Phone: 805-756-2511 (24/7 support available)
Fax:     805-756-6525

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM | M-F
Building 27

Trauma Task Force

About the Trauma Task Force:

The mission of the Counseling Services Trauma Task Force is to develop a trauma-informed campus culture through direct service, outreach, and consultation.  We strive to remain up to date on the latest research in trauma-informed care, provide trauma treatment that is evidence-based, and train faculty, staff, and student leaders across Cal Poly to respond to students in a trauma-informed way.

Members of the Trauma Task Force include: Noah Chalfin, Courtney de Blieck, Johneen Manno, and Ryan Shurson.  

What is trauma?

“Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening, [that overwhelms the individual’s ability to cope,] and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.”

-SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)


Examples include:

  • Physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse/neglect
  • Community or combat violence
  • Natural disasters/accidents
  • Violent/accidental death or suicide of a loved one
  • Poverty and systematic discrimination
  • Medical trauma

Who is affected by trauma?

In the United States, the lifetime risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is almost 9%. Additionally, even more people experience traumatic events and/or display symptoms of trauma, but do not reach the level of an official trauma diagnosis. Trauma affects all people regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or ability status. However, there is some evidence that people from disadvantaged groups (e.g., children, women, people with disabilities, people of color, refugees, LGBT+, etc.) are more likely to experience trauma and less likely to receive treatment. Military combat veterans are also more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD.

Community Resiliency Model Trainings:

The Community Resiliency Model is a wellness initiative created by the Trauma Resource Institute. Its goal is to help create trauma-informed and resiliency-informed communities by educating people about the common nervous system reactions to trauma and stress, and teaches 6 core wellness skills to reset the nervous system's natural balance. CRM skills are designed to be used by people at all stages of life, and have been taught and implemented around the world. Counseling Services' goal is the eventually have this training available to all students, staff, and faculty. More information about the Community Resiliency Model can be found here.

Counseling Services offers two separate versions of this training. The 1-hour training is designed to teach participants about the model and how they can use the skills to enhance their own well-being. The 1-hour training is especially suited to the general student population to allow them to start to use the CRM skills themselves. It can also be utilized by faculty and staff who would like to learn how to use these skills to benefit their own lives. The 3-hour training (which can be provided all at once or broken down in 1, 2, or 3 sub-trainings) is designed to allow participants to become CRM "guides," and thus capable of teaching the skills to individuals or small groups of students they may work with. The 3-hour training includes the 1-hour training and is especially helpful for faculty, staff, administrators, and student leaders (e.g., RAs, peer educators) who interact with students and would like additional tools to assist them.




Books for Further Reading

  • Carpenter, E. (2013). Life, reinvented: A guide to healing from sexual trauma for survivors and loved ones. Denver, CO: Quantum Publishing Group.
  • Haines, S. (2007). Healing sex: A mind-body approach to healing sexual trauma, 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Cleis Press.
  • Matsakis, A. (1996). I can’t get over it: A handbook for trauma survivors, 2nd Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
  • Miller-Karas E. (2015). Building resilience to trauma: The trauma and community resiliency models. New York: Routledge.
  • Williams, M. (2016). The PTSD workbook: Simple, effective techniques for overcoming traumatic stress symptoms, 3rd Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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