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Universal Exposure, Unique Reaction

March 27, 20241 min read

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the Trauma Olympics and I proposed that we all adopt this perspective: universal exposure with unique reaction.

It just makes sense--except we have about seventy years of history doing it the other way, where survivors (including me) were like a bunch of hens, scratching in the yard to establish a pecking order.

One of the tenets of trauma informed thinking is a shift in power from power over to power with. Another is collaboration. Another is strength based thinking.

If everyone has been exposed to trauma--events so overwhelming that they make you think you might die, lose your mind or be badly injured, ranging from death to medical crises to natural disasters, political conflict, economic injury, pandemics, and of course abuse and neglect--universal exposure is a fact. Let me say that again, universal exposure is a fact.

Unique reaction? Every single person has a different reaction to overwhelming events (traumatic experiences) based on age, development, culture, support, expectations, and the nature of what happened. It too is a fact.

the trauma informed academy elizabeth powertraumaresiliencechangeuniversal exposuretrauma olympicscollaborationstrength
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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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