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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


Trauma-Informed Education and Theatre with Dexter Ellis and Jacqueline Russell

Jacqueline Russell is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Chicago Children’s Theatre, and founded The Chicago Children’s theatre seventeen years ago with the goal of creating the best quality children’s theatre. She also started the Red Kite Project in order to support children on the Autism Spectrum, providing them and their families with theatrical and educational programs.

Dexter Ellis has been with the Chicago Children’s Theatre for over four years, and now proudly serves as the Director of Education & Community Programs.

Jacqueline and Dexter completed the Level 1 NARM Online Basics Training last spring and are integrating a trauma-informed approach into their work with youth and the performing arts. 

Dexter and Jacqueline reflect on how their NARM training has impacted their work. Jacqueline shares that she’s noticed she’s more able to stay connected to herself and not try to “fix others”. Dexter expressed that he has more capacity to be more curious with the kids that he’s working with as well as in his personal relationships. For both Jacquelin and Dexter, a central theme of NARM, “being in the 50/50”, which means staying connected to oneself while connecting to others, has really impacted how they relate to themselves and the people they work with. 

Dexter reflects on how this framework has impacted how he relates to and holds space for the kids. The trauma-informed curriculum they created at the Chicago Children’s Theatre supports young children to connect to their emotions and build resilience.

Jacqueline explains that the NARM training has helped her to see the important need for children to be seen, heard, and understood by the adults in their life. This builds a heart connection that is often lacking for children and even for many adults. She reflects on a central theme of the NARM Training: heartfulness. “We talk all the time now that [in our] work for children and with children about how important it is that the work is heartful.”

To read the full show notes and discover more resources visit


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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.  

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