NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 28 "Faith leaders - and their communities - are often the first place people turn to when bad things happen," Elizabeth Power said in a recent interview. "More often than not, members of every faith community carry quiet burdens. The leadership and clergy are often stretched thin with unexpected events 24x7 and the silence of their own wounds."
Power's response is to provide Sidran Institute's program, Risking Connection in Faith Communities, to faith communities who recognize that "bad things happen."
"Understanding psychological trauma, and how it impacts those who experience it, is critical in faith communities. As the place where we make meaning, the more trauma-informed a faith community is, the more support there is for meaning-making, and healing," Charlotte Peters of Merrill, WI responded. "That's what Risking Connection creates: trauma-informed congregations that respond to each other in healthier ways. It's not just for the minister!"
Risking Connection helps with understanding how trauma impacts people, and how a person's ability to manage feelings, remember positive connections, and feel worthy of life are impacted. It offers a simple, healing-focused model of interaction useful in all relationships, and teaches self-care as the most effective modeling for survivors. Only two organizations are authorized by Sidran Institute to teach this program, and EPower & Associates of Nashville, TN is the only one authorized to teach the program to both clinical professionals and the faith community.
Power is a nationally sought-after speaker and facilitator with over 30 years in adult learning across multiple industries. She has presented to international organizations such as World Vision Australia, and has presented to the American Association of Christian Counselors as well as at the Faith and Mental Health Conference in Biloxi, MS after Katrina.
"What's important to remember about this program," Power commented, "is that its origin is a consent decree. Survivors of traumatic experiences claimed they were getting worse instead of better because of the treatment they received. They filed a suit against the state where they were receiving care, and they won. Out of that came the requirement for care providers to be trauma-informed, and Sidran was selected to bring together clinicians and survivors to develop Risking Connection."
An anonymous grant allows Sidran Institute to offer Risking Connection in Faith Communities at the Loyola Conference Center at 8890 McGaw Road in Columbia, MD for a nominal fee.
Power wants to see the program taught in faith communities nationwide. She reports that every faith leader who has been through the program talks about the dramatic difference it makes in their own ministry. She says they also report differences in how congregants respond in the face of disaster, death, crime, historical trauma, and church conflict.
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Contact: Elizabeth Power Tel: 615.714.6389 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE EPower & Associates