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Urgent call to all healthcare professionals: A Traumatized Society needs You

Fight, Flight, Flee, Flop: Understanding Trauma Responses

My fellow healers, this call comes straight from the depths of my heart, forged by decades of witnessing the devastating impacts of trauma and the urgent need for a radically new approach. I've seen the pain, brokenness, and despair that trauma can inflict on individuals and society. We can no longer afford to treat this crisis with anything less than the totality of our passion, commitment, and unwavering dedication to transformation.

The trauma we're witnessing today is unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered lives, torn families apart, and left countless individuals grappling with unbearable loss and uncertainty. As the virus began its relentless march across the globe in the spring of 2020, hospitals overflowed, morgues reached capacity, and communities were plunged into collective grief and fear. The scenes of desperate healthcare workers, makeshift morgues, and heartbreaking goodbyes will forever be seared into my memory.

But the trauma didn't stop there. The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, ignited a wave of protests and civil unrest that laid bare the deep-seated trauma of systemic racism and police brutality. The video of Floyd's final moments sparked a national reckoning that reverberated around the world. Millions took to the streets to demand justice and systemic change.

In the following months, the country witnessed a disturbing rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, fueled by xenophobic rhetoric and scapegoating. The 2020 presidential election became a flashpoint for further division and trauma, with acrimonious rhetoric, unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, and the culmination of the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol leaving our nation reeling.

In the political arena, we've witnessed a troubling shift towards the weaponization of divisive issues, as lawmakers and pundits capitalize on public fears and anxieties. The ongoing debates around abortion rights, LGBTQ+ equality, and transgender rights have become flashpoints for trauma, with vulnerable communities facing constant marginalization and oppression.

The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion, triggered a wave of trauma and anxiety for millions, particularly women and those who rely on abortion access. Protests erupted across the country, with individuals grappling with the loss of bodily autonomy and fear for other hard-won civil rights.

The ongoing battles over LGBTQ+ equality have left many in the queer community feeling besieged, with the rise of anti-trans legislation and increasing hate speech and violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals.

Economic uncertainty, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the influence of social media have compounded the trauma that individuals and communities face. Job loss, financial instability, and the erosion of personal privacy have left many feeling powerless and adrift. The proliferation of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and the weaponization of fear on social media platforms have exacerbated these traumas, leaving individuals isolated, anxious, and disconnected.

Trauma extends beyond these headline-grabbing events and into the everyday lives of countless individuals. The rise of online bullying and harassment has left many, particularly young people, grappling with the trauma of constant digital attacks on their self-worth and identity. The ongoing opioid epidemic has ravaged communities, leaving families shattered and individuals struggling with the trauma of addiction and loss.

The #MeToo movement has brought to light the pervasive trauma of sexual assault and harassment, with countless individuals coming forward to share their stories and demand accountability. The trauma of domestic violence continues to impact millions, with the added challenges of isolation and limited access to support services during the pandemic.

For many, the trauma of poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity is a daily reality, compounded by the systemic inequalities that perpetuate these cycles of hardship. The trauma of mass incarceration and the devastating impact on families and communities, particularly communities of color, cannot be ignored.

As mental health practitioners, coaches, social workers, and healthcare professionals, we find ourselves on the frontlines of this crisis, bearing witness to the unimaginable pain and suffering of those shattered by life's most devastating blows. The memories of Columbine, 9/11, and other tragedies that have scarred our nation's history drive us to action with a sense of urgency.

In the months following the Columbine shooting, as I worked alongside my friend Kevin and the students of that shattered community, I knew that the old ways of doing things wouldn't suffice. We needed a new paradigm that acknowledged the complexity of trauma and empowered individuals to reclaim their lives with courage, authenticity, and purpose.

The Restoration Model was born – a comprehensive, holistic framework that integrates the insights of neuroscience, the wisdom of the body, and the liberating potential of narrative therapy. I poured my heart and soul into this approach, driven by the conviction that trauma is both a psychological and neurological phenomenon. When we experience trauma, our brains and bodies undergo a profound, shattering shift, with neural pathways disrupted, nervous systems in overdrive, and memories seared into our consciousness in fragmented and visceral ways.

The impact of trauma ripples outward, shaping our relationships, communities, and the fabric of our society. I saw this firsthand in the aftermath of 9/11, when I provided crisis response in New York City. The urgent need for trauma-informed practices became clear – we had to create environments and systems that prioritized safety, trust, collaboration, and empowerment to facilitate true and lasting healing.

The path ahead may seem daunting, and confronting our own trauma is no easy feat. But I implore you – do not delay. The time is now, the need is dire, and the stakes have never been higher. We must prioritize our healing, deepen our trauma-informed expertise, and become beacons of hope and empowerment for those entrusted to our care.

Take the first step today. Engage in practices that support your well-being and emotional regulation, whether it's mindfulness meditation, journaling, or gentle movement. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Immerse yourself in the principles of trauma-informed care. Seek out training, workshops, and resources that deepen your understanding of the neurological, psychological, and social impacts of trauma. Become fluent in the language of trauma and learn to create environments and interventions that prioritize safety, trust, and empowerment.

When you feel ready, explore the Restoration Model – a framework that has the power to transform the lives of your clients and your own life. Visit or to learn more, access resources, and connect with a community of like-minded practitioners committed to this vital, world-changing work.

Imagine a world where every mental health professional, coach, social worker, and caregiver had a deep understanding of trauma-informed practices and had undertaken the transformative journey of personal healing and self-discovery. Imagine the ripple effects that would reverberate through our communities, as individuals shattered by trauma are met with practitioners who embody the principles of safety, trust, and empowerment essential for true, lasting healing.

This is the future I envision – a world where trauma is a catalyst for growth, resilience, and the reclamation of our most authentic, vibrant selves. It begins with every one of us, as we step into the mantle of the wounded healer and embrace the transformative power of the Restoration Model.

Start by incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine. Connect with your body, regulate your nervous system, and cultivate inner calm and resilience. Deepen your understanding of trauma-informed principles and practices. Recognize the signs of trauma, create safe and empowering environments for your clients, and develop interventions that address the multifaceted nature of this experience. Become fluent in the language of trauma and guide your clients towards healing and self-discovery.

The time for action is now. The trauma we are witnessing is a systemic crisis that threatens to unravel the fabric of our society. As the guardians of mental health and human services, we have a sacred responsibility to lead the way and become the beacons of hope and empowerment our communities desperately need.

Let us summon the courage to confront our own trauma, deepen our expertise in trauma-informed care, and embrace the transformative power of the Restoration Model. Let us be the architects of a future where healing, wholeness, and the freedom to be our truest selves are the birthright of all. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable.

Together, let us rewrite the narrative of trauma, one life at a time. Let us be the changemakers our world so desperately needs.

In Solidarity,

Trey Malicoat, M.S

P.S. If you are interested in more information about trauma and how you can be well-equipped for the dynamics of tragedy, please visit or We are currently offering a wide range of trainings!

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