06 August 2019

Trauma-informed Care for Animals - Introduction to the Webinar Series

This video introduces the webinar series, Trauma-informed Care for Animals. The first series on "fundamentals," was presented in 2018. A follow-up series on ...

this webinar series initiates or

launches our new school of trauma-informed care for animals here at the Parrilla Center for non-violence at first like to say a few things about what is trauma-informed care in fact what is trauma trauma is a kind of stress and we experience stress every day almost every minute it's really you can think about it as the differential between our comfort zone both psychologically and physically and the social and ecological settings that we find ourselves in now every species an individual has developed a set of strategies and mechanisms for dealing with that differential which if if it's too extreme can be detrimental so for example if you go outside and it's really cold there are different ways in which you can accommodate that you can put on a jacket you can run around and get warm or go back inside from an emotional psychological stress perspective and for example if we have an argument with someone or our boss yells at us or we have anxiety about an exam we have strategies and mechanisms for coping with that as well we can in the case of an argument sit down with that individual how the discussion and

reconcile the issues with the exam we take the exam anxiety dissipates but when the stress becomes sustained and we can't escape it that's chronic stress it becomes deleterious and when it becomes so extreme so overwhelming that is what we call trauma and trauma can be psychological as well as physiological so when we think about animals then for the most part the majority have suffered and sustained stress high levels of stress and trauma and the reason that is is in this modern humanity the culture that we have created the differential the dis the difference between how they would normally live in their habitat and their social arrangement social organization and their food etc is radically different compared to what we have today in modernity now we look at cases of domestic and farmed animals cats dogs turkeys fish they live in environment which is very different for the most part than their needs even if they have co-evolved with humans this is particularly the case when we look at the food industry so chickens and turkeys and fish and other animals are confined and really at the heart then of trauma is this notion of the lack of

agency and agency is the capacity on the right to be able to exercise one's own decisions about one's life self-determination choose the individuals to socialize with the kind of food when and how we eat etc all aspects of our life so in the food industry in animals that are used in in experimentation like chimpanzees rats and mice even cats and dogs are really subjected to severe differentials in what they consider to be healthful mentally and physically and the environments that don't that are some that they're subjected to so then when we think about trauma-informed really what we're talking about is disabling the aspects of the environment that cause the stress that actually take away the agency from an individual so when we're caring for trauma survivors our role then is to inspire and revitalize and support that sole spark that we'll understanding and desire to be in control and take initiative on one's own so trauma-informed then is not just providing a nice place or good food or loving those are all very important but a really important distinction them is less about the animal for whom we're

caring than it is ourselves or the carers so what that means is in order to support and to inspire agency and individual in a safe environment so that they feel they can start to blossom and be themselves again without fear of any kind of harm or repercussion then then what that is when we're doing this is that it really is more about us than it is about the animal so essentially trauma-informed care what we study and what we learn about it is really directed at tuning ourselves as cares tuning ourselves to be as we say in our tag line becoming who animals need us to be specifically into the individual with whom we're working so that requires a lot of different things but one very important thing is work on ourselves so that we become an instrument that is perfectly tuned or as best that we can that really supports this individuals the trauma survivors healing an ability to regain their agency again so that means going away with our own agendas and our projections with an aside what we want the world to be putting aside what we want that individual that trauma survivor the

animal to be or do or feel and just really be a listening organ listening with all our senses and our heart or what that individual needs so that's kind of a snapshot or back-of-the-envelope description of what trauma-informed care is and this webinar series the first and many will be hearing from three leaders in the field of traumatology actually it's a much broader umbrella but this notion of trauma is central and and that's because unfortunately we live in and our a large part of humanity has created a traumatic genic environment so essentially these lectures and these presentations are really about how do we how can we best accommodate and create a space and place for individuals who are surviving from trauma so these are going to be wonderful stunning presentations that will give you just kind of a glimpse into this vast and deep field and help you understand how we can all come whoo animals need us to be so enjoy and thank you very much