Berman, Sarah. 2020. Trauma-Informed Approaches to Medical Student Advising: A Pilot Workshop for Medical Student Advisors. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School. https://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364931
Trauma and adversity are common among medical students and may contribute to burnout, mental health issues, and professionalism concerns. Six principles of trauma-informed care (TIC) have been developed to address trauma and adversity in the general population; Trauma-informed medical education (TIME)—the application of these principles within undergraduate medical education—has been proposed as a strategy to combat medical student distress. Despite this, no studies to date have applied these principles to medical student advising. To address this gap, we developed a workshop to introduce medical school advisors to trauma-informed advising. Methods: Thirty-six faculty advisors participated in a 20-minute workshop. The session began with a brief didactic presentation, followed by case discussion in small groups, then large group review of take-home points. Participants were surveyed pre- and post-training for their knowledge on TIC using multiple choice questions, their attitudes and comfort with TIC, and post-training satisfaction with the session. Results: Participants reported low levels of pre-intervention familiarity with TIC (3.13% of participants rated that they were very or extremely familiar). In terms of learning objectives being met: 93.55% of participants felt the intervention satisfactorily instructed them on how trauma affects medical students, 75% for teaching about TIC principles as applied to advising encounters, and 93.55% for identifying at least 2 resources for students with trauma histories. Discussion. There is a gap in knowledge around trauma-informed approaches in medical student advising and we offer a model to address this gap.
Breaking Through Trauma-Freeze: A Trauma Informed Advising Approach (2021). Metropolitan Community College. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPy1Bm0LREk
Carello, J. Creating Spaces for Trauma-Informed Care in Higher Education. https://www.etsu.edu/conf/trauma-informed-approaches-teaching-learning/documents/session1.pdf
Douglass, Laura, A. Threlkeld, L. R. Merriweather, eds. Trauma in Adult and Higher Education: Conversations and Critical Reflections. A volume in Adult Learning in Professional, Organizational, and Community Settings. IAP Information Age Publishing, 2022.
Trauma in Adult and Higher Education: Conversations and Critical Reflections invites readers to think deeply about the experiences of trauma they witness in and outside of the classroom because trauma alters adult learners’ experience by disrupting identity, and interfering with memory, relationships and creativity. Through essays, narratives, and cultural critiques, the reader is invited to rethink education as more than upskilling and content mastery; education is a space where dialogue has the potential to unlock an individual’s sense of power and self-mastery that enables them to make sense of violence, tragedy and trauma.
Trauma in Adult and Higher Education: Conversations and Critical Reflections reveals the lived experiences of educators struggling to integrate those who have experienced trauma into their classrooms – whether this is in prison, a yoga class, or higher education. As discourses and programming to support diversity intensifies, it is central that educators acknowledge and respond to the realities of the students before them. Advocates of trauma-sensitive curriculum acknowledge that trauma shows up as a result of the disproportionate amount of violence and persistent insecurity that specific groups face. Race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and immigration are all factors that expose individuals to higher levels of potential trauma.
Trauma has changed the conversations about what education is, and how it should happen. These conversations are resulting in new approaches to teaching and learning that address the lived experiences of pain and trauma that our adult learners bring into the classroom, and the workforce.
Gonell, Y., D.E. Jones, J.B. Powers, K. Rabbitt (2021). Racial Trauma Intervention Informing Campus Police Relations. Journal of Higher Education Management 36(1): 44-55.
In the wake of nationwide protests over racialized violence and policing, colleges and universities must find productive means to acknowledge students’ feelings of disconnect and fear, particularly those of students of color, that are frequently rooted in mistrust and grounded in the histories that they may bring from their communities of origin. During the Spring and Summer of 2020, William Paterson University explored institutional transformative strategies in response to national dialogues around racial injustice and police relations. This work was informed by a survey of student levels of racialized trauma during the protests following the killing of George Floyd and the handling of Breonna Taylor’s shooting death. Responses to this survey were used to develop a proactive series of initiatives designed to assure a safe and inclusive space for students’ return to campus in Fall 2020. These initiatives model a comprehensive institutional framework for implementing sustained partnerships with University Police and specific strategies to pivot programs during times of crisis to address the concerns and experiences of racial trauma among students, with a particular focus on students of color.
Rodney A., “Creating a Trauma Informed College Campus” (2020). Faculty Publications. 3297.https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/pubs/3297
Trauma has no limits and does not discriminate based on one’s gender, ethnicity, social standing, educational background or religious affiliation. Those affected by trauma are not only present in our neighborhoods, homes and congregations, but also in every academic institution. This pervasive issue demands a seamless and intentional multilevel-organizational approach which encompasses the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of academic preparation. Consequently, higher education institutions in providing optimal service to their constituents, should seek to create a campus culture that places high premium on the best-practices of a trauma-informed approach. This paper will discuss the key concepts associated with trauma including the ACE study and provide insight on educational practices that will assist in creating a trauma-informed college campus.
Shalka, Tricia R. “How a Trauma-Informed Organization Would Change the Face of Higher Education (and Why We Need It Now More Than Ever). Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, Vol. 54, Issue 4, 01 July 2022, https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2022.2078148.
Shalka, Tricia R. “Toward a Trauma-Informed Practice: What Educators Need to Know.” About Campus, vol. 20, no. 5, Nov. 2015, pp. 21–27. EBSCOhost, https://doi.org/10.1002/abc.21217.
Shalka, Tricia R. and Wilson K. Okello, eds. Special Issue: Trauma-Informed Practice in Student Affairs: Multidimensional Considerations for Care, Healing, and Wellbeing. New Directions for Student Services, Vol. 2022, Issue 177, Spring 2022.
Shalka, T. R. (2022). Nurturing a Trauma-Informed Student Affairs Division. About Campus, 27(2), 18–25. https://doi.org/10.1177/10864822221100253
Shalka, T.R. (2022). Re-envisioning student development theory through a trauma lens. New Directions for Student Services, 81-93. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.20417
Shalka T. R. (2021). Traversing the shadow space: Experiences of spatiality after college student trauma. The Review of Higher Education, 45(1), 93-116. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.0.0176.
Shalka T. R., Leal C. C. (2020). Sense of belonging for college students with PTSD: The role of safety, stigma, and campus climate. Advance online publication. Journal of American College Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2020.1762608
Shalka T. R., Okello W. K. (Eds.) (2022). Trauma-informed practice in student affairs: Multidimensional considerations for care, healing, and wellbeing. (New Directions for Student Services, 177). Wiley.
Smith, C. P., & Freyd, J. J. (2013). Dangerous safe havens: institutional betrayal exacerbates sexual trauma. Journal of traumatic stress, 26(1), 119–124. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21778
Research has documented the profound negative impact of betrayal within experiences of interpersonal trauma such as sexual assault (Freyd, 1994, 1996; Freyd, DePrince, & Gleaves, 2007). In the current study of college women (N = 345, 79% Caucasian; mean age = 19.69 years, SD = 2.55), we examined whether institutional failure to prevent sexual assault or respond supportively when it occurs may similarly exacerbate posttraumatic symptomatology-what we call “institutional betrayal.” Almost half (47%) of the women reported at least one coercive sexual experience and another 21% reported no coercion, but at least one unwanted sexual experience (total reporting unwanted sexual experiences, N = 233). Institutional betrayal (e.g., creating an environment where these experiences seemed more likely, making it difficult to report these experiences) was reported across different unwanted sexual experiences (47% and 45% of women reporting coercion and no coercion, respectively). Those women who reported institutional betrayal surrounding their unwanted sexual experience reported increased levels of anxiety (R(2) = .10), trauma-specific sexual symptoms (R(2) = .17), dissociation (R(2) = .11), and problematic sexual functioning (R(2) = .12). These results suggest that institutions have the power to cause additional harm to assault survivors.
Verschelden, Cia. Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization (2017). This text forms an excellent starting point for community college individuals and institutions because it offers rationale for trauma informed community college as well as a lens for best practices. Verschelden uses the non-pathologizing, non-medical frame of “cognitive bandwidth” to describe ways in which a student’s cognitive availability can be “sapped” or “increased”. Systemic inequality, racism, homophobia, and stereotype threat along with basic needs insecurities represent factors that sap or take away from the cognitive resources a student has to pursue academics. There are ways in which post-secondary institutions can restore or increase cognitive bandwidth by calibrating policies and practices aware and responsive to adverse dynamics that sap including trauma informed pedagogy and practices.
Note: Bandwidth Recovery offers an excellent introduction to trauma informed higher education, and especially community colleges, and would be a great choice for a book group as campuses begin to consider trauma informed. The concept of “cognitive bandwidth” makes for a very generative, non-pathologizing, non-clinical conceptual tool describing factors that adversely impact academic resilience as well as how colleges can positively increase and support the cognitive resources students bring to their work.
Verschelden also offers training: https://bandwidthrecovery.org/
Wilson, E. (2016). Trauma Informed Teaching, Advising, and Learning: Strategies for Building Resilience Inside and Outside the Classroom. Massachusetts Adult Education Professional Development System. https://www.sabes.org/content/trauma-informed-teaching-advising-and-learning-strategies-building-resilience-inside-and
This packet of resources was compiled by Emily Wilson for the SABES workshop she presented in May 2016 on trauma-informed teaching, advising, and learning. The packet contains the slides from Emily’s workshop as well as numerous links to information websites, research papers, and fact sheets on trauma, the impact of trauma on learning, and guidance on designing programming that supports trauma survivors.