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“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.”

– Rumi

Freedom, Sousan Abadian, Collective Trauma

Image: Freedom, Zenos Frudakis, sculptor

1- The ABCs of Collective Trauma and Cultural Restoration

The concept of individual trauma is in the public domain more than ever before, but what happens when whole groups of people experience a collective trauma?


In this presentation, Dr. Abadian will explain:


  • Different kinds and degrees of collective traumas including cultural trauma and its ramifications, and why it’s important to know the differences


  • How different kinds of collective traumas demand different types of responses 


  • Why it is that some groups seem to rebound after experiencing collective traumas and others seem to get stuck in cycles of violence and poverty 


  • What is required to free communities from the damage and for healthy cultural restoration

2- Laying the Past to Rest to Create Flourishing Communities

Trapped like insects in amber, many people are caught in histories of suffering that don’t allow them to create new more expansive experiences. Communities that have experienced conflict or traumas are often caught in dynamics that perpetuate cycles of suffering – further violence, lack, and trauma. It is a cruel thing: those who have been victimized not only suffer the original violations but continue to suffer because of the imprint that these experiences have.


You will learn:


  • The effects of individual and collective trauma


  • How trauma can be passed down to children, and how to stop intergenerational cycles 


  • How to lay the past to rest, grieving loss without becoming mesmerized by pain


  • To envision what a culture of peace might be like, feel like, and why this is important


  • To identify next steps to creating a flourishing community post-conflict 


  • To experience peace and beauty in this moment

3- Freedom from Difficult Pasts: Re-storying to restore oneself and one’s organization

Most of us carry painful moments in our past around like a ball and chain, even if we’re not conscious of it. Human beings are master story-weavers and when people experience difficulties, we can become trapped in limiting stories about what’s possible going forward. 


Sousan will discuss:


  • Typical toxic narratives/limiting beliefs sabotaging you and your organization


  • How they have cost your life in terms of joy, relationships, and productivity


  • How to challenge the hold that these patterns have on you


  • How to uncover alternative narratives that would create more of the life you would love


  • Practices and tools to create the results you desire


What would you create if you felt free? Who would you be if your focus was not on limitation?

From Slavery to Freedom
An interview of Sousan Abadian
Healing Collective Trauma
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