fundamentals of trauma informed weightlifting

A coach must manage three relationships at all times. The relationship between: 

  • the coach and the client

  • the coach with themselves

  • the client and the immediate environment

The TIWL process focuses on approaching each of these relationships with purpose and design. 

The scope of the TIWL coach does not include diagnosing or treating posttraumatic stress responses. However, we will define and explore manifestations of trauma, so you can better recognize and adjust the coaching relationships to create a safe and supportive experience for the client and the coach. 

During the TIWL course, we will: 

  • define trauma and discuss the ways it may manifest

  • discuss disembodiment and the power of weight training to reverse this trend

Coach and Client

What is true in daily interactions is heightened when interacting with someone managing a traumatic history. 

In the TIWL course, we will discuss language choices in the delivery of feedback, instruction, and cueing. We will also learn to reframe negative narratives in a non-condescending way. 

We will also discuss exercise selection to assist in embodiment and stress response management. 

Coach with Themselves

Working with clients in an emotionally heightened space can be incredibly rewarding and taxing. Burnout is a real concern for those in the wellness/health space. 

Through the TIWL we invest more time in the coach building a healthy relationship with themselves than most programs out there. If you feel drawn to this work, we want to make sure you can do this work without burning out. 

In the TIWL course we talk through the process of creating and sustaining boundaries, knowing the dangers of empathy without actionable compassion, and techniques to build mental and emotional resilience. 

Self-awareness is critical to knowing when the relationship with yourself or with your client is in a disconnected space. Reviewing and recognizing unconscious cues will let you steady yourself and attune to your client(s). 

Client and Their Environment

Our behavior and emotional states are coupled with the physical spaces we inhabit. Deliberately creating a space that your client can feel comfortable in will positively influence their process. 

In the TIWL course we will discuss the positive and negative effects of music, signage, and marketing efforts, along with specific strategies to make your space more responsive, inclusive, accessible and trauma-informed.


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