Marjorie Florestal is a trauma-informed law professor, storyteller, and fiction writer who trained in the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM). Sarah and Marjorie discuss the integration of trauma, law, storytelling, and ways to support healing through a trauma-informed lens.
While still a law professor, Marjorie completed a Masters’ degree in Jungian Psychology where she met Brad Kammer, NARM Senior Faculty. Marjorie shares how she was greatly impacted by Brad's teaching, not only professionally but also personally. She followed her intuition that learning the NeuroAffective Relational Model would somehow benefit her in better supporting her law students.
Marjorie and Sarah discuss the struggles many law students have with their mental health, specifically in their last year of school. Marjorie states, “40% of our students are clinically depressed and then it just snowballs from there into the profession.” She plans to utilize what she’s learned in her NARM training and incorporate that into her class that she’s developing called “Trauma-Informed Lawyering”. Marjorie hopes that if we can help law students with trauma, we can change the culture of the whole profession.
Marjorie also shares her experience as being a woman of color in teaching law, and how she relates to the current state of criminal justice in the United States. She shares, "as a black woman I could not fathom being part of a system that wholesale channels people of color into cages.” Marjorie recently facilitated an hour-long session at her law school looking at racial trauma and the healing potential of myths and stories.
This episode concludes with Marjorie sharing a beautiful story called, The Stolen Mother Moon. She expresses that she has a personal connection to the story due to the loss of her mother when she was nine. She relates this story to collective trauma, symbolic of the stolen mothers from Africa who were abused and enslaved yet they persevered and demanded justice. She states, “there will always be darkness, and we can see that darkness as an opportunity for more work to be done.”
Marjorie Florestal has been a lawyer and law professor for over 25 years. She began her career as an international trade and development lawyer for the Clinton Administration before heading up a multimillion dollar project of technical assistance training for subSaharan Africa. Marjorie later became a full-time, tenured professor at McGeorge Law School in Sacramento where she began to recognize the role of trauma in legal education. This spark of the unexpected led her to the Masters program in Jungian psychology at Sonoma State University, and she is completing a PhD in human development at Fielding Graduate University. Marjorie continues to teach law part-time at the University of California, Davis. When not occupied with issues of trauma and healing, she writes legal thrillers and is a pet mom to four unruly dogs.
To read the full show notes and discover more resources visit http://www.narmtraining.com/podcast
NARM Training Institute
View upcoming Level 2 NARM Therapist Trainings: http://www.narmtraining.com/Level2Online
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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