Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR)

STAR is a research-supported trauma awareness and resilience training program that began in 2001. STAR brings together theory and practices from neurobiology, conflict transformation, human security, spirituality, and restorative justice to address the needs of trauma-impacted individuals and communities.

STAR is for individuals and organizations whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with current or historic trauma: mental health, medical and legal professionals, clergy, educators, peacebuilders, humanitarian, human rights and development workers — all those who need to be trauma-informed in order to do trauma-sensitive programming.

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STAR training options

  • STAR Level I: This five-day training is the foundation to STAR and introduces the theory, processes and tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of violence and building resilience. Click here for level one registration. CEU credits are available.
  • STAR Level II: This five-day training is for participants who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills of STAR frameworks and processes and equipped to present STAR presentations or workshops. The training also provides materials and information on applying STAR to particular audiences such as youth, those who have suffered historical harms, returning veterans, etc. Click here for level two registration. CEU credits are available.
  • Certification Track: the STAR Certification program is a network of quality STAR trainers and practitioners throughout the US and abroad that are connected to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. In addition to being STAR practitioners, certified trainers work collaboratively with STAR to lead trainings, and conduct research that produces knowledge on best practices for building peace through breaking cycles of violence.
  • Organizations: STAR works with organizations to identify the best way to meet their needs and integrate a trauma lens into their projects. Services include developing trauma-sensitive programming, training staff and affected civil society leaders directly, or designing a customized program to fit specific needs. Click here for more information on STAR services for organizations.

Upcoming STAR EMU workshops and trainings

Certified Trainers offer trainings at additional locations host trainings.

Customized Services

  • STAR presentations (1-2 hours), workshops, and full-length trainings (4-5 days)
  • Technical support for organizations including consulting, program design, and customized training programs
  • us to receive further information on our services

Program News

  • PlayBackTheater-0057

    Volunteers discover power of playback theater to shift painful stories toward path of healing

    June 2nd, 2014

    When volunteers were solicited, nobody immediately stepped forward. It was a tough request: tell a painful personal story before an audience of maybe 40, many of them strangers to each other, and watch seven people trained in playback theater re-tell it through an impromptu performance. Yet Muhammad Afdillah—a visiting scholar with Eastern Mennonite University’s Center …More

  • star

    STAR breaks cycles of trauma

    March 7th, 2014

    Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) emerged from the ashes of Sept. 11, when hundreds of millions of people were grieving over the deaths and destruction caused by hijacked airplanes flying into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. To mark STAR’s 10th anniversary, founding director Carolyn …More

  • Dogtags_web

    Veterans’ suicides remembered by EMU students, faculty and staff

    November 12th, 2013

    Veterans Day 2013 was remembered at Eastern Mennonite University with 242 dog tags hung from a tree along a well-traveled footpath near the center of campus. Two graduate students, Michael McAndrew and Katrina Gehman, began hanging 22 dog tags per day at the beginning of November, marking the average number of U.S. military veterans who …More

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