WRAP and Healing from Trauma Retreat
Thirty participants spent three days in the pastoral setting of Temenos Retreat Center in West Chester, PA at the WRAP and Healing Trauma Retreat co-facilitated by Matthew Federici, Executive Director of the Copeland Center and Cheryl Sharp, Special Advisor for Trauma-Informed Services for the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. This three day workshop allowed participants who had never done a WRAP before to understand the structure of WRAP and the Five Key Concepts as well as to begin to explore how trauma may have impacted their lives. Many of the participants were already WRAP Facilitators and six Advanced Level WRAP Facilitators also participated and received recertification to maintain their standing with the Copeland Center. While many of the participants were already facilitators, it was readily agreed the first few moments of the workshop that all of us were there to work on our own wellness, first and then to bring back new knowledge and skills to those we are interact with in our work and in our other relationships.
In any WRAP group, class or facilitation maintaining a safe, secure and comfortable environment is necessary for powerful learning. We demonstrated this throughout each day in the group and in our relationships with each other by upholding the Values and Ethics of WRAP using our Safe Learning Agreement. Trauma and healing from trauma can be a very sensitive topic for many of us and by co-creating safety and security together we were all able to trust a little more, risk a little more and open ourselves to greater personal understanding of what has happened and to understanding what has happened to others.
With a strong focus of the 5 Key Concepts of Wellness and Recovery we were able to stay grounded in techniques that work specifically around healing from trauma. We were inspired to Hope for a brighter tomorrow through each other’s stories of triumph. We accepted Personal Responsibility to ask for what we needed and to take care of ourselves using wellness tools we had already developed and trying new ones. The entire process was Educational in nature and part of that education was inviting others to bring new resources and ideas to the table. We saw Self Advocacy modeled and respected as we stuck with our Safe Learning Agreement when differences arose. Support for each other was apparent before the workshop even began. Even when we lost power, had limited water, no AC and visitors from our natural habitat we were able to support each other, support the process and risk new connections.
WRAP provided the structure and format for the workshop with a specific emphasis on healing from trauma. We will never be able to duplicate this experience with this group of people but we look forward to sharing what we have learned with others as we look forwards to providing this workshop in the future.
Thoughts from the WRAP and Healing Trauma Retreat:
“Very thought provoking exercises and stimulating discussion. Great facilitation of topics of potentially triggering nature with great references and tied in to the Key Concepts and Values and Ethics of WRAP throughout.”
“I was able to really identify what I need to do to keep myself well regarding my own trauma history but also how I can use these same techniques to support other peers I am interacting with. I was able to reach out in a new way.”
“This was such a warm and welcoming experience for me, a truly safe learning environment”.
“We not only learned about how the Values and Ethics of WRAP apply to healing from trauma, we were able to experience and understand how they apply.”
“I was able to reflect on my own personal experiences and identify trauma I had not acknowledge or processed. I was able to validate myself as a whole and that “symptoms” can be the result of trauma. Solutions don’t need to be medical, but relational. This is really important work!”
“I gained insight into my behaviors, attitudes and challenges. I am committed to increasing my well-being tools. The discussions about family dynamics resonated with me and gave the opportunity to reflect.”
“This was the first time anyone ever told me their story. I now understand that this is their story and not my own. I know that I can hear how much they were hurt and it doesn’t have to hurt me. This will help me in my peer relationships.”
“The environment felt very safe. I have to comment that this is a real accomplishment. I rarely feel safe, especially in a group”.
“I have a better understanding of myself and am working on my WRAP revision to include healing from trauma. This is something that I have been stock on and no longer find myself feeling stuck.”
“The content and material flowed seamlessly with the Values and Ethics of WRAP and was well grounded in the 5 Key Concepts. The information and knowledge shared regarding trauma, its impact and healing from trauma helped me make sense of things that for a long time felt tangled and jumbled. I know how to use the structure of WRAP to help me untie the knots of the past and move forward to a better life. It was all very practical and informative but it also touched me on a deeply personal and spiritual way. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!”