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Whitney Marris on The Muckrake Political Podcast

LISTEN (Whitney at 00:29:00)


Co-host Jared Yates Sexton sits down with Whitney Marris, who is the Director of Trauma Informed Practice and System Transformation at the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice.


All right, everybody, as promised, we're here with Whitney Marris, who is a licensed social worker and at the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice is the director of Trauma-Informed Practice and System Transformation. Whitney, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me. One of the things that I really admire about your work is your willingness to tackle tough topics in a way that is very much of service to a functional democracy and healthier society. And I'm really jazzed to be here with you today. Well, flatter will get you everywhere. Thank you so much. Okay, let's go ahead and let's set the table here because one of the reasons I wanted to have this conversation, I've said in this new year, I've spent the last, my God, six, seven years diagnosing what's happening, right? Like what the problem is, what the consequences are, what the threats are. We're starting to shift more in terms of maybe some things that we can start to do, both on a personal level, a societal level, political level, all of that. Can you go ahead and just let people know what trauma-informed me so we can start having that conversation? 1s Absolutely. And I think to be able to do that, I also want to speak to what trauma really even is because there are so many different conceptualizations of that. And trauma is this incredibly individualized experience that is not contingent just upon what events occur, but also on how those events are experienced and the lasting effects that they can have and if we want to get nerdy about it, the etymology for trauma ah, the Greek right, meaning wound. And so I really like the conceptualization of trauma as an injury of the soul or a soul wound which really comes from indigenous communities. And when we're talking about trauma here, it's important to recognize that both individual and collective experiences can contribute to human needs being left unmet or otherwise contribute to this sense of overwhelm and powerlessness. And so absolutely, trauma-informed really is about switching from what's wrong with to what happened to and it's essential. So we don't just react to harms that have occurred, but also look to get to the root of why people and groups may act the ways that they do when confronted with a perceived crisis. Because so many of these interrelated and seemingly intractable issues we see popping up that tend to be addressed piecemeal the health harming behaviors that contribute to challenges in being healthy and self-actualizing across our lifespan are symptoms of our society and really don't get to the root cause. So we believe that this trauma-informed approach tells us trauma experiences are the root cause of those issues and that to be able to get real about addressing them in a way that will actually create sustainable change, we need to look at the why, the what happened here. Yeah. And I want to talk about that because since I've started looking at the idea of trauma and its implications in politics and society, for me, it felt like what it must have felt like for a Robert Hook to finally look into a microscope and see a cell and understand that there was a world beyond the world that people understood. And suddenly it it explained other things, right? Like, so before we understood the molecular level, we thought that diseases were curses from above, right? Like a Raffle god sending something to punish us. That idea between what's wrong with versus what happened to I feel like is a similarly revolutionary idea. And in the past, let's just go ahead and take it back to 2016 with the rise of Donald Trump, what I refer to as growing authoritarianism, and this movement of what I believe is also a growing mental and wellness in this country and around the world. A lot of people looked up and they said, oh, my God, something has gone wrong. Right? Something has suddenly cropped up, as opposed to there are larger systemic problems that have reached some sort of a boil. Can you talk a little bit about what that is in terms of feeling that something isn't right and that somehow or another, the system or the society as we know it is not? Well, it's. Absolutely. I think you make beautiful points, right? Because people do what they can to cope and adapt and survive on an individual level in a system that, as you just beautifully put itself, is just deeply unhealthy and really being, quote unquote, well-adjusted in what is a profoundly unhealthy and disregulated and traumatized society that itself is both perpetuating trauma and in. Trauma is not exactly a thing we're looking for more of. Right? And so I think you make beautiful points. Some of this is really getting radically honest about, yes, some of these things have been proliferating differently, more visibly, but this is how it always has been. We need to get honest about the status quo and how our systems are doing exactly what they're designed to do, right? How power is preserved and how things operate in ways that keep us in that part of our brains that's all about survival, mode, fight, flight, freeze, fawn, faint, right? The ways that people in power generate thud, fear, uncertainty, doubt among the populace, which is itself their own trauma response, right, to this idea of, God forbid, having to seed some of their own power that they've come to integrate as an essential part of their own identity and how they move about the world. So we live in this culture that really has amplified contempt and manufactures fear. And so this behavior based on self-interest and othering has been normalized over time and encouraged. And in more recent times, I'd argue, maybe even more incentivized. And we see this in action, right, because people are separating and segregating themselves from one another because of that relentless fear and anxiety about what's happening both around and to them. And so we become. I would say untethered to our core beliefs and from each other. And so they say dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Right. And and yet we have to heal from trauma in order to actually even see that this is happening and to push back and resist. And that's really tough because of course there's going to be ambivalence when we challenge, you know, everything we've ever known and when it's being reinforced by our leaders as they leveraged trauma for their ill gotten gains. Yeah, and that's the thing, because I want to talk about the personal in a minute, but really quickly, what you just brought up, when you really take a look at what we now consider common sense or what the incentives of, I don't know, let's say a capitalist market. When you are literally learning how to be a manager in certain schools and in certain vocations, you're literally being trained in how to make people feel precarity, in how to make people feel uncomfortable, how to make people distrustful of one another. I mean, union busting in and of itself is literally the practice, science and art of making people distrust one another and to feel like 1s their own wealth, their own profit, those types of things cannot work with another person's well-being. It is Dr. Sandra Bloom, who we had on the show earlier and who is pioneers in this field, talks about the psychopathy, like the type of incentives that are in the system. Can you talk about like that? If we were having a different conversation with different people, that would be common sense, that would be good management. That would be just how the system works. And as a result, it actually promotes in people not just unhealthy behaviors toward others, but also their own personal unwellness. Right? 1s Yeah, absolutely. I think you make really beautiful points. And, you know, I'm thinking of Chomsky where it's sort of like these I think you said something to the effect that propaganda is to a democracy as the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. So there's this idea, right, that of course we've learned these things along the way. We're trained to see these things. It is deeply embedded in our society and the conversations people have are going to be different based on that. And we've continued to really see, I think, this play out in the ways that are absolutely understandable responses. And I appreciate the way you framed that because of course people are going to believe that they've adapted to this. Things have been pathologized along the way. This narrative of blame and shame has become normal. And it's all about power and compliance and control, right. It's designed for us not to question it. So you have these figureheads profiting off of making themselves more powerful through stoking the fears, not changing systems and institutions to be different than what you just described and making bad faith arguments about why that's the right way to be. And the thing is, they know how to make those fears proliferate, right? So breaking through the barriers of what has been normalized that you just captured is really challenging. We're basing these conclusions on something that usually has a feed of truthfulness to it that can be exploited. And it creates this secondary emotion that I've noticed of anger, right. That can become really toxic in the face of a lack of control when someone is confronted with an idea that maybe we could do things a little bit differently. And I think we've seen that get expressed in ways that are really not constructive. I think the constructive use of anger there would really entail holding accountable those who have actually perpetrated harm and contributed to that chronic stress that each of us lives with. But it's safer to find spaces that offer that sense of control and understanding in a world that feels so uncertain and chaotic. Right. It's part of what makes conspiracy theories so compelling and it's part of what keeps us in this pattern of trauma. Yeah. And I mean, like, at the base root of, like, a conspiracy theory is the idea that, oh, my God, they're after me. Right? I mean, it really is a paranoid feeling of that you've been put in into the center of of a conspiracy against yourself. And we we basically have and and this is the thing. I think Donald Trump did us an invaluable service. You know, this is like a cartoonish buffoon who was the President of the United States for four years, and people would look at him, and they would say, oh, this person's not well, this thing is not great. And the entire sort of appeal that he had was that he would tell his followers, his supporters, listen, the problem is not you. The problem is everybody else. You don't have to worry when people are telling you, like, you need to do better. You need to treat people better. I mean, all of the backlashes, of course, that we had against massage white supremacy, you name it, it felt like it was an aggressive 1s reactionary movement against the idea that we can be better, that we should be better. And more importantly, I think we have to be better. 1s Yeah. You capture that well, because we can look to this paradigm shift, right, to give us all a lens to better understand how those past influences 1s have shaped the way we engage in the present and to question those ideas that, oh, it's everybody else, it's certainly not me. And to create space for us to really get curious about why those fault lines develop even in families and in friendships and communities, to sow division and doubt and tribalism and all of these things that we're seeing in our world as the crises pile up and go, what I'd say unprocessed and unintegrated. And so, yeah, absolutely. How wonderful that we have this example to look to, to say, like, oh, well, that's not right. And yet at the same time, there's also this aspect of, okay, so how do we understand what to actually do about that? Because that has resonated with a lot of people. It's touched on a lot of things that people have been paying attention to and worried about. Well, one of the things that I wanted to talk about here is when people talk about psychology or they talk about therapy, they talk about these theories for the longest time, it feels like it's been buttonholed into personal health, right? Like, it's the idea, and I think we both know this but there are different types of therapy, right? There are different theories when it comes to psychology. Like like, for instance, in in a capitalistic world, a lot of it is coaching or making sure that you can be more productive or that you can maximize your earnings. Right. The problem is with the individual, not with the society itself, right, that you need to figure out how to be a productive member of the larger society. What we're talking about here is a larger, I would say more revolutionary and more impactful idea, which is that, yes, we need to work on ourselves, right? Because we do have trauma and we have things that we need to heal from and grow from, but also that there is a larger, more unhealthy thing taking place here, and that it behooves us to actually try and make that society better. Is that succinct enough? 1s Absolutely. You capture it well. Right. There's this aspect where yes, there's an inside out component of this in the sense of we need to be able to hold space, to feel discomfort so we can be in community and conversation with people. And also, it's not just about us. We need to be able to join together and have constructive conversations about what we can actually do and to bridge those divides. It can't just be one person doing the work thing. It needs to be collective. Yeah. And we live in a society. I mean, I'm not telling you anything you don't know. 1s It's not funded necessarily. There have been aggressive movements to take away any sort of support for therapy or communal building. On top of that, there's been an aggressive push back against the idea that we should be talking about these things or that we should heal. Can you talk about what the potential is for this? Because I think that's the larger thing, this isn't just it's not what do we do for people who are mentally unwell, which is, like, one aspect of it, but, like, what is the potential for this thing to actually shape and change society and take care of some of the problems that we have right now at this moment of crisis? 1s The great question. I think it starts by acknowledging that so many people feel like they're in rooms without doors, right? There's no way out. Everything is distressing and disorienting and destabilizing and uncertain and scary. And so that instinctive survival response comes out in ways that block the progress that you just spoke to, that we really could access. And it's through this paradigm shift that we can help others to not just build doors for themselves, but also to give themselves permission to go through those doors, to be able to see things differently, to be able to want to understand the meaning of behavior, not just recognize that all behavior has meaning, but to want to dig in. And that's not easy, right? Because in those moments that we may have to confront the ways that we aren't really acting in alignment with our deeply held values, to think about how we can do things differently can be a painful experience. And yet we know from anti oppressive frameworks and research that supporting a collective consciousness, as we were just sort of speaking to of these things, is integral if we expect people to be able to think about and do things differently. So it starts there, but then it proliferates out, right? Because we know that these problems are connected to people who are living in pain and don't feel that they have a way to do things differently. And so this doesn't just speak to mental health. This speaks to creating space for us to be thinking about constructive solutions together. For justice, for community-based programming, for mutual aid, the ways that we can come together in our communities to work together to do things differently, to put pressure on the people who are in power to do things differently. And so it's really about directly challenging the ways that we've been thinking in order to create this new way of being, thinking, doing and relating that allows us to think about solutions that aren't just individualizing folks, that we're looking at everything different. And I think that's probably the most important takeaway of all of this. It's not a checklist, right? It's an ongoing digestive process. It's a way of thinking, being, doing and relating. Yeah, absolutely. And I want to talk about some of those solutions. And actually, 1s we are talking about revolutionary ideas. Here is what we're actually doing. And if you look at revolutionary societies, how people have pushed back, it always begins with groups of people forming solidarity and disabusing themselves of trying trauma that has been heaped upon them by people who have oppressed them or hurt them or intentionally traumatized them. Can you talk about in practice? Can you talk a little bit and introduce the audience to this CtIP organization? What are you doing? What is the purpose? What is the focus? Where is this going? 1s Absolutely. So in terms of the campaign for trauma-informed policy and practice, what we are doing is we're really working in a two-pronged way. We're working to build capacity among advocates to be able to have the tools that they need to be able to tackle the tough issues in their communities as well as at a federal level. So we're trying to get people in touch with their policymakers. We're helping people learn the language, helping people educate their policymakers about this, helping people recognize that they actually do have power as constituents. And if they hold people's feet to the fire at a local, state and federal level, they'll be able to create more change than if they are just sort of spinning in this trauma response of feeling helplessness and powerless. So we think of ourselves as educators and connectors rather than the people who are actually doing the work, so to speak, right? But in that work, what we do is we also help people understand the values and principles of a trauma formed approach. And that's how I would say any of what we're talking about becomes not so abstract and is actually operationalized. And those are what we have found in the research to be effective, to help people move past those feelings of trauma, to be able to be more constructive, to get out of that fight, flight, freeze, fawn, faint mode and to get into their logical brain. And so that is safety, trustworthiness and transparency, voice choice and empowerment, peer support, collaboration and mutuality and then being attentive to cultural, gender and historical issues. And so when I say this is a way of thinking, being, doing and relating, that means integrating all of those principles with intentionality into how we approach our dailiness, how we do our work in our lives, how we talk to our families and our friends and maybe the people who are not our friends. It's really, again embodying these values to affect a large-scale change. Because what we know is when you meet people with compassion and curiosity, they're less likely to sort of double down. And there is a neuroscientist named Bruce Perry. He talks about this sequence of engagement. He says it is regulate, relate and reason. But what we've done in society is just get to the reasoning part. But what we know about the neurobiology of trauma, as I just said, we can't get to the thinking part of our brain, our prefrontal cortex, when we're in survival mode, we can't make choices, we can't weigh the options for critical thinking and we can't necessarily hear other people's perspectives. And so the first step is to regulate ourselves. And that means that if I am regulated, I have a better chance of regulating you. So that also means owning your own stuff. Being able to know what for instance, I know what issues are a little harder for me to go to what happened to than what's wrong with right? I know that about myself. That helps me show up in a more compassionate, open and empathic way to create space so someone else feels a sense of belonging even if we are not aligned. And from there we can get to that reasoning place and get to constructive solutions that really will make change. Inch yeah. And I want to go ahead and say, I mean, this is important in all of this. I do believe that this is a solution or a possible solution to the crisis that we're in. When you start looking through the trauma lens, I think it becomes apparent what happens in moments of crisis. We reach a point where I mentioned before we started recording, it's a very trench warfare situation. You have two groups of people on two sides that feel like that they are in an existential battle. Right. So, for instance, you cannot find compromise and you cannot communicate with someone if you truly believe that they are satanically, evil and sacrificing babies. Right? Totally. You can't do that. You also can't have a conversation about how to move a country forward unless you're having a conversation on a logical level, which when we look through this lens, it takes work to get there. This is a difficult thing. 2s And I think there might be some pushback on some of this with people who think, oh, let's all hold hands and take care of this. This is hard work. And if people are looking for things that they can do in order to help with this, I think this is where the personal becomes societal and it always has been. It just becomes clear after moments like the Pandemic or with rising authoritarianism, the idea that we are interdependent. And if we are interdependent, and I have to believe that the people who listen to this show and subscribe to a lot of what we talk about. If you truly believe we are interdependent, then when you work on this, then that affects other people. And I think that what we're talking about is a larger self-led and also community led revolution. That this this is how things get done. 2s I love it absolutely. You're very much speaking to the trauma-informed core value of mutuality and collaboration. So that's beautiful to hear because beyond formal structural change leveraging those democratic tools and pulling on policy levers, we really need more accessible spaces for that authentic open exchange about these processes and experiences. And it's not enlightened centrism hold hands, compromise as all your values in the name of compromised for peace or whatever. Right. This is about being able to recognize what has happened here, where people are coming from, see our common humanity and help democracy become a more tangible experience. Where we don't feel so powerless by using one another to tell stories, to be witnessed, to hear stories. And that after that point, that's when we can embody whatever it is that we need to embody to strengthen trust and cohesion and motivation to actually make positive changes. And it's okay if we don't agree. What we can agree on is that many of us have been subjects to harm and that we want to make change that helps us and our future generations from having to endure that same farm. Yeah. And we're not having rational conversations. I mean, that's the thing is we're not actually to take this on like a personal level, this is something I think a lot of people can relate to. There are moments where you have interpersonal conflict and you're not having rational conversations about what's wrong. You're screaming about other things that represent the thing that's actually taking place here. So what you just said about centrism, it's not about saying, well, maybe we should listen to these people when they say trans people shouldn't have rights. What we're actually talking about is what is actually being said in this, what is actually being put forward, what insecurities, what terror, all of that. Because what we're dealing with here is weaponized terror. It's weaponized precarity, it's weaponized anxiety. It is almost to a campaign. It is making sure that people stay absolutely terrified, feeling like they're in that fight or flight situation. And as a result, you've can't even begin to have a conversation about the issue, whether it's gas stoves or what a public school should do when it comes to gay and trans kids. Right? 2s Absolutely. Yeah. And because division is and polarization are fundamentally about sociopolitical and psychological conditions like that fear and anxiety and that feeling of a lack of empathy and belonging, as you just captured, it's really important that we acknowledge that healing happens in relationship, as you just mentioned. And that's evidenced in those exact movements that keep us actually separate, right? People want to be seen, people want to feel accepted and as if they have something meaningful to contribute. They want to feel like they're a part of something. We all want to know that in some way we matter. And when we look to the science of belonging, we can see the ways that these fractures formed and continue. And one of the most powerful ways to actually evoke a sense of belonging that is more constructive is to be witnessed and to witness someone. And by that I mean to really recognize and acknowledge the personal and collective realities that they bring to us as legitimate and understandable. Not saying we need to tacitly agree or cosign what they're saying, but to understand where it's coming from. And it doesn't only have to happen in those echo chambers even though the personal is political, right? We don't need to jump to conclusions about someone's moral compass or worth as a human being based on how they've responded to this unending inundation of information that they've been absorbing and acting based upon their entire lives. And so we all can contribute to creating a society where everyone can feel like they belong without having to isolate themselves to feel safe. And again, we don't need to agree to do that. And in fact, when we have a sense of belonging, the science tells us that when we're met with that compassion and curiosity rather than judgment and animosity, we can be more courageous to be honest about some of the ways that maybe these don't actually make sense and we can admit and take accountability for the parts that we might have contributed to. And we also can sit with dissent and discomfort without coming to this stalemate where we just sort of throw our hands up, say we'll never get anywhere and the cycle continues ad infinitum. Right? I think you're absolutely right. So here's what I'm going to do with all the power invested in me as a leftist podcast host, I am going to create and by the way, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that we don't have a cabinet level position for mental health. I think that's actually a shame. When you really think about it, it's actually really horrific. We can do it for everything else but for that so you've just been raised up and you suddenly have the ability to start charting a course in terms of an agenda. What does a trauma-informed healthier society look like? What are some of the highlights? What are some of the things that on a societal or political level that would actually make a difference or even turn the temperature down a little bit or move us toward a better and a healthier society. 1s Yeah, man, it's so hard to envision, right, because it is so contingent on so many different things. But I think the most critical thing in all of this that I can think of anchoring in is to be able to provide folks with safe passage to realistic, authentic hope for something different, continual, ongoing, self-reflection continual radical honesty about what's happening. And it will look different depending on what's actually evolving and emerging, right? It might look different today than it will look like in five years, but what it really is about is getting together, having those conversations, creating transformational space for healing and building resilience on individual and collective levels. And the trauma-informed approach is sort of subversive and countercultural to the mental models that we've come to know and believe to be objective truth over time. So this large scale paradigm shift requires commitment and values based action. So what that looks like to me, when I'm visualizing it, is people being able to have the support that they need, to have the connections that they need to feel whole, to be able to be self aware, to be able to access whatever resources to get their basic needs met, but also to self-actualize and sort of move up on that hierarchy of needs so they have the space to think about future consequences rather than operating. In. Well, I have to feed my family today, or this is the only thing that I have on my mind because it only impacts me and I am in survival mode. And so when I think about that too, I also think that I envision it starting from community. And that's why that answer isn't wishy-washy, right? It's because communities all have different needs and that can proliferate out from there. We like to illuminate how powerful the work to put us on a healthier and more hopeful course can be when it does start by meeting those local needs, by getting back to the basics, by seeing your neighbor as a human being, by being able to not forget our common humanity because this is more visible. We remember the human when we have more connection. So I don't have the perfect vision of what these systems working looks like, but what I do know is that there's collaboration. We're remembering our humanity, we're anchoring in empathy and compassion and openness and curiosity and we're moving away from that idea of competition-based, scarcity mindsets that keep us in this trauma. Yeah. And and you know what's more about I'm glad you used the phrase wishy-washy because this isn't pie in the sky stuff. Like what we actually find, whether it's how long people live, what kind of lives that they have, or even how we're handling criminal justice or law enforcement, when you actually take a look at these things scientifically, this is what gets results. A lot of the other stuff, whether or not it's throwing money, you know, towards law enforcement or towards military industrial complexes, I don't know, just to name a couple off the top of my head, those things don't actually get the results that they purport to. What we're actually talking about is a logical, fundamental approach to this, as opposed to, I don't know, continuing to act in the way that we always have and continuing to perpetuate the systems that created the problem in the first place. Yeah, you've bingo. I think you targeted it really beautifully. And it's through this process that we get to share our stories and hold space for others to do the same because then we can better tolerate difference. And that's how those new responses that you're mentioning and seeing new possibilities actually arise. And in CTIPP, we've been able to see this happen in facilitated conversations. Right. We have to work on a bipartisan scale. We have to work with people in rural communities. We have to work with people all around. And so that collective and honest exploration from people with different and diverse views and experiences bringing people together about how their inner states have impacted their reactions and what their thinking is needed, really, risk has reduced defensiveness in our experience and has replaced withdrawal. And that tendency to isolate, to protect ourselves 2s by not engaging, it's replaced that with something that's more meaningful. That connective piece is so important because that is how those solutions that you mentioned get actually implemented by people coming together, talking about what actually works, contributing to trust, making more social cohesion, more capacity to participate. It's about civic engagement. It's not about the actual checkbox of we got this policy passed. It's about civic engagement, working together and getting honest about what needs to be done. I'm so glad you put it that way. I mean, one of the things that we do constantly when we talk about an election, we talk about states casting their votes and which state is obviously going to go in this direction. And you write that state off the red state, blue state paradigm. And by the way, all it does is continue to push the divisions further and further. Thank you. Yeah, the idea of a bipartisan and I would actually go ahead and say that I don't think that any of this what we're actually talking about is red or blue or any of it. It is actually the connective tissue. We're actually dealing with stuff that everybody has to deal with. I don't care who you voted for. I don't care what political beliefs you have. You're affected by trauma. Like that is just straight up the truth. Like you are on a similar level. And you're right, like we have. We have people, we have states, we have groups that feel like they have been completely forgotten, that they've been trod upon, and that there hasn't been the ability to have conversations. So it does feel like that this is, like one of the answers that actually starts to repair that divide, at least begins to. I love the way you say it because from our perspective, open dialogue and conversation is a cornerstone of democracy that has, on purpose, been quashed right, and chilled. Um and as these crises pile on top of each other and views on Ukraine, the Pandemic, the climate crisis, many other things, for example, right, diverge and become seemingly more irreconcilable. That mutual understanding and meaning making process that helps us individually and collectively act in the interest of making positive advancements has become way more challenging to access because of that divide. And it's illusory because, as you said, this is a part of the human experience. Now, we know from research that trauma has always been more normative than not. And yet in the last few years, of course, right, we all have experienced individual and collective trauma in a lot of ways. And there's really evolving research on concepts related to post traumatic growth that I think that are coming to my mind right now. And that's including that these experiences that we all know we've had and that shift to the way we think and how we relate to ourselves, others in the world around us. With the right connections and repair work, we can actually emerge with a new appreciation and gratitude for life, a different outlook on the importance of relationships, a sense of personal strength, spiritual and philosophical change, and a vision that now includes new possibilities that we may not have ever even seen because of those fake divides. Things that brand new thoughts, right? Things we've never considered before. And that's what this paradigm shift hopes to unlock for us individually and collectively in the end of the day. Yeah, it's pretty incredible, right? Because when trauma particularly takes hold, it feels like nothing could ever possibly change. Right? There's no better future. Tomorrow is going to feel as bad as today has felt. And it does. It not only knocks down innovation, it knocks down the ability to imagine better future or better life. 1s Absolutely. I think you put it really, really well. And this is also how those, again, those abstract concepts of democracy and fairness and justice come together, not just as something out there. And it instead becomes this internalized experience where we can personally, emotionally and situationally really position ourselves within these concepts by challenging what we may have previously believed to reckon, recognize. Like, oh, that's something that happened to me. That wasn't me being dysfunctional in the world. It was actually 1s me trying to be functional in a totally dysfunctional world. And that's where we can actualize our role in creating something different based upon the wisdom and experience we've gained. Right. This is not about shame, blame. This is not about, I was traumatized and there's no hope for me. This is about, wow, honestly, this really impacted me and changed the way that I saw the world, and now I get to make the choice to do things different the next time. Well, Whitney Marris, thank you so much for coming on the show. I think you're fantastic. I hope we get to have more conversations about this in the future. I think our audience is going to be really interested in learning more. Where can they find out more about your work, more about CTIPP, more about trauma-informed ideas? Absolutely. Go to to find more information. We have a whole vision, so I did get to write the vision in terms of what a trauma-informed policy sort of schematic would look like. So there is some of that information there if you really need more meat on what we talked about today. And also there's educational modules if you want to start taking action, if you're like. What does advocacy in a trauma-informed world look like? Lots of resources there for you. All right. Thank you so much, Whitney. Thank you.


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