“I believe everyone has [complex trauma]. And we may know it logically, and tell ourselves ‘Oh, it’s okay,’ and all that. For me my journey has been to really deepen my own compassion for myself and recognize my own complex trauma.” Claude Cayemitte, MSW, RCSWI
Claude Cayemitte, a clinical social worker and NARM Therapist, joins our host Sarah Buino to examine how complex trauma impacts individuals from marginalized communities and how unrecognized cultural trauma can lead to misattunement in the therapeutic relationship.
Using his NARM training as a foundation, and his own background as a Haitian-American male therapist, Claude addresses blind spots, such as privilege, biases and fear, that impact connection between therapists and their clients, particularly from non-dominant cultures. These blind spots can prevent much-needed introspection within and outside of the therapeutic setting, and can lead to further distrust and disconnection between individuals and communities.
When talking about his own experience as a therapist who is also a person of color, Claude identifies the difference between what it feels like when people are acting-out from their own unconscious biases - even well-intended ones - versus when they show up with cultural humility.
Cultural humility is not something that can be faked, it emerges from self-reflection that requires exploring one’s unconscious biases. When someone shows up with curiosity and openness, and is continually doing the work of self-reflection, they build the ability to tolerate the complexity of being connected to others even in difference and disagreement. Claude sees this as an important distinction to understand, especially for therapists working cross-culturally, or anyone working with social justice issues.
As a recipient of the Minority Fellowship Award from the Council of Social Work Education for his work with at-risk teens, Claude has witnessed first-hand what happens when therapists bring their whole selves, and a willingness to examine their own biases and fears, into their therapeutic practice: long-standing cultural trauma - social injustices and disconnection between individuals and communities - can begin to shift and heal.
NARM Training Institute
The NARM Training Institute provides tools for transforming complex trauma through: in-person and online trainings for mental health care professionals; in-person and online workshops on complex trauma and how it interplays with areas like addiction, parenting, and cultural trauma; an online self-paced learning program, the NARM Inner Circle; and other trauma-informed learning resources.
For the full show notes including references, podcast episodes mentioned, and a quick glossary of terms, visit us at http://www.narmtraining.com/transformingtrauma
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