Trauma is so much more than the mental and emotional aftermath of some extreme experience. According to Dr. Alauna Curry, who describes herself as “America’s only trauma psychiatrist,” trauma is way more common than most think. And to offer relief, she’ hosting ‘The Trauma C.U.R.E.,” an event that offers the steps for participants to heal themselves.
“We have a tendency to think of trauma as something that required you have to go to war or that you have to be a crime victim,” said Curry. “And that’s just an incorrect definition of it.:
Curry who worked with veterans for over 12 years, says trauma is ever-present in all our lives, even though most of us don’t realize it.
“We’ve experienced the trauma of COVID globally, and now that we’ve experienced that, I think it’s easier for people to understand when I say racism is traumatic, gender violence is traumatic, geopolitical upheaval is traumatic, as are climate disasters and weather disasters. And that’s not even considering the traumas that we go through in our families and our relationships and our workplace,” said Curry.
Curry helps people understand the way their brain processes information, including trauma, and to have a “skills over pills” approach for how individuals can have the power to improve their mental health, which is what “The Trauma C.U.R.E.” is all about.
“We have biology that dictates our psychology. Our psychology then is responsible for our choices and the actions that we take. So, every human being on earth is a creator. Our thoughts are creative. Our emotions create things inside of us and even outside of us. So, understanding the identity of who we are as creators is the first part. And then when we talk about radical empathy,” said Curry, who contends empathy is built into the way human beings are designed.
“As soon as we get here on earth, as soon as we’re born, we start training empathy out of each other. And we start creating disconnect,” she said. And this “disconnect” leaves us less equipped to deal with the regular and irregular traumas that life is sure to bring.
Curry says attendees can expect that they will get to explore trauma without having to, deep dive into every single traumatic experience that they’ve ever had, and to learn how to handle their own business.
In other words, Curry is not looking for more patients, she wants the patients to be empowered to heal themselves. When asked if she was trying to train and empower others so successfully that she’s out of a job, she said “Absolutely.”
“It not just part of my hope, it is my system. I’m retired from clinical practice in part because of my own health problems, my own traumas. But even before I retired with the health problems my career was at the VA. I practiced at the VA for about 12 years. I was a PTSD specialist. I worked at the anxiety, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and all of these things that were trauma-related conditions. And in listening to thousands of veterans over the years talk to me about their experiences, I began to recognize the same patterns of thinking. And actually, the specific trigger for me was Michael Brown Jr.’s death.”
Curry, who is from St. Louis, where Brown was killed, grew up and went to school in the Ferguson area. She was also married to a police officer, which forced her to experience the Brown tragedy from multiple perspectives.
“I found myself in a position of forced empathy where I could see how the experience of the police officer and how the experience of Michael Brown Jr. were divergently different, but yet valid. So, I began to listen more carefully to my friends, my family, people on the television. And I’m hearing the same patterns in their thoughts and speech as I was hearing in my veterans. And I’m like, ‘Either I’m crazy or everybody’s traumatized.’”
Curry says event attendees will have enough understanding of their own trauma responses that they have tools to be able to challenge themselves and rethink their thoughts when they need to, and be on the road to trauma recovery.
“My marketing strategy is ‘I’m retired; you don’t need me.’ I’m going to give you this information, and you go put it into play. And you don’t need to call me. I’ve got eight billion potential customers, so I don’t need to hold on to anybody. I want to get’em in and get’em out as soon as possible.”
There is still time today (Friday, Oct. 28) to tap into “The Trauma C.U.R.E.” by visiting www.DrAlauna.com.