Voices of Wellbeing | Laura Calderón de la Barca

“We need to come together, to heal together”

Words by: Laura Calderón de la Barca, speaker at The Wellbeing Summit for Social Change

The topic of individual, ancestral and collective trauma is huge and very complex. We can best understand it through individual stories that help us visualize the impact of trauma, and the ways it can heal. Also, seeing what has happened to us, has happened to others also, can help normalize the experience, and alleviate the shame that the presence of trauma often brings. In that spirit, I share here part of mine. 

One thing I would like to add to what I said in the interview, is that in this windy and complex journey of coming together to heal from collective trauma, we sometimes need to create particular healing containers for different groups of people to do their particular work before we can come together with enough resources, capacities and in a safe enough way for the joint healing to happen. That means that we need to support people who share lived experience of a certain kind of trauma to come together with the appropriate facilitation to heal together, and then share healing space with others who belong to groups who have hurt them, and vice versa: those who have in their ancestry or in their current experience oppression, need to come together with others to do some healing on their own before attempting to come together with others who are or were hurt by that oppression. I have found that the best facilitation is offered by people who have healed enough from that same kind of trauma, and can bring their wisdom and presence to their facilitation. 

I want to thank: my colleagues at The Collective Change Lab, with whom I have explored the intersection of trauma and social change systems; Thomas Hübl, with whom I have healed, trained and currently work with in collective healing courses and workshops; and the Zapotec communities of the Pueblos Mancomunados de la Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, Mexico, with whom I learned about the profound value of their way of life through direct experience, and discovered in the resonances that my heart and body felt, how much of that is still alive in me.

You can find more information on the systemic and collective dimensions of trauma and collective healing at the following sites:



Collective Trauma Summit

If it’s of interest, you can also read my thesis by clicking here.

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