Dr. Joe Morrow stepped in when our scheduled presenter had to cancel and, as usual, he gave us a fascinating and thought-provoking presentation about trauma and supporting those who have experienced it.

Dr. Joe explained a bit about trauma he has suffered at various times of his life and the there are 2 sides of the coin: one side makes it hard for a person to deal with the effects of trauma while the other side makes us stronger. (Guess which side of the coin our good doctor got).

There are situations including fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, car crashes, recession, any of which could cause trauma. And, it can take up to 7 generations (40 years per generation) for the effects of trauma to disappear.

How events are experienced can have a lasting effect on how one reacts to trauma. Does the victim of trauma feel alone or supported? Did the event cause them to discover strength they did not realize they had or result in them feeling broken? Did it cause them to re-prioritize values or maybe feel that they had gotten a second chance?

How can you help if a friend or a family member experiences trauma? Ask the question, “what happened to you” instead of asking “what’s wrong with you?” Listen and allow them to voice their feelings.

Dr. Joe educates new employees at Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) regarding trauma. He told us that most of the violent people that are at ASH are being treated for trauma. The goal is to make them feel safe and instill trustworthiness and transparency, provide peer support, empower them to use their voice and make them real- ize they have a choice.

Dr. Joe’s Power Point presentation is available in PDF. If you would like a copy, let Sue know and she will email it to you,

Thanks Dr. Joe for a great presentation!