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Over the last few years of my membership in the AR and Circling communities, I have noticed the topic of trauma surfacing in often heated and confusing ways.

None of our events are intended to be the equivalent of therapy. Yet as most facilitators recognize, these technologies of connection open us and our participants alike in deep, tender, core ways. I would say, they open us in the places where trauma lives. Where deep pain lies as well as the deep potential for integration and healing.

That’s a lot of power!

So how do we make our facilitation “trauma sensitive” without sacrificing the aliveness of the moments while also not presenting ourselves as mental health professionals?

It so happens that I am mental health professional. I earned my PhD in clinical health psychology in 2009 and have been a practicing therapist since. I have chosen to work in grassroots spaces where I place myself inside the community rather than as an expert outside of community.

In addition to my dance background and Intimacy Coaching training, AR and Circling have given me pathways to practice a transparent form of leadership that fits with my values.

I also have a lot of trauma that lives in my body. Trauma specialist Pat Ogden defines trauma as, “any experience that is stressful enough to leave us feeling helpless, frightened, overwhelmed or profoundly unsafe”. I’ve had those in my lifetime. My imagining is that many other facilitators also have. I even imagine that for some, it may be our own pain and disconnection that drove us into this work. That is true for me.

It is from this awareness – as a trauma survivor, a therapist as well as a connection leader – that I desire to meet with you over this topic.

Join me on Tuesday, August 14th, from 5-7pm PST for a two-hour discussion on the AW platform about what trauma sensitivity for connection facilitators means.

This will not be a training. It will be a mapping of the sensitivity of this terrain including principles to consider as well as a harvesting of community intelligence on this topic. It is a starting point with the potential for trainings to emerge. It is a beginning.

Please bring your questions, your stories of what has worked and what hasn’t and your willingness to be a support to others at the edge of learning on this topic. It is a sensitive issue through and through.

I welcome all who lead any sort of connection space or community to join.

If you are already a member of Authentic World, this event is FREE. If not, you can join for $1 using this link:



Dr. Jessica Tartaro is an Intimacy Therapist with nearly 20 years experience working with individuals, couples and groups. She has traveled the world conducting research on growth through trauma as well as studying with leaders in the authentic relating and circling movements. Her gift lies in embodying vulnerability as an invitation for you to find the most authentic, alive, vital and creative parts of yourself through which to connect with others. Compelled by the beauty of the land and people, at the end of 2017 Jessica migrated from Dallas, TX to Port Townsend, WA, where she has re-opened her private Intimacy Coaching practice and now leads her signature connection games event, SpeakUP. Look for her dance events, ongoing communication trainings and workshops on orgasmic connection. Book her for a complimentary consultation for private coaching or schedule her to speak at your event at www.DrJessicaTartaro.com.