Trauma has been identified as an epidemic in our society. Studies indicate that a significant portion of the population have experienced harmful or life-threatening events which have impacted their everyday functioning or well-being. Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership is here to help you implement practices to avoid retraumatization and enhance resilience throughout your organization and beyond.
What Is Trauma?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA) individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is a person's ability to overcome serious hardship. Two people may experience the same thing, and it may be traumatic to one, but not the other. Genetics has something to do with this, but very frequently, the difference is found in the quality of the person's relationships. There is good news: resilience can be grown over time.
The science is clear: when a person experiences inequities, it can have the same negative impact on their long-term health outcomes as other traumas. We also see the same "dose response" as we do for other traumas, and the impact can be compounded over generations, or when a person is a member of more than one marginalized group. For this reason, our founder, Christine Cowart is often heard saying, "You can't be trauma-informed unless you are actively working to identify and dismantle inequities."
The work of Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership is grounded in this understanding and fundamental belief. We actively seek to empower individuals to be change-makers in their organizations, and to lead community and societal transformations.
Christine Cowart, MA, CTP, CARSS I
Christine is dually certified as a trauma professional by Florida State University and the International Association of Trauma Professionals, and is and a member of the PACEs Connection's Speakers and
Trainers Bureau. She has built a career in the human services field, with a focus on criminal legal systems and family services policy. Through this work, she developed an in-depth understanding of trauma, its possible effects, and what can be done to change the story.
Christine earned her Master of Criminal Justice degree from the State University of New York at Albany, while working and interning in a variety of related positions. She then served as a state legislative analyst in both New York and New Jersey, including 10 years in the Law and Public Safety section of the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services. Christine has also worked as a policy analyst for the New York State Division of Parole and a contract and grant specialist for the Vermont Department for Children and Families, where she doubled as the co-chair for the Family Services Division’s racial equity workgroup. She is currently employed as the policy director for the Vermont Department of Corrections, where she is helping to implement a Department-wide trauma-informed approach.
In her spare time, Christine volunteers in a variety of capacities. She is the co-chair of her local school’s community-based diversity committee, which works towards ensuring equity in education for all students. In addition, she has served as an adaptive sports instructor for more than two decades through Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a year-round program that offers holistic, sports and recreation opportunities to people with disabilities. She is certified as an adaptive ski instructor through Professional Ski Instructors of America, and as an adaptive recreation and sports specialist through Blaze Sports America.
Christine is married, and an adoptive mother of two children with traumatic backgrounds. Her personal and professional experiences have led her to a clear recognition of trauma and its effects throughout our society. Committed to researching and addressing this phenomenon as a specialty, and driven to share this information with the general public, Christine founded Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership, and dedicates much of her time helping individuals and organizations implement trauma-informed practices.
Recognizing that the physical spaces in which we spend time can impact our perceptions, stress levels, and ability to regulate our emotional responses and behaviors, Christine cofounded the Trauma-informed Design Society (TiDS), with Janet E. Roche, MDS CAPS, and J. Davis Harte, PhD, WELL AP. The Trauma-informed Design Society is a transdisciplinary team with a focus on turning research into practice, and back into research. Located across the United States, the Society merges the co-founders’ extensive experience in human services and interior design with an understanding of trauma science, to help organizations implement a trauma-informed approach in their services and create stress-reducing physical spaces.