Sustaining Ourselves: Workforce Wellness in the Face of Trauma

Workshop Description:

This workshop is for professionals who work with survivors of trauma and for lead staff and administrators working to develop and sustain workers and workplaces that are healthy for everyone. As many of us recognize, providing care and support for survivors of violence, abuse and other forms of trauma can be extremely rewarding, emotionally taxing, or both. Without opportunities and support for processes that actively promote healing, personal growth, and professional development, individuals and organizations are vulnerable to a wide range of dysfunctions and patterned difficulties. This workshop is an opportunity to explore the impact of trauma on workers and organizations and to develop trauma-sensitive strategies for supporting the health and well-being of staff and organizations serving survivors of trauma.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, participants will:

  1. Understand the prevalence and impact of trauma in the workplace
  2. Learn the distinction between “vicarious” and “unresolved” trauma and why it matters
  3. Understand the benefits of “trauma-informed supervision” for workers and supervisors
  4. Identify personal, professional and organizational “next steps” for incorporation wellness practices in workplace culture


Elaine Walters is the founding Executive Director and lead trainer at the Trauma Healing Project, an organization that provides professional and community training, workforce support and direct healing support for survivors. Prior to this position she coordinated the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force in Oregon. For the last 30 years she has been a consultant, trainer and community organizer working to address and eliminate intimate violence. She has designed and facilitated workshops and trainings on many related topics and has provided direct services and support to youth and adults impacted by violence, abuse and other forms of trauma and oppression. She is involved in the effort to expand accessible trauma healing and restorative resources and practices and to implement trauma-informed care locally, regionally and state-wide.

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