Tara Gill, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Center for Childhood Resilience Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Instructor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
In today’s society, there is a need to educate youth and families about strategies related to healing from trauma. Some of the strategies that can be applied to promote healing are:
1. Identify your safe and supportive people. Reach out to those in your support networks, even though it may be difficult to let others know you are in pain.
2. Know your triggers and take control of your exposure. Anticipate ways to control, avoid, and respond to them. Removing yourself from triggers that contribute to increased distress (e.g. toxic people, negative anniversary reminders) is one way of coping through trauma.
3. Seek therapy, despite the stigmas and barriers. Delaying engagement in therapy or following dogmatically to cultural norms can prolong your relief and make your recovery more complex.
4. Take care of your emotional (e.g. laugh), physical (e.g. exercise), spiritual (e.g. pray), and sexual (e.g. select a safe partner) well-being. Strength is often identified as a cultural asset, however, viewing self-care as an act of weakness can be a limitation in your wellness journey.
5. Don’t be afraid to engage in “Squad Care.” Do something that focuses outward, such as volunteering or engaging in a hobby, as a way to reconnect with the world and restore relationships.
Dr. Tara Gill has over 15 years of experience in outpatient, community, hospital, and school-based mental health. Her work centers on community and school partnerships, and family engagement, with a particular focus on addressing diversity and African American and Latino mental health. Her commitment to serving children from marginalized communities and trauma-saturated backgrounds has guided her career to include advocacy, child welfare, policy, and community engagement. She received her Ph.D. from DePaul University in clinical psychology.