Talking with Elizabeth Power About Healing from Trauma

Elizabeth Power has dedicated her life to helping people heal from trauma, whether it’s with her phenomenal books or when she speaks at live events. She has been extremely successful in this arena her work has helped countless people move from surviving to thriving. ‘Healer: Reducing Crises’ has captivated readers with its straight to the point style and real life skills, which can be used to heal, whether the trauma is a result of an accident, a natural disaster, abuse, neglect or something else.

Power has poured her heart, soul and intellect into this blockbuster of a book, giving readers everything they are looking for, along with a huge heap of hope for the present and the future. ‘Healer: Reducing Crises’ is a must read book for anyone looking to find some healing or help someone else.

We were excited when Power agreed to chat with us about her work, helping people thrive, and what’s next from this talented author.

‘Healer: Reducing Crises’ is an epic book, which offers readers some very real ways that they can heal from trauma, and thrive. While this is a much-needed book it couldn’t be an easy one to write, how did you arrive at the decision to sit down and write it?

I kept talking to folks as I was teaching—and as I was mastering my own history—and they fell into one of two camps: one group thought all survivors needed meds and lots of grueling treatment and the other felt a lot of folks needed missing skills first. I’m a competency-based educator. Skills saved my life and made healing easier. I did the research over a ten year period and finally gave in! I started organizing and writing.

The trauma the pandemic has created is very real, what can our readers do to get themselves on the road to recovery?

First off, recognize that there is as much opportunity for growth as for injury. It’s double-edged. We get to choose.

Here are the things I’m recommending:

1. Think about how you want the future to go. For example, I noticed my allergies have been better since masking up, so I’m still masking. I like a little more space, so I am asking for it. I’m happier and healthier traveling less, so it comes with a premium price.

2. Take it slow. Re-enter at your own pace. No relationship or job is worth your sense of physical and emotional safety.

3. Laugh a lot. It helps you relax and floods your brain in feel-good chemicals.

4. Identify people, places, and more memories that make you feel good. Think about those deliberately: fill that bucket with those “inner connections.”

5. Breathe. Sing, chant, laugh, lament and holler, meditate.

6. Talk about the good before you talk about the bad. Feed what you want to grow.

How much of yourself and your own struggles with trauma did you put into this book? What was that like for you?

Everything in the book—and in The Trauma- Informed Academy and our Trauma-Responsive System— is grounded in two criteria: research in multiple fields and a belief that what happened to me created big gaps. Those gaps shouldn’t equal mental illness. Traumatic events aren’t mental illnesses, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop one—but everyone tells us we will (or that we have one).

It took constant vigilance to balance my own history and what worked for me with research about what helps others.

Given the work you do in my mind you are a superhero, which is why I’m asking this next question.  If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

Hmmm…. I’d have the superpower to grant everyone compassion for themselves, each other and all life.

While you are an extremely talented writer, you are also a very gifted speaker. If you had to choose between the two which would you choose and why? Do you have a new book or talk coming up you can tell us about?

I’d choose speaking–there’s something about the energy of voice that is compelling. I can speak to crowds of hundreds and thousands. I do have a couple of talks coming up, one of which is for people who work with the WIC (women, infant, children) program. I’ll give them the three most important “magic questions” they can ask!

Looking for more information on Elizabeth Power and her work? Head on over to her website to get more information.

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