Dr. Herman writes, “The core experiences of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others.” She later goes on to explain that “Psychological trauma is an affliction of the powerless. At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming forces,” and that “traumatic events call into question basic human relationships. They breach the attachments of family, friendship, love, and community. They shatter the construction of the self that is formed and sustained in relation to others.”
When we think about these core effects of trauma, we can easily see how they apply separately, but equally, to circumstances of war, violence, sickness, or grief. Using this first principles thinking, Dr. Herman finds a way to universally relate what are often seen as unique, disparate experiences. This same thinking underlies Learning2Thrive (L2T), which builds upon this core understanding with a virtual mental health apothecary to address individual needs and experiences.
After breaking down the idea of trauma, Dr. Herman goes on to say that “Recovery is based upon the empowerment of the survivor and the creation of new connections. Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation.” Similarly, L2T uses small groups to facilitate program delivery. By giving traumatized individuals a space to explore their own feelings and trauma while connecting with individuals facing similar situations and problems, L2T fosters trust and community throughout each program. By focusing on these core principles of trauma and trauma recovery, L2T has the potential to span multiple forms of trauma across various communities, countries, and cultures, ultimately improving individual outcomes, supporting the creation of new trauma programs, and advancing the field of trauma care.