WHITNEY MARRIS, LCSW
Director of Trauma-Informed Practice &
As CTIPP’s Director of Trauma-Informed Practice and System Transformation, Whitney supports the team in integrating and operationalizing the guiding principles of a trauma-informed approach in all aspects of the work.
In addition to engaging in training facilitation and coaching to advance transformative trauma-informed change in a variety of organizations and systems of care, Whitney currently works as a trauma therapist in a private group practice in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as an adjunct instructor at the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Social Work.
Outside of time spent working, Whitney enjoys getting lost in a book, attending live performances, taking advantage of the free admission price to DC’s fabulous museums, and spending off-the-grid time in the mountains with loved ones whenever possible.
What brings you to this work? A collection of events, experiences, and realities have helped me find my place in this movement. Before I arrived here, I felt as if I was perpetuating an unjust status quo that did not align with my deeply-held values, yet I was unsure how to find a good fit that would allow me to contribute to the change I wanted to see in the world. It wasn’t until I learned about trauma and NEAR science that I truly understood how to mobilize my positionality to play a role in advancing the paradigm shift from “What’s wrong with…”” to “What happened to…?” I am thrilled to presently find myself in a setting that encourages continued engagement in the deep reflection, learning (and un-learning), self-work, and re-storying needed to be an agent of change in this movement alongside so many others.
What helps you maintain a balanced life? Frequent walks with Jennifer (my Schnoodle), making ongoing efforts to reflect on my needs to help me compassionately set and maintain healthy boundaries, and the daily practice of mindfulness and meditation (no matter how short I feel I am on time). Additionally, I was fortunate enough to obtain a certification in Applied Polyvagal-Informed Yoga. While I initially trained with the intent to integrate more movement and embodiment practices into my clinical work, this has become an essential part of the way I care for myself, too!
Top 3 Podcasts: This is particularly challenging as there is an endless rotation of excellent podcasts in my car and household! Right now, staples include Unlocking Us, Stuff You Should Know, and Code Switch.