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Sacred Connection

Trauma Conscious

Spiritual Care Course

for Spiritual Caregivers

Trauma. Stress. Burnout. Grief. 

It's ubiquitous in spiritual spaces.

  • the children's hospital chaplain who sits in silence with the family after a terrifying diagnosis

  • the pastor who lends an ear to the kid who can't come out to his parents because he fears what they'll say or do

  • the spiritual director who hosts a retreat and the women there share about their abuse and neglect 

  • the soul healer who wonders if they should look for mental health care for a client that comes crying every session

  • the minister who feels barraged every time the council gets together, full of tension and conflict

  • the priest who struggles to find words for his own despair and burnout, wondering about her ability to continue doing this work

Image by Lukasz Szmigiel

Sacred Spaces are Healing Spaces

yet we can feel helpless 

Spiritual and ministerial training programs often omit providing skills training for their students. They often don't have the ability to provide psycho-spiritual support and education, which can leave spiritual care providers ill equipped and feeling overwhelmed when faced with the stresses of vocational life. 

 

Spiritual care providers who feel helpless are more at risk for burnout and leaving ministry. 

 

Modern life today requires that we are sensitive to the psycho-spiritual backgrounds of those we care for, if we are to provide compassionate and ethical listening care.

Trauma is not what happens to us.

It is what we hold inside us

in the absence of an empathic witness.

--Peter Levine

Training for Spiritual Directors, Soul Care Providers, Chaplains, Pastors, Counselors and others who offer sacred listening space

We are wired for resilience--but often in a world of despair and fear, we don't feel it. As spiritual care providers, we must nourish components in ourselves so we're better able to hold sacred space for others. 

Welcome to this self-paced online course as we deep dive into the landscape of Trauma and Spiritual Care

This course is specifically to equip spiritual care providers and soul support professionals with the information, skills and guidance needed to hold space in a
trauma conscious way.

Trauma Consciousness is Soul Consciousness

This is a SELF PACED course with live support weekly on Fridays that has educational components combined with integration and embodiment exercises. Friday sessions are optional but encouraged as it will assist in fully integrating the material.


What's Included?

Our four week exploration together will begin Jan 9, 2023.

You'll receive videos and handouts on the topic of the week on Mondays at 9aEST. These will be done at your own time and pace. This email will include topics that will be built upon each week and discussed in the Friday optional Circle session.
 
On 12noon Fridays, Allie will host a free Circle Session for discussion and further exploration as we go over the week's theme and for students to ask questions about the material and how it relates to vocational call and work in spiritual wellness.  Attendance at Circle Sessions is encouraged to assist in learning, and will be recorded and distributed to enrollees.

We honor each other in our own unique paths and
all faiths/no faiths welcome. This is about inclusivity, support, compassion and mutual growth.

After our time together, you will

--recognize the symptoms of trauma, whether they be in yourself, your clients, your parishioners, your community

--deepen into your own spiritual practices that are embodied and offer safety and belonging

--widen your understanding from trauma informed care to trauma conscious care

--connect with other spiritual caregivers and share and support each other

Join us for this 4 part training

Weekly Material Sent out for Self-Paced Study on Mondays

Weekly Circle Support on Fridays:
Week 1: Jan 13, 12-1:15p
Week 2: Jan 20, 12-1:15p
Week 3: Jan 27, 12-1:15p
Week 4: Feb 3, 12-1:15p

all Eastern Standard Time zone

Curriculum

Four weeks for exploration, each week guided both by general content and sharing on Fridays with each other. We honor our own stories that provide perspective and deeper understanding of concepts we'll discuss. Week by week curriculum is subject to change, however the content explored will remain the same. 

Week 1: Defining Trauma in Spiritual Care

Trauma, Caregiving Fatigue, Secondary Stress, Burnout, PTSD--what does it all mean? We overview these terms and discuss how trauma manifests in spiritual spaces. We learn about our sensitive nervous systems, recognizing more clearly the ways we react and mirror others and how we can be better able to cope with our own activation.

Week 2: Five Principles of Trauma Conscious Care

Model presented with the 5 Principles of trauma consciousness, and we examine ways to incorporate these into our practice as spiritual caregivers. We will discuss blocks to trauma consciousness and ways to understand holistically our journey as wounded healers ourselves. We explore embodied care through a lens of mindfulness and contemplative presence.

Week 3: What Does Trauma Conscious Care Look Like for Me?

This week we explore the critical moment we have as spiritual caregivers in how to embody trauma consciousness into our practice. We explore the concept of human giver syndrome and the wounded healer archetype, and ways we can grow from places of challenge ourselves.

Week 4: Welcoming, Nourshing, and Ethics

This week we discuss the implications of all we've learned, how institutions and systems often preclude us to protect and establish healthy boundaries, and ways to provide ethical and healthy soul spaces. We also discuss when to refer to other mental health services and what to look for in ourselves for a sustainable ministry.

Each week you'll learn about trauma conscious care, and have an opportunity each Friday to engage and practice together and collaborate how to create safer, more compassionate communities and relationships.

You'll have an opportunity to practice listening care together through a mindful and contemplative posture and share embodiment practices to include with those you care for.

These Friday sessions won't be recorded, but the material you'll receive each week is yours to keep to review at your own pace.

Allie Kochert, MA, LPC, CSD

Gentle Guiding, Engaged Facilitation, Expert Knowledge

Allie Kochert (she/her) is a professional trauma therapist, certified spiritual director, and have decades of experience working with folx in all stages of the healing journey. She comes from personal experience and lived knowledge of what it means to do the inner work to reclaim resiliency in light of trauma, loss, grief and burnout. From core professional knowledge, skills, and experience, she moves through her work with humility, knowing that everyone's journey is different, as everyone's definition of trauma--and how that affects them and their spiritual wellness-- can be different.

 

Allie identifies as an able-bodied, privileged cis white woman and understands her personal and systemic privilege as well as the importance of healing from the inside-out.  She dedicates her practices in offering safe spaces for professional spiritual caregivers (clergy, spiritual directors, ministers, and soul care providers) to reclaim their voice and be able to better hold space for others to do so.

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What people say about Allie and her offerings:

"Excellent resources. I enjoy Allie's wisdom-sharing - always a wealth of knowledge. She does a good job of creating openness on a space like zoom, which can often feel more content driven." -attendee, Trauma and Spiritual Care Workshop, 2022

"Allie is very knowledgable and a gifted circle leader." -attendee, Trauma and Spiritual Care Workshop, 2022

"I loved every minute of the workshop. It could not have come at a better time. I would have loved it to be longer. lol"
-Ronette, Nourish in Stillness, 2021

"Allie is always so sensitive to the group and have a wonderful way of explaining your topics and making everyone feel safe and included."
-Chris, Nourish in Stillness, 2021

"I would recommend any of Allie's workshops to anyone; I know they would be helpful and satisfying."
-Jane, Spiritual Direction and Resiliency, Spiritual Direction International, 2021

"Allie creates a space filled with gratitude for our sharing that helps to cultivate vulnerability even among strangers." --Sarah, Soul Circle member, Summer Soul Circle, 2020

"Allie is insightful and inviting"--Danielle, Soul Circle member, Summer Soul Circle, 2020

"(I learned) how to really listen to another person and reflect spiritually on what they were saying. I think it taught me how to be a better pastor. I also feel like I grew from the wisdom others shared." --Bonnie, Soul Circle member, 2020

"This group always seems to happen at just the right time in my life." --Michelle, Soul Circle member, 2020

"Allie is wonderfully warm, wise, and insightful. I appreciate the little tidbits that you offer around dream symbolism and how to work dreams. I also appreciate that the group feels casual and that everyone's thoughts and emotions are welcome in the space; it doesn't feel like you as the facilitator are "taking over" at all."--Amy, Dream circle member, Dream Circle for Trying Times, 2020

"Calm, clear, and straightforward. I loved Allie’s facilitation style!"
-Amanda, Spiritual Direction and Resiliency, Spiritual Direction International, 2021

"I love your style of leading and facilitating the group! You handled all the personality styles with grace and kindness and made it a safe place to share."--Chris, Dream circle member, Dream Circle for Trying Times, 2020

In this course, we'll explore

"Our spiritual body is entirely connected

to the physical body.

 Nervous System care

is necessary 

for Soul Care." --Allie Kochert

This course is for you if:


You are a spiritual caregiver, counselor, caregiving professional or other supporter who holds space for others and desires more knowledge on trauma 

You are a new--or seasoned--spiritual caregiver and are looking for skills to understand how trauma manifests and how to not cause re-traumatization 

You are struggling with knowing how to cope with the stresses folks come to you with, especially as it relates to their spiritual care

You are noticing your own burnout and wonder how to move forward in your work in a sustainable way

You know a bit about trauma but want more experiential and embodied approach that incorporates psycho-spiritual health

You desire connection with other heart-centered helpers who value embodied, integrative and ethical spiritual care
 

While we see anger and violence in the streets of our country, the real battlefield is inside our bodies.
If we are to survive as a country it is inside our bodies where this conflict will need to be resolved.

Resmaa Menakem 

This curriculum is for the heart-centered space holder who prioritizes ethical soul care.

With fuller knowledge of our nervous systems' effect on spiritual wellness, we are better able to serve without causing further harm.

We also have a chance to prevent re-traumatization and perpetuation of stigma, and build much more inclusive, compassionate and supportive communities and relationships.

This is not a mental health or support group, and does not replace mental health counseling or therapy. We will discuss situations that may elicit strong feelings or trigger some who have had experience with traumatic grief or stress. If you know there may be potentially triggering content in this course, contact Allie to discern if this course is right for you. If you or someone you know needs mental health care, reach out to Allie or to your healthcare provider for referrals.