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Stories | 11.16.20

Coping with the Trauma and Stress of Racial Injustice

Tricia-Kay Williams, M.A. ’18

Tricia-Kay Williams, M.A. ’18, a registered clinical counselor and owner of Metamorphose Counseling, created the Meta Transitions interview series to share honest and open conversations, tips, and hope for resilience and transformation. Williams recently welcomed Vancouver Campus Adjunct Faculty Samar Shata, M.A. ’12, to the series to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and systemic racism, and to offer advice for self-care and coping with trauma.

Williams and Shata, both graduates of the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program, shared their experiences both personally and as trauma-trained therapists in response to the killing of George Floyd and countless other Black people.

The interview focuses on what Shata described as an “an intense time of grieving” with the compounding trauma of racism, police brutality, and racial injustice—all happening during a deadly pandemic. Pulling from her expertise in trauma-care, Shata, Founder of the Well Institute, shared the importance of self-care and offered advice for how people can cope through feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

“First thing I would say is take care of yourself, it sounds very cliché because we hear that a lot,” Shata said. “But really take care of yourself, like feed your soul, whatever that means to you.”

Shata and Williams talked about taking time to talk to a therapist and confiding in friends, focusing on something else when needed, and taking action when ready.

“I had to go through that [coping] to be able to become triumphant in the end,” Williams said about the process of identifying and working through feelings and reactions to trauma. “After you are able to feel the feelings and cope in a sense, then if you are in a space where you are feeling strong enough, then you can identify ‘How can I join this movement? What can I do?’”

Watch the Meta Transitions interview, “Trauma Care and Black Lives Matter.”

 

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