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723: The Leadership and Trauma Cycle

Terra Mattson, M.A.
Living Wholehearted, LLC
19824 SW 72nd Ave., Ste. 102
Tualatin, OR 97062

Jeff Mattson, M.A.
Living Wholehearted, LLC
19824 SW 72nd Ave., Ste. 102
Tualatin, OR 97062

Leaders are often the last to come to mind when we think about trauma. However, after 20 years of groundbreaking research, counseling, and consulting, the presenters have found a common thread among leaders. Most high-capacity leaders have unresolved childhood trauma that eventually runs interference if not addressed and is a root cause of the many other integrity gaps seen over time. Integrating the latest knowledge of neuroscience and trauma research, the very nature of leadership can be traumatic. Leaders are vulnerable to a growing disconnect between their public and private selves or between what they preach and how they treat their followers. By exploring the link between dissociation, narcissism, isolation, and compartmentalization, we find systemic abuse is often the cost and wake of an unhealthy leader. Leaders can use their positions to self-protect, often hiding unhealthy coping strategies. Unpacking the key correlations between high-capacity leaders and the most common trauma symptoms, as well as the road map to a healthy recovery, it is time for more wholehearted leaders who lead with integrity. When leaders live and lead with integrity, everyone in their wake benefits. When they do not, it is just a matter of time before everyone in their wake pays. Addressing systemic concerns for both leaders and the organizations they lead, the presenters provide a clear process for licensed mental health professionals to help leaders develop their inner lives as their influence grows. Whether one is a licensed mental health professional (LPC, LMFT, LSW/LCSW), executive coach, or pastor working with leaders, understanding the leadership and trauma cycle is essential to the long-term health of this and the next generations.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
• Discuss and explore the unique challenges leaders face in today’s culture focused on performance, fame, and followers over character and competency
• Identify the foundational elements of wholehearted leaders from various disciplines, including theology, neuroscience, spiritual formation, mental health, organizational development, marriage, family systems, and more
• Outline the top 10 most common symptoms of an integrity gap and discuss strategies to move a leader from compartmentalized to integrated, nurturing systemic changes in both their lives and the lives of those they lead
• Develop new insights, tools, and treatment plans for licensed mental health professionals to help leaders live with integrity

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