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Conference Recap

Late winter can be a hard time for many, including horse and farm folk. No competitions, no grass growing, layers and layers of clothes, ice, snow and cold.

This year, I saw it as a perfect time to virturally attend a conference on trauma and education. Inspiring, educational, thought provoking and filled with passion surrounding trauma awareness, I had a great week attending keynote speeches and lectures on the subject, while winter raged on outdoors.

The following touches briefly on education I gained during this conference:

) "Teaching in a Pandemic" a fabulous keynote given by Tina Bryson. She outlined 9 specific things we can actively do to create spacial safety, with the goal of optimizing learning. For example encouraging play and laughter, which widens our window of tolerance and thus our ability to learn. Or encouraging people to name their feelings in order to tame them, "name it to tame it" was used often during this conference. I will put this information to "work" right away with Farming For Resilience.

2) "The Power of Showing Up" also given by Tina Bryson spoke how to cultivate safe and secure attachments. Safe and secure attachments are known as one of the best predictors of lifelong well being. A topic filled with the importance of allowing children and adults to feel safe, seen, soothed and secure.

3) "How early trauma and neglect shape identity and your map of the world : a guide for intervention" - Bessel van der Kolk gave an overall picture of trauma and how it impacts different stages of development. This brilliant author wrote "The Body Keeps The Score", a remarkable book about the imprint trauma leaves on our bodies. He speaks with confidence and passion on the topic of trauma and the importance of play and outdoor activities as healing platforms.

4) "The State of the Black Child" Ingrid Cockhren, M.Ed. Here she illustrated "how systemic racism, historical trauma and implicit bias are root causes of the poor outcomes, risk factors and health disparities that plague African American children." Intense and captivating, it opened my eyes more to what historical trauma "looks" like.

5) To wrap up on Thursday, Dr Melissa Sadin spoke with passion and wisdom on identifying components of a trauma informed school. These components include the "4 Rs":

1) Realizing the prevalence of ACEs

2) Recognizing the impact of trauma on neurobiology

3) Responding in a trauma informed way

4) Resist retraumatization

Clearly this information can be applied to organizations, communities, schools, really any group of people!

I eagerly look forward to processing this information, reading more on the verbiage and practicing trauma informed and culturally competent practices.

All these lectures give me confidence that we are doing really valuable work through the Farming For Resilience program. And whether or not I needed to be spurred on to follow the mission and vision of Cooper's Crossroad, I got it!

Thank you to the Attachment and Trauma Network for hosting this wonderful and wise conference.

Spring is literally right around the corner! Hang in there.

All the best, Christina

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