This 10-week course (15-20 hours), guided by the memoir/self-help book Awakening Blackout Girl, is designed to facilitate participants’ healing from addiction and sexual trauma. This course is open to survivors of any historical sexual trauma/trespass as defined by the survivor who sought relief from trauma’s impact through substance use and is not a gender-specific course.
The course will provide participants with an understanding of trauma and victimization and the related tendency toward using substances to cope with these experiences. The course guides participants to identify the personal impact of trauma in their lives and its influence on current relationships with themselves and others. Topics addressed and explored within this course include recognizing triggers, learning healthy coping strategies, establishing prevention plans, and securing resources for long-term support and growth.
Participants will begin to peel back the layers of their experiences in a safe and emotionally supportive environment while learning to develop new tools for coping with past trauma and managing current stressors. Participants will be encouraged to meet specific objectives to advance their healing, including:
- Opening up and engaging in the process of examining personal traumatic experiences
- Identifying specific behaviors that stem from past trauma
- Committing to establishing new and healthy coping mechanisms.
This curriculum can be delivered in person or virtually if circumstances require it.
- Gain a basic understanding of the impact of trauma.
- Identify past experiences of trauma and recognize its influence on present relationships with self and others.
- Recognize trauma triggers and the tendency to seek relief through negative coping patterns.
- As it applies to changing behaviors, understand the role of honesty, shame, humility, and vulnerability.
- Identify intentional and unintentional self-harm acts and establish a sense of self-worth.
- Analyze the role substances play for those impacted by trauma and ways substances are intentionally or unintentionally used to cope with past traumatic experiences.
- Explore and practice new healthy coping mechanisms.
- The agency will identify participants as ready and emotionally stable enough to enter a group setting.
- Participants do not need to be substance-use-free. At the same time, there will be a group rule of no active use while in the physical group; this course is operating under the harm reduction theory of meeting participants exactly where they are without judgment of their use and with the reality that they may and will continue to use during and after this course. While this course will attempt to guide participants toward safer coping mechanisms, the course will always be affirming.
- Other therapists, counseling staff, and outside entities can refer participants to the course.
- Participants should go through a screening to ensure willingness and appropriateness. This course is not designed at this time for court-mandated or court-appointed individuals.
- Participants must have a desire to change coping mechanisms and learn new tools.
- No more than 10-12 participants in a group at a time to encourage a small enough group to facilitate trust and learning.
This course can be co-facilitated by author Jennifer Storm, a survivor in long-term recovery with over 20 years of victim’s services experience running a comprehensive victim service agency and as the former appointed Victim Advocate for the Commonwealth of PA.
Agencies can bring Ms. Storm to train staff so agencies can independently run the course once they are certified and licensed by Blackout Girl, LLC.
In-person and virtual options are available to provide materials and a train-the-trainer model so agencies and programs can facilitate the program.
What People Are Saying About the Curriculum
“Jennifer Storm’s class was healing and empowering.”
“She created a safe, trauma-informed, and non-judgemental space to in which to heal.”
“It was a soft and gentle program focused on self-love and healing.”
“After completing the ten-week course, I felt strong and empowered.”
“Jennifer and the course work she created helped me face past trauma I had suffered at a young age.”
“Jennifer is kind, empathetic, and open to sharing her recovery journey and past trauma in the class.”
” Jennifer made me feel safe and not alone. This class was what I needed to heal from past trauma and empower myself. ”
“I took a chance and decided to participate in this class. I am grateful I did. It was one of the first times in my life that I could completely be honest with myself about pieces of my story, not only with myself but with others. It has helped me to start the process of reclaiming who I am. It shed light on those things that I need to dive deeper into. Mostly, it gave me the chance to start believing that I am more than my past, I am more than a culmination of every mistake I have made, and I deserve the chance to change my direction in life and to follow the path that was meant for me. Thank you (and everyone else) for spending time with me each week and affording me additional tools and opportunities to dive deep inside of myself. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your story and for providing a safe space for me to be just me. For one of the first times in my life, I feel like I am not alone, and I feel like someone else completely understands what I have been feeling.”
How to Get Started
Contact us today for a demo of the program and to discuss costs unique to your agency. Ms. Storm is familiar with all federal and state grants and will price her time and materials to ensure grant compliance. firstname.lastname@example.org.