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Colleen Clark (she/her)

Colleen joined Momma on July 3, 2023 live on Twitch to talk about Trauma & It's Toll on First Responders & Trauma Therapists

About Colleen

Colleen Clark became a social worker in 1985, a clinical social worker in 1992, and has been in clinical private practice since 1994. She brings an inherent wisdom and depth of healing for the children, youth, teens, adults, couples and families she has had the honor to work with on their journey through healing to wholeness.

Clark brought Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to Canada in 2014, and has since trained more than 1200 therapists from coast to coast to coast. She is a Master ART Practitioner, Clinical ART Specialist, ACSW Clinical Supervisor, RCRR Lead Certified ART Trainer Canada. She is also a diplomat with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, is board certified in bereavement trauma and sexual abuse trauma, has presented her work nationally and internationally, and has been a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Social Work.

Her new book, “Come Passion: The Soulful ART of Healing Trauma,” is aimed primarily at an audience of trauma therapists using Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to heal their patients, but the messages contained within have relevance to all of us.  

Socials / Links for More Info

References / Things Mentioned During the Stream

Episode Summary

In this episode with Colleen Clark, a seasoned trauma therapist, the conversation delved deep into the challenges faced by first responders and trauma therapists, exploring techniques for building resilience, recognizing burnout, and promoting mental wellness. Colleen's wealth of experience in the field of trauma therapy, as well as her specialization in working with first responders, illuminated the complexities of managing the toll of trauma and provided insightful strategies for coping and healing.

We began by addressing the common misconceptions surrounding mental health and disabilities, with Colleen emphasizing the need for a paradigm shift from "mental health" to "mental wellness." She advocates for a holistic approach that sees individuals as raw human beings who possess the capacity for healing. She stressed the importance of trauma-informed practices and evidence-based therapies to support those dealing with trauma, asserting that embracing a trauma-informed lens can foster genuine healing.

Colleen underscored the criticality of recognizing signs of burnout and compassion fatigue among first responders and trauma therapists. She highlighted behaviors such as avoidance, negative thought patterns, irritability, and a lack of motivation as indicators of potential burnout. To prevent burnout, she emphasized the need for a balanced work-life dynamic and the practice of mindfulness and self-compassion. We talked about the need for cultivation of gratitude and the engagement of all senses to promote overall mental wellness.

Colleen's expert insight sheds light on the challenges specific to first responders, who often grapple with traumatic experiences on a regular basis. She stressed the significance of processing events quickly and seeking professional support to prevent the development of more serious conditions like PTSD. In addition to evidence-based therapies, it is recommended that first responders do a debriefing with trusted colleagues as a means of addressing trauma and fostering resilience.

The interview also touched on the role of loved ones in supporting first responders and trauma therapists. Colleen urged friends and family to create safe spaces for open communication, allowing individuals to express their feelings and experiences without judgment. She highlighted the importance of asking how one can provide support, as it empowers the person dealing with trauma to voice their needs.

Throughout the conversation, Colleen's warmth and expertise resonated. Her approach was grounded in compassion and authenticity, urging listeners to embrace vulnerability and seek help when needed. The episode concluded with Colleen sharing her personal experiences and aspirations, including her recent nomination for the International Women of Inspiration Award. Her journey of resilience and determination serves as an inspiring testament to the power of purpose and passion.

In essence, the podcast episode with Colleen Clark provided a comprehensive exploration of trauma therapy, burnout prevention and the transformative potential of adopting a trauma-informed lens. Colleen's guidance offered a roadmap for first responders, trauma therapists and anyone grappling with the toll of trauma to find healing, balance and strength in their journey towards mental wellness!


by John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us, only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today

Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one