Meridian K. Consulting

C.H.A.T. Subject Matter Expert

“Traumatization occurs when both internal and external
resources are inadequate to cope with the external threat!
– Bessel Van der Kolk, 1989


Trauma overwhelms the ordinary systems that give people a
sense of control, connection and meaning.

Trauma can be broken down in three areas of life:

  • Events – Exposure to violence; victimization, including sexual, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, domestic violence, witnessing of violence, disasters
  • Experience (s) – Intense fear of/ threat to physical or psychological safety and integrity;
    helplessness; intense emotional pain and distress
  • Effect (s) – Stress that overwhelms capacity to cope and manifests in physical, psychological, and neurophysiological responses.

When these ordinary systems are overwhelmed, trauma can affect the wellness of your thoughts, feelings, behavior, faith, parenting, relationship skills, health/body and future.

Your brain is very resilient and can heal from trauma over time when it is engaged in the following strategies:
• Helping reestablish feelings of safety – through safe supportive relationships and being heard
• Increasing one’s ability to understand one’s own feelings and emotions
• An intentional focus on trauma healing from trauma and growth
• Healing designed for the brain and body
• Working on the conscious and the unconscious
• Empowerment-based and growth enhancing healing
• Skill building

Culture, Heart, Art and Talk (C.H.A.T.) is a community engagement model that engages community to have conversations centered around violence and health disparities. These conversations are led by local artists and trauma informed facilitators that engage community in some of the above healing strategies.

Art has been found to help people on the conscious and the unconscious level in self-expression while releasing dopamine “happy hormones” that send pleasure signals to the brain.

What makes C.H.A.T’s so exciting is it supports dialogue whereby people can tell their story and be heard which is powerful and healing. It also helps with emotional regulation. As people tell their story and are heard, it can lead to a better understanding of their trauma and their feeling, finally feeling one’s story to a meaningful, trustworthy, compassionate person can be life changing and life altering; it is essential for healing.