“In our lives as artists, humans, teachers, counselors, pastors and rabbis, we discovered that the experience of all kinds of serious trauma created an even bigger context for what we were doing. For people between the ages of 1-44, trauma causes 47% of all deaths, and 200,000 people a year die from traumatic injury (National Trauma Institute) That does not include the ongoing strain trauma caused for the people left behind, or PTSD, family losses, and critical illness.
From there, we began exploring how over-exposure to horrific world events create a climate of helplessness and depression that can activate the nervous system in negative ways. The National Center for PTSD has done some major research on how media exposure to traumatic events creates stress, sometimes becoming significant illness. In our bodies, as artists, we discovered that music, poetry and story were vital parts of not only our own recovery, but how we managed our exposure to ongoing horrific information.
Judith Herman, in her book Trauma and Recovery, speaks about the healing of trauma through voicing one's story to a wider audience. She recognizes the essential role that the community and the political climate have on trauma survivors' ability to recover - being received, and telling your story in safe ways can literally save your life.
The living hypothesis of GOT YOUR BACK CREATIVE is that the movement of creative energy, through music, poetry, dance, art, film, education and community—actually changes neural pathways (ref: A General Theory of Love, Dr. Thomas Lewis et al) and makes a significant difference in the healing of trauma. The arts are not just a lifeline for people recovering from trauma, they are also a way to remain resilient in the face of the great too muchness of our times.” Deborah Allen