Workshop | Trauma: less bollox, more healing


The overall aim of this workshop is to begin building an understanding of the many and various ways that life can leave us wounded that is large enough, wide enough, and deep enough it enables us to generate the kind of capacity for supporting individual, family, community and cultural healing that we will need as we face the future.

Learning Objectives

Those who participate in this workshop bill be better able to

  1. Express a meaningful understanding of trauma in simple language that is compassionate, pragmatic, and that need not break our brain, yet enable us to generate maximum capacity for learning, connecting and healing.
  2. Appreciate the limitless ways that life can leave us wounded, and the infinite variety of how that very unhealed woundedness manifests in uniquely personal ways.
  3. Begin to identify our own need for healing.
  4. Appreciate and identify how unhealed trauma-woundedness  manifests in the ways we tend to shape our  world, especially in our relationships, in our teams, workplaces and institutions and in our culture.
  5. Turn our attention away from categorizing to ways we can support healing individuals, families, groups, communities, cultures, peoples and at societal level.
  6. Play our part in building a world that leaves us less wounded and less often.
  7. Work in ways that support growing our collective capability to heal ourselves, and each other at individual, family, group, communities, cultures, peoples, and societal levels.

Workshop Description

Please Note: This workshop will not seek to offer a definition of “trauma”: what trauma is and what trauma isn’t.

We believe that attempting to do so is futile and restricting, and more often than not results in more people being left traumatized by how they experience life; experience support from services; and also hinders and even prevents healing.
It also prevents us finding and treating ways we can support individuals, groups, families and whole communities in healing.

This excludes and silences so many of us; and especially those who need support most.

It denies us support and it disables our whole society society from moving toward collective healing.

We can make a different choice.

No amount of the kind of conversation we are having about trauma to date will heal us.

It will, and can only, result in more of what we have already: only those privileged few who have been deemed to be “just traumatized enough” are offered any kind of support at all.

Register now, or scroll down for more information.

Registration is Open

Limited Spaces. Register now online.

The mess we’re in…

The conversation around trauma is expanding faster that any of us can keep up with. Many are fighting to have their own pain and struggle included a trauma context.

Conversely, many others fight to resist that, claiming only they have knowledge, expertise, power, and authority to define what trauma is and what trauma is not. Some even going so far as dismissing the very real, living pain that others live with others as #nottrauma, or #notrealtrrauma.

This results in many – even the vast majority – of us being excluded from consideration that their own struggle-in-life is related to their experiences in life; and especially how they have been treated since whatever happened did happen; and more especially how they are treated when they seek support from services.

We only need be willing to open our eyes to see that it is plain as day that many of our institutions and services fail wholesale, the many who live with the woundedness of living as a human in this world that seems, daily, to be made by humans to be one that is less and less suited for humans to flourish.

And, more tragically, even many of those health services, and even more so, some of those claiming to be “trauma-informed” also fail us miserably, some even shamelessly.

No amount of more of the same will never be enough

No amount of more of the same will enable us to find a way out of this mess.

  • No amount of more of the same power struggles between those institutions and individuals who claim sole right to define our pain will help us move towards finding and creating ways to heal our own pain, nor to find and create ways support each other in healing.
  • No amount of more of the same treating trauma as something that only a highly trained professional can possibly understand or can possibly have anything to offer to help us find our way to healing.
  • No amount of more of the same thinking that trauma as a very narrowly controlled-by-experts list of very specific life experiences that can happen to an individual will help us understand, help us heal, or support each other in healing.
  • No amount of more of the same defining trauma as a solely individual experience , will help us truly understand when trauma is also a collective and cultural experience.
  • No amount of more of the same defining trauma as a deficit, deficiency or disorder, and cf categorizing those individuals, groups families, communities and cultures as being deficient, disordered or just plain not up to living in a cruel, unjust and often uncaring world will lead us to find and create pathways of healing.
  • No amount of more of the same regarding trauma as something that only a highly trained professional can possibly understand will get us anywhere other than where we are now.

And, no amount of more of the same old bollox will help use create a world that leaves us wounded less or less often.

What if…

What if we took just some of the energy, attention, and resources that are consumed by seeking to win unwinnable arguments, seeking to define what trauma is and what trauma is not, and used it instead to inquire curiously how we could build new ways of understanding that promote learning, connecting and healing?

We will need to have a different conversation about trauma, and the first step to doing that is to resist the temptation to continue having the same conversation that we keep having about trauma.

This workshop offers an opportunity to participate in and to experience a different kind of conversation about trauma, woundedness, learning connecting and healing.

Trauma means wound – and life can be wounding.

The woundedness we can be left living with lives in our body, mind, spirit, relations, and spirit and

manifests in an infinite variety of ways. Each of us is wounded in our own unique way, and each of us can find our own unique pathways to healing.

Wounds can heal – if we have the supports that we need to be able to heal. There are no prescriptions, templates or cookie cutter recipes.

We will need to learn to have a different kind of conversation

If we are to get ourselves out of this mess we made – the mess that we made- then we will need to learn to have different kind of conversation.

The workshop: Trauma: less bollox, more healing offers an opportunity to participate in and experience the beginning of a different conversation.

A conversation intended to find and build a different kind of understanding that can enable us to co create co generate new ways, and re-energize some older ways to, that we can shift focus to ways we can support individuals, families, groups, communities and cultures in healing and supporting healing.

And, the workshop is designed as a first step.

Over the two days we will engage in learning with and from each other, dialogue and curious inquiry

Day One will focus on sharing multiple understandings and hearing multiple perspectives and understanding how our understanding of trauma can itself lead to those seeking services being more traumatized, and how they may be more conducive to healing.

The aim is to allow us to build deeper, more full understanding trauma, how it affects our lives , and implications for how we design, fund, manage and operate services , especially those intended to support healing, and that enables us to generate new ways, and to re-energize some older ways, that support learning, connecting, and healing.

Day Two will shift focus to making more concrete – we will use an open space technology format in which participants design their own projects, and focus on area of interest to them, e.g. a deeper inquiry into some ideas or some aspect or aspects already touched upon, or co creating and prototyping new ways of bringing to bear an understanding of trauma that better healing and that address concerns in work, team or organization.


Participants in these workshops:

• Trauma: less bollox, more healing,


will be invited to join our community of leaning and healing, which we have chosen to call: unbolloxing.

About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
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