Cover art for podcast Transforming Trauma

Transforming Trauma

91 EpisodesProduced by The NARM Training InstituteWebsite

Transforming Trauma is a podcast about individuals and communities thriving after Complex Trauma. In a modern world beset by trauma and a legacy of suffering, conflict and disconnection, healing trauma can serve as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Listeners will be introduced to th… read more


Soul Death and the Reclamation of the Soul - Healing Complex Trauma in Africa with Wangui Wanjiru

“The one thing I love about NARM is that it's empowering. It helps you realize that there’s so much power in you. It returns your agency. The power of agency is that you let go of the helplessness.” -Wangui Wanjiru

Host Sarah Buino and her guest Wangui Wanjiru, a Kenyan clinical psychologist and the first NARM Therapist on the African continent, seek to humanize the culturally-specific challenges of complex trauma care in Africa.

Wangui describes the cultural orientation that’s very present in Kenyan culture, a strong focus on the group over the individual.  She says people don’t personalize themselves or each other outside of sweeping social categories. And when people do acknowledge their individuality, they are labeled as “selfish”. 

While painting the picture of how more communal based cultures work against the individual’s connection with themself, Wangui describes the bind that comes with the desire to remain in connection with your culture.

Sarah and Wangui talk about what they’ve learned in their NARM Training-- that when someone is more connected with themselves, they actually have more capacity to be connected with others, their community, and their culture. Paradoxically, reconnecting with the self, which pushes against the Kenyan social construct of “the group over the individual”, will actually allow for more connection with the Kenyan culture as a whole. 

Wangui brings up an important question: What are we gaining from losing touch with ourselves?

And then Sarah and Wangui go even further in their discussion, reflecting on the impacts of racial oppression and cultural trauma, to ask: Who is benefiting from people losing touch with their individuality?

Sarah prompts Wangui to share what it has been like to bring NARM to Africa and applying the NARM approach to her work with her clients. 

They discuss whether healing trauma is possible as cultures are still currently living through trauma: How can one transform trauma amidst ongoing trauma and oppression? 

“The beauty of reclaiming your self is that when issues come, or even though you’re still living within the trauma, these issues don’t come to an empty soul, or they don’t come to a dead soul.  They’re coming to a soul that can resist and choose what gets in and what does not get in. And that’s the empowering part of it. Yes, people might be continuing to go through trauma, but as long as the software within themselves is different, you’re giving them the virus protection. It’s not about getting people out of trauma, it’s not about let’s do this treatment after the trauma is done, it’s letting empower people as they’re going through trauma so they will carry less of it.”


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

This episode was edited by The Creative Impostor Studios.


We want to connect with you!

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