The word trauma is defined in many ways by many people and can include experiencing or witnessing accidents, abuse, exposure to war, witnessing frightening events, discrimination, personal betrayal, professional humiliations, medical diagnoses, loss of housing, and death. In all these situations, the thing that makes an event traumatic is the way it changes a person’s outlook on life. We all go through life making basic assumptions about the world, our personal safety, and the stability of relationships. “Trauma” happens when a situation challenges that sense of security and forces us to look at the world in a new way.
At Sankofa, we honor the resilience of trauma survivors and work to help clients make meaningful steps from the aftermath of negative experiences.
Our approach to working with individuals who have experienced trauma is centered on the impact of the trauma on the individual. We recognize that people who have lived through traumatic events are survivors and honor the resilience of our clients. To process trauma, we collaborate with the client to determine their needs and goals and progress through a treatment plan to address the impact of the trauma on his or her life. To do this, we listen to the needs of the client and support their process as they make sense of the trauma through therapy. Rather than taking a standardized, one size fits all approach, at Sankofa we feel the most important thing is to empathize with the client’s understanding of their trauma and help to guide them in developing greater insight into the impact of this event.
By developing greater awareness, the client is then able to move forward with their life goals as they come to understand that they are not defined strictly by their trauma, and instead come to celebrate their resiliency.