Sharing Stories on Why We Do This Work

Tim Grove

Each month when the Clinical Services Department (staff working with training, trauma informed care/Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™, School Based Services and Clinical Services) gets together, we kick off our meetings with a caregiver capacity activity chosen by a different member of the team. So far we have explored mandalas, sympathetic breathing and inspiring quotes – each activity working different pathways to create a sense of regulation, enhance capacity and showcase the unique talents of each team member.

This past week was my turn in the rotation, and I walked away from that meeting inspired by the stories I heard from my team members. The activity was simple. Each team member was asked to think of and write down their name and one of their best professional moments/stories on a posting note. They then passed their notes to me and I read them out loud and asked people to guess which person was connected to each story. Here are their stories, which you may hear more about from team members directly in future blogs (which means you have to wait to connect the story to the individual or take your best guess!):

  • “When my very sensory and attachment-sensitive child voluntarily gave me a hug (he was 5).”
  • “When a client called me post-discharge to say he decided to go to court and fight for his daughter. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and avoided court due to voices. He also thanked me for all the work I did and how I helped him in his relationship with his daughter. I cried.”
  • “Watching a former child welfare client inviting a room full of attorneys to ‘Be Amazing.’ ”
  • “When a pupil service director called to say she sent a principal to a training who was a ‘true non-believer’ who now wants to train the entire school.”
  • “Being able to help a grieving mom who lost her 25-year-old child and came to the hospital to find any record of the child, as she had lost all of her mementos in a house fire. I was able to retrieve her child’s newborn records, which allowed her to have this information and memory.”
  • “Working with a high school girl following a rape and subsequent PTSD – fear of school and refusing to attend. After weeks of slow progress, she ultimately returned to school and the classroom, graduated and went on to nursing school.”
  • “Pushing for what was truly needed for an adolescent and bringing the team together to significantly improve his success within a short amount of time.”
  • “Helping to reunify a family after a kidnapping by teaching them about trauma and ways to heal.”
  • “A former client tracked me down after I changed agencies because she wanted to invite me to her graduation. She said it was important to her to have me there because she appreciated all I had done to help her reach that goal.”

One of the best ways to create caregiver capacity is to work to stay connected to why you do the work. Almost every day there are examples like this that can be brought into the light – shared, reinforced and encouraged. What are your stories?

Interested in learning more about trauma informed care? Attend a community training session.


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