Transforming Trauma Episode 013:
Addressing Systemic, Cultural, Racial, and Complex Trauma with Claude Cayemitte
A podcast brought to you by the NARM® Training Institute
We’re grateful to have Claude Cayemitte back with us to reflect on the current events emerging from the demonstrations against ongoing systemic, cultural, racial, and complex trauma. Transforming Trauma host Sarah Buino and Claude dive into the macro and micro perspectives of the traumatic response to long-term suffering that the black community, and other communities of color, have been dealing with for centuries. Claude shares his perspective, “Having these specific conversations about racism is a gateway into people’s interpersonal relationship to trauma… I think that’s the difference with this reaction. People are connecting emotionally to themselves while connecting also to the experiences of people of color.”
Claude shares his thoughts on the importance of opening up a real dialogue around racial injustice and systemic oppression. “Even though it feels uncomfortable, that’s the opportunity for you to move to a different place, to respond differently, to grow. It’s like there’s so much opportunity in growth in talking about this topic, personally and professionally.”
Claude addresses the objectification that is often overlooked in racial trauma. “When I do individual therapy, I’m not engaged in the political process, because when I enter the room, especially for me as a black man, that shows up… whether it’s explicitly said through the client or not. So I’m always sort of holding these dynamics in play and I can look for how they show up clinically… This is a reality because it’s part of your reality and my reality… Therapy is about talking about how you relate to reality.”
As a NARM therapist committed to addressing the relationship between these systemic social issues and complex trauma, Claude brings an important voice to the trauma-informed movement. In this episode, Claude invites us all into this specific conversation around racism and trauma. This important conversation can help us, as therapists and people who work with and care about individuals coming from communities that face these realities, identify the complexities of addressing trauma on multiple levels. And, the need to systemically address this now. “Anything that we can do to take one brick off this pyramid, this ugly monument of racism. If we can take one brick off at a time, whatever we can do to do that, I want to just acknowledge and at the same time, you know, it's about damn time. I would say that with love, of course.”
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About Claude Cayemitte:
Claude is a clinical social worker who has experience working with trauma in substance abuse treatment and low income communities. Claude is an award-winning psychotherapist, receiving the Minority Fellowship Award from the Council of Social Work Education for his work with at-risk teens. Claude is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Claude is a NARM certified therapist working at a residential treatment center for teenage boys and families. Claude believes in the healing power of conversation, allowing him the privilege to help people overcome obstacles to being happy, healthy and connected.
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