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Stop the Olympics (Trauma Olympics, that is)

March 13, 20241 min read

I’m sure you’ve experienced this: “my trauma’s worse than yours,” “I’ve had more trauma than you’ve had…” “No, you haven’t!” “ Yes, I have! Mine is way worse than yours.”

You know what? That’s the problem when everybody needs to be special and when you rely on an exclusive set of criteria. Reality? Everyone is trauma-exposed. Everyone has faced something so overwhelming they think they might die or lose their mind or be badly injured. No? Okay, they inherit the impact of these things that their ancestors experienced (whether or not those genetic impacts express is a different matter).

We cling to an event named basis for trauma because it’s the way we’ve talked about it for years. This being America, we all want to be special, unique, and different. Trauma doesn’t care.

If you want to stop the Trauma Olympics, stop making it a competition for whose stuff is worse. Drop the diagnoses. Pick up the idea of universal exposure with a unique response.

the trauma informed academy elizabeth powertrauma resiliencechange
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Elizabeth Power

Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc. , is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and consultant. EPower & Associates is the parent organization for The Trauma Informed Academy(r). "All we do is help people with change, resilience and self-care, and learning to live trauma responsively. And everything is done from the trauma-informed perspective," she says. "Even courses directly about working with trauma are about change."

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