Skills for working with trauma and supporting each other to build resilient cultures.
Many people involved in socially engaged work – activism, human rights defence, and political organising – encounter violence and repression, and the accumulative influence of stresses. This can lead to post-traumatic conditions that exert a strong influence on our wellbeing, our work and lives. Knowing how to work well with trauma, to transform, mitigate and grow beyond it, can be crucial for the longevity of our activism and our groups.
This training will offer the skills and experience to increase your capacity to respond usefully to trauma. IT will help you understand what we need in place so that our groups and organisations can support each other adequately, and build a more resilient culture.
Many people involved in socially engaged work – activism, human rights defence, and political organising – encounter situations which can be traumatising. Learning to work with these experiences is key to creating resilient cultures for social change.
Direct experience of violence and repression, as well as the accumulative influence of stresses, can be traumatising. Post-traumatic conditions can have a strong influence on our wellbeing, our work and lives. Identifying and transforming these tendencies can help us to continue to bring the best of our hearts and minds to our work and lives.
An inability to identify and transform individual and group patterning associated with these issues is a common source of burnout, conflict and dysfunction in our groups and organisations. As such, addressing trauma is a political issue. Unless we learn to work with trauma, repression and violence (both overt and subtle) consistently succeed in blocking meaningful social change. Knowing how to work well with trauma, to transform, mitigate and grow beyond it, can be crucial for the longevity of our activism and our groups.
This training will offer the skills and experience to increase your capacity to respond usefully to trauma. How can we work with our own symptoms and patterns? How can we support others? How can we recognise and transform trauma as it shapes the wider social field? What do we need in place so that our groups and organisations can work well with trauma, support each other adequately, and build a more resilient culture?
Gesine has been active in grassroots organizing for the last 20 years. In 2004, as a consequence of her own experience of trauma, she co-founded Activist Trauma Support in the UK with the aim to offer education and support to activists who suffered trauma through police brutality and state oppression. Aware of the need for healing and transformation within activists’ communities she spent over a decade in Oakland, California, in order to develop competency and to heal. She is now part of the teaching body of generative somatics and co-organizes and co-teaches somatics courses in Central Eastern Europe with inourbodies_onthestreets. Gesine holds the rank of black belt in Traditional Japanese Jujitsu, a Psychotherapy License in California, and an MA in Somatic Psychotherapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Among other modalities Gesine studied Generative Somatics, Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Bodywork and Dramatherapy, and maintained for a decade a full-time practice as a somatic therapist and coach for social and environmental justice organizers. She is led by a commitment to support individuals, collectives and movements toward greater connection, healing, resilience, coordination and power through the body.
Dr. Louise Hemmerman studied sociology at the Universities of Durham and Leeds and in 2006 she received her doctorate, for a thesis exploring the health impact of intensive caring responsibilities on women in mid -life. Upon completing her post- doctoral fellowship, in 2009, she left academia to pursue her growing commitment to climate activism. From 2009 to 2015 Louise joined the Ecodharma training collective, and drawing on her first-hand experience of emotional fatigue from her involvement in direct action and its legal consequences, she began developing the Sustaining Resistance, Empowering Renewal programme of work and collaboration, as an organiser, fundraiser and facilitator. In recent years, her studies have centred more towards healing oriented and somatic topics, including the complex interface between trauma, body disconnection and burnout. In 2016, she left the Ecodharma resident team to write up her research and studies, train as a TRE practitioner and pursue further training in healing the energetic and embodied repercussions of experiencing trauma.
As a social activist and trainer, and a member of SPINA trainer’s for social change collective and European Action for Youth (EYFA) network, Ilaj is project lead for Ulex’s LGBTQI+ psycho-social resilience and holistic security programme. Ilaj works with grassroots groups involved in social and environmental struggles, and also NGOs in the areas of social and environmental justice. As a WenDo trainer – a self defense and self assertiveness method for women and trans* people – they are passionate about working with body awareness as a radical means of deconstructing internalized systems of oppression. Ilaj is a member of the Ulex core team.
deepening sustainable activism
a community of practice
building collective agency - theory and practice
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.