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When the Centre Will Not Hold: Collective Trauma, Community Conflict & Loving Justice

“When the Centre Will Not Hold” is an experiential exploration of the intersections between collective trauma, grief, and community conflict, with a particular focus on the impacts of trauma-based conflict on marginalized peoples and their mental health. Primary presenter Kai Cheng Thom will draw from her experience as a conflict resolution practitioner and former social worker-psychotherapist, as well as contemporary research and theory regarding interpersonal neurobiology and trauma to highlight the ways in which collective trauma can result in recurrent, destructive patterns of conflict. Implications for mental health clinicians, social service providers, and community workers will be explored. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage with embodied methods for responding to conflict in their personal lives and professional practice.


  • Describe collective trauma as a psychological and sociological phenomenon
  • Name the effects of collective trauma on interpersonal and group conflict
  • Explain links between collective grief and trauma, societal conflict, and social justice
  • Utilize basic somatic and conversational strategies to engage with and de-escalate trauma-based conflicts in therapeutic and other professional situations

Kai Cheng Thom, MSW

Kai Cheng Thom, MSW is an internationally known author, performer, somatic coach and conflict resolution practitioner based in Toronto aka tkaronto, Canada. A former social worker-psychotherapist, she has many years’ experience working in clinical and community mental health settings, as well as the artistic and holistic wellness industries with additional certifications in somatic breathwork, meditation teaching, Thai Massage, and conflict mediation. A prolific author, Kai Cheng has published books in various genres, including children’s fiction, adult fiction, poetry, and memoir. A proud trans woman of colour, Kai Cheng has spent the majority of her career working in social justice-oriented spaces with marginalized communities. In recent years, Kai Cheng has focused her work on developing body-based methodologies for loving, trauma-informed conflict resolution rooted in Transformative Justice and prison abolition.

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Who this course is for

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychotherapists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Psychologists, Addictions Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Case Managers, other Mental Health Professionals, Educators, Anyone with an interest in the subject

This course is offered at the introductory level.

When the Centre Will Not Hold: Collective Trauma, Community Conflict & Loving Justice

$35.00 USD

Program Only

Included features:

  • 50 Minute Lecture


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