About Our Trauma Healing and Resilience Strategies Program

Our mission

The STAR mission is to strengthen the capacity of leaders and organizations to address trauma, break cycles of violence and build resilience at the individual, community and societal levels.

STAR assisted thousands of New Yorkers after the traumatic events of 9/11 and worked with community members, social workers, school personnel, and religious leaders in the region affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Internationally, STAR workshops have brought trauma healing and resilience strategies to Kenya, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Croatia, Palestine, and numerous other countries. Read more about STAR’s history…

The curriculum is developed by internationally-renowned faculty and training staff of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Licensed counseling professionals (U.S.) can earn continuing education hours for their training.

What you will explore in STAR

By attending one of our five-day seminars, you’ll join more than 5,000 participants from 62 countries who have been equipped with strategies for handling post-traumatic stress and leading others beyond traumatic events, informed by the latest trauma healing research from the fields of neurobiology, psychology, restorative justice, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and religion/spirituality.

  • Common responses to trauma: emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual, behavioral
  • Transforming trauma: breaking the cycles of victimhood & violence
  • Trauma intervention for individuals, communities, and societies
  • Self-care for leaders and caregivers
  • Restorative justice as a response to trauma—reconciling victims and offenders

Violence leads to trauma; unhealed trauma leads to recurring violence against self and others. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Individuals and communities can learn skills for addressing trauma, healing relationships, and building resilience which improves the well-being of all.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Trauma Healing

STAR combines the latest in trauma research, personal self-care and innovative strategies for ending the cycles of victimhood and violence within our local, national and global communities. Participants have found that STAR equips them with tools to address a range of situations that are caused or influenced by traumatic events.

Framework

The STAR framework draws on the fields of neurobiology, psychology, restorative justice, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and spirituality.

STAR expands practices related to trauma, justice, peacebuilding, spirituality and security and shows the importance of integrating these concepts on personal, community and societal levels.

  • “Trauma” is often seen as a phenomenon affecting individuals, and much of the trauma-healing work has been limited to the individual level. STAR relates body and spirit to trauma healing and demonstrates that it needs to be addressed in groups and larger communities.
  • “Justice” is usually associated with legal systems. STAR presents principles of restorative justice that require the involvement of individuals and communities.
  • “Peacebuilding,” has in practice been most often used at the community-level. STAR presents peacebuilding at the individual, community and state levels and integrates the importance of breaking cycles of victim-hood and violence.
  • “Spirituality” is usually disconnected from trauma healing. STAR identifies spirituality as a key component in healing trauma at all levels.
  • “Security” is commonly seen as national security and the duty of governments to protect their citizens. STAR pushes beyond national security to look at global security including economic and human security.

STAR activities honor multi-faith participation and the important interaction of those from diverse backgrounds in the US and around the world.

Increasing Capacity and Tools

The STAR training strengthens the capacity and resilience of individuals and groups who work with traumatized individuals, groups, or societies. Over 3,000 participants have come from the U.S. and many international settings.

Examples of attendees who have found the training helpful are:

  • Many clergy, civil and religious leaders after 9/11
  • Youth workers in the devastated Gulf Region post-Katrina
  • Psychotherapists
  • Disaster and relief workers world-wide
  • Leaders in post-war settings
  • Persons supporting returning military veterans
  • Social workers
  • Nurses
  • Mediators
  • Teachers
  • Lawyers
  • Retirees
  • Students