Stabilization & Resilience

Mission

I have worked in conflict and politically transitioning environments for over 15 years. I have seen the evolution of different programming paradigms and the continued challenge to achieve sustainable results. Given the prevalence of protracted conflicts and the scale of destabilization and trauma resulting from the Syrian crisis, a more holistic approach is needed to address the impact of conflict and violent extremism.

At the heart of stabilization work are people who have been adversely affected by conflict and violence: physically, emotionally, psychologically and physiologically.  Trauma and chronic stress alter the nervous system and rational brain function diminishing complex thinking, self-regulation, self-awareness and empathy. Its effects can amply threat and intensify regression into sectarian and ethnic identities, shape harmful belief systems and escalate aggressive and violent reactions.  Zero-sum dichotomies are exacerbated increasing marginalization and exclusion. These cumulative effects contribute to cycles of violence and drivers of extremism.

I created Third i Paradigm, LLC, to intentionally focus on the intersection of trauma, conflict dynamics and violent extremism. Third i Paradigm’s approach combines research and experience from neurobiology, behavioral psychology and stabilization programming to address the multi-faceted effects of conflict, violence and trauma. We ultimately seek to assist individuals and communities to create new paradigms for healing, coexistence, positive change and resilience to achieve sustainable stabilization and development.

APPROACH

Three Areas of Intervention

STAFF

Third i Paradigm recognizes that your team’s resiliency is equally as important as the beneficiaries you are serving. It is an important aspect of staff morale and performance and central to successful program delivery. However, they are often also survivors of violence coping with the debilitating effects of direct or vicarious trauma. These effects can lead to impatient and aggressive behavior, decreased empathy, compromised decision making and judgement and erode team work.

Third i Paradigm tailors stress and trauma mitigation workshops to the specific needs and context of your organization to strengthen resiliency factors and improve teamwork. Workshops include:

  • Increase awareness of the physiological impact of stress and trauma.
  • Develop practical strategies to cope with stress and trauma.
  • Provide evidence-based tools to decrease the physiological effects of trauma and stress.
  • Develop approaches for working effectively with partners in conflict areas.

For organizations providing direct support to traumatized individuals and communities, workshops include:

  • Identify and educe compassion fatigue. 
  • Strengthen personal resiliency factors and self-care strategies.
  • Develop practical strategies to minimize vicarious trauma.
  • Provide evidence-based tools to decrease the physiological effects of trauma and stress.

 

Partners

Implementing stabilization programming requires collaboration with organizations working in the conflict space, which increases their vulnerability to trauma and stress. They experience the same debilitating effects of trauma and stress and reduced resiliency as your team. These effects can strain working relationships and impact your collective ability to successfully implement programs. Third i Paradigm offers workshops for partners to raise awareness of the physiological impact of trauma and stress and provides evidence-based tools to manage and cope with highly unstable conflict environments. Workshops are provided on and off-site, or remotely, to accommodate complex and insecure operating environments.

Programming

Third i Paradigm designs interventions to mitigate the detrimental and self-perpetuating social, emotional, cognitive and physiological consequences of violence and conflict.  Interventions focus on re-orienting negative perceptions and narratives, zero- sum dichotomies and entrenched ethnic and sectarian identities to facilitate positive social interaction and co-existence. Increasing a sense of belonging reduces the impact of marginalization and isolation, which are often pre-existing in conflict-prone communities, and further exacerbated by trauma and conflict.  Activities are created to promote empowerment and agency to shift individuals and communities out of victimhood and into positive change agents.  Specific processes to address trauma are identified and developed with the community.  And methodologies to alleviate the physiological impact of violence and conflict and strengthen resiliency factors such as self regulation, self awareness and empathy are introduced.