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From COVID 19 to Racial Unrest: Research-Based Best Practices in Responding to Experiences of Trauma

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The period between March 2020 and today is one marked by extraordinary societal disruption. Amidst a global pandemic, we experienced profound racial unrest and political discord. By simply living through this time, many, including the university students we work with daily, have experienced trauma symptomatology. Students with disabilities, students of color, and students identifying as LGBTQIA+ may have elevated experiences of trauma related to these larger contextual factors. Incorporating an intentional trauma-informed approach can be effective in reducing disruptive symptoms and fostering resilience. This presentation summarizes original and existing research on experiences of trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic, broader experiences of trauma for disabled students, students of color, and students identifying as LGBTQIA+ including specific, actionable, and research-based steps for disability professionals to incorporate a trauma-informed approach into daily work. Utilizing these strategies, attendees will develop a plan for the implementation of a trauma-informed approach into their specific positions.


  • Zachary Lounsbury

    Zachary Lounsbury, M.Ed. candidate, is currently a disability services professional at Colorado College. His diverse education experiences range from teaching Shakespeare to middle schoolers to leading instruction in a classroom for students with autism spectrum disorder to helping facilitate post-secondary social justice education curricula. Additionally, he’s worked at a DS provider at a large, flagship public institution. His master’s work focused on direct application of critical theory (critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, discrit) to higher education practices. Though diverse in range, each of these experiences focused on increasing accessibility and diversity in the classroom.

  • Cathy Lounsbury

    Cathy Lounsbury, Ed.D., LCPC is a seasoned counselor, educator, and leader in the study and practice of trauma, wellness, and resilience. Cathy has been a clinical mental health counselor for over 25 years working with both children and adults, specializing in those who have experienced trauma. Currently, Cathy serves as a Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Department, with a focus on trauma-informed treatment and clinical practice. In this role, she founded Antioch’s Institute on Wellness, providing consultation and training nationally on the mitigation of secondary traumatic stress. Within the Counseling Department at Antioch, Cathy has developed training opportunities for students in trauma-informed, strength-based approaches and has provided expertise in psychological trauma and resiliency to multi-disciplinary teams exploring the effect of climate impacts on youth and families.

April 24, 2023
Mon 2:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 30M

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