My name is Brian McLauchlin and I am at LFFP as an intern through Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. Currently I am earning an MA in Conflict Transformation, but my focus is on trauma and healing. While at LFFP, I want to lead our organization through a process for becoming “trauma-informed.” What “trauma-informed” means is that we, as a staff, become more aware of the influence of trauma in the lives of the children and adults with whom we work. Such knowledge helps us in the tools we use to build skills for peace. More importantly, such tools should be geared toward healing, healing of self and others.
One peace skill we can use toward healing, for example, is the use of movement. Sometimes at McKenna Center, we have the men stand up and do some simple exercises. At the after-school program or in Summer Peace Camp, we have the children do exercises. Although such activities may seem “simple,” such techniques helps people connect with their bodies. Research has shown that trauma can disconnect a person from his or her body, even to the point that people can lose bodily sensations. Under such circumstances, people can operate in their head, but are not able to function well within the body. Exercises, such as yoga or other bodily movements, can help one to connect with the body so that there is a more fluid movement between mind, body, and spirit. This connection helps to promote healing in our clients. While at LFFP, I hope to highlight such techniques.