A Biocratic Paradigm: Exploring the Complexity of Trauma-Informed Leadership and Creating Presence™

October 21, 2023
Abstract
A paradigm shift is under way in the human services because of breakthrough knowledge and research in understanding the underlying etiology of physical, emotional, and social problems at the micro-level of the individual, at the meso-level of the family and institutions, and at the macro-level of the entire society. The three levels of human existence – micro, mezzo, and macro – constitute interactive, interdependent, complex adaptive living systems. The complexity of these problems requires us to use our imaginations to envision health in individuals, organizations, and societies because it does not presently exist. After thousands of years of unrelenting exposure to trauma and adversity, we have all normalized what is a traumatogenic civilization. As a result, we live in a trauma-organized society in ways we are just beginning to understand in this century. This biopsychosocial knowledge base that is drawn upon here has come to be known as “trauma-informed” knowledge because it began with a deepening understanding of the impact of trauma on survivors of combat, disasters, and genocide, but now extends far beyond those specific boundaries. To lead any organization in a time of significant change means leading a revolution in understanding human nature and the fundamental causes of human pathology that are endangering all life on this planet and then helping organizational members develop skills to positively influence the changes necessary. In the 1930’s, Dr. Walter B. Cannon, a Harvard physiologist who had named the “fight-flight” response and defined homeostasis, used the word “biocracy” to describe the relationship between the physical body and the social body, emphasizing the vital importance of democracy. This presentation is a beginning attempt at integrating the concept of a biocratic organization with that of the trauma-informed knowledge necessary for leadership. Hope lies in properly diagnosing the problem, remembering ancient peace-making strategies, embracing universal life-preserving values, inspiring a new vision for the future, and radically and consciously changing our present self and other-destructive behavior. The presentation concludes with a description of a new online educational program called Creating Presence™ an online educational program that is being used in a wide variety of organizations as a method for creating and supporting the development of biocratic, trauma-informed organizations.
 
Potential to Distress: 
No

This presentation was originally presented as a live webinar in October 2023


 
 

Target Audience

Beginning/Introductory

 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe what a "paradigm shift" is and how adversity and trauma inform such a shift.
  • Define what is meant by a "traumatogenic culture" and how it applies to our current social situation.
  • Describe what constitutes a "trauma-organized system"
  • Provide at least two major contributions of Dr. Walter B. Cannon
  • Apply the ideas around "universal precautions" to their own practice.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 1.50 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
07/18/2023
Course expires: 
12/31/2050
Event starts: 
10/21/2023 - 10:00am EDT
Event ends: 
10/21/2023 - 11:30am EDT
Rating: 
5

Presenter: Sandra L. Bloom, MD

Presenter Biography: Dr Sandra L. Bloom is a Board-Certified psychiatrist, graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and currently Associate Professor, Health Management and Policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, where she teaches five courses focused on the impact of psychological trauma on individuals and organizations.

From 1980-2001, Dr Bloom served as Founder and Executive Director of the Sanctuary programs, inpatient psychiatric programs for the treatment of trauma-related emotional disorders and during those years was also President of the Alliance for Creative Development, a multidisciplinary outpatient practice group. Dr Bloom is recognized nationally and internationally as the founder of the Sanctuary Model. Between 2005 and 2016 over 350 social service, juvenile justice and mental health organizations were trained in the Sanctuary Model.

In extending her work to include an online delivery program for Leaders, Clinicians, Direct Service Staff, and Indirect Service Staff called Creating Presence, Dr Bloom hopes to make the innovative approach to service delivery known as “trauma-informed” and “trauma-responsive” more available and cost effective. More information about Creating Presence can be found at https://www.creatingpresence.net/ Dr Bloom is a Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and author or co-author of a series of books on trauma-informed care: Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies published in 1997 with a second edition in 2013; Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Delivery Service Systems published by Oxford University Press in 2010 and Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Systems of Care, published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Many of her articles can be found at https://sandrabloom.com/.

She is a founder of and currently chairing a new national organization, CTIPP – The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice whose goal is to advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, local and tribal levels that incorporate up-to-date scientific findings regarding the relationship between trauma across the lifespan and many social and health problems https://www.ctipp.org/

Participants attending this session in full will receive 1.5 continuing education credits.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 1.50 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
  • 1.50 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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