I love to share what I know! Because some of the topics I am passionate about are newly developed ideas, I have designed several talks to introduce people to these concepts. These talks give some theoretical background to the workshops I offer where I teach tools to address the practical impact of things like cultural trauma onto our lives.

I have presented well-received versions of these talks at diverse settings like San Francisco State University, Nonviolent Communication retreats, and San Francisco Bay Area Impact Hubs. If you think your organization or group could benefit from this information, let’s talk!

Shrinking Relationships

How it happened, why it matters, and what we can do about it

In this talk, I describe the historical forces that created the shift from “relationship” describing any connection in which people relate to each other – from the corner baker to close friends – to its current narrower view of a romantic, coupled relationship. I point out how this reflects our view of marriage. By introducing two newly researched stereotypes, I explain why this new definition might be short-changing us. I take a quick tour through psychology and neuroscience to describe how stereotypes develop. This forms the foundation for some suggestions that can help us counteract the impact of these stereotypes onto our lives and society at large.

How Can We Facilitate Change?

Understanding inner blocks to change and how to move them

So many of us yearn to make deep changes in our lives and yet remain stuck in a less than satisfactory life. How does this happen? In this talk, I suggest that there are two powerful inner blocks to change: Fear and self-doubt. I show why fear of change might really be fear of pain, pain we experienced when we took risks in the past. Self-doubt constantly undermines our confidence chaining us to the status quo. Removing these blocks requires that we heal past trauma, integrate the person who took a risk and failed, and affirm our mattering.

Cultural Trauma

What It Is And How to Heal it to Enable Systemic Change

Cultural trauma is the shame we feel when we are not living up to cultural expectations. It occurs when we believe that we are unworthy of love and belonging because we don’t follow the rules. It gets in the way of systemic change by providing the invisible structure that upholds hierarchies. This talk takes a look at what cultural trauma is, how it is impacting our behavior, and what we can do to counteract its impact on individual and communal levels. I make the case that we cannot fully move into a more life-affirming culture until we address and heal cultural trauma.