Online Trauma Training
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Multiple Identities in Context of Trauma: Increasing Cultural Competence (Audio Training, 3 Credits)

with Laura Brown, PhD and Elisa Triffleman, MD

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Development of cultural competence in psychotherapy requires more than simply a set of rules about how to work with members of specific groups. Instead, current and evolving models of culturally competent practice note that all individuals have multiple and intersecting identities, each of which can contribute factors of risk and resilience to the individual experiencing trauma exposure. In this session, participants will be introduced to a model of identity development which conceptualizes people in terms of their multiple social locations and intersecting senses of self, rather than as a unitary identity as externally defined. We will explore the ways in which trauma can inform each of these social locations, affecting how a person relates to their various identities. We will also examine how these identities respond to trauma over the lifetime. This course will also consider the converse: that the challenges faced by persons with multiple, intersecting, and apparently conflictual identities occur in the context of trauma acting as a moderating and mediating factor. Issues of cultural competence in the treating professional, and strategies for increasing cultural competence, will be described, with particular attention to the effects of aversive bias and unexamined implicit assumptions on the capacity to be fully present with a trauma survivor client. The effects of insidious trauma, microaggressions, and apparent conflicts among and between dominant and target group identities for trauma survivors will be explored. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Define Root's model of identify development.
  • Demonstrate the complex interactions of trauma and multiple identities.
  • Cite the parameters of cultural competence.