally, members have extensive martial arts experience, with five members having black belts and two with brown belts in a variety of martial arts styles. Together, as a team, we offer comprehensive and dynamic ESD programs that are uncommon in Vermont and Northern New England.

The Safety Team’s empowerment self-defense programs focus not only on violence prevention, and risk reduction—but also on healing. All of our programs are well grounded in neurobiology, are trauma informed, and help reduce the risk of violence as well as promote healing from previous violence. Our Therapeutic Empowerment Self-Defense program is a brand new, innovative, highly specialized and individualized program for survivors of interpersonal violence.

Topics that we covered in this podcast included:

  • The impact of interpersonal violence and trauma-both on the individual and her partner
  • Communication, including communication about affirmative consent–check out this video, “Tea and Consent,” that illustrates the concepts.  
  • The concept of Empowerment Self-Defense–follow this link for a description
  • Our innovative Therapeutic Empowerment Self-Defense Program  that is specifically designed for survivors of interpersonal violence/sexual assault. This program offers an integrated mind-body approach to trauma recovery and healing while enhancing victim’s feelings of safety, personal power, and community connection.
  • A listener question that brought up issues of “trauma activation” and its impact on intimacy

Listen to this podcast episode here

Email Dr. DiBlasio

General Resources:

The Safety Team

RAINN

Futures Without Violence

Project Unspoken: I Am Tired of the Silence

Jackson Katz: Silence and Violence

Students Active For Ending Rape

Coaching Boys into Men

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