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Local clinicians of color heal the trauma of social media

“We don’t do therapy online. We don’t tweet recovery. We don’t tweet healing. Basically, we meet people face-to-face and shake their hand and talk to them. That’s the only way we can counter fear and trauma, not based on what’s trending on social media.” – Dr. Kenneth Cole

Located in Glendale within one of the remaining buildings of Eline’s Chocolate and Cocoa Company, formerly owned by Schlitz Brewing, the D & S Healing Center opened its doors at the end or last year. The Center’s purpose is to proactively address issues of trauma, as well as help resolve increased divisiveness across the local community, as result of trickle down tensions impacting Milwaukee.

The licensed clinicians formed the minority owned treatment center at a time when American citizens feel more divided than ever after the presidential election. Their support is aimed at Milwaukee individuals, families, and business executives as they navigate the drastically changing social, emotional, and political climate the country has experienced over the past year.

“Many of us walk with trauma, and you can actually see it and feel it in a person. For the person in that space, they don’t necessarily know that is going on in their life. The traumas can be varied. My trauma is different than another person’s trauma, how it affected me and how it helps me or hurts me as I navigate through life. Those are the things that we feel become the most healing part of what we can offer for resolving that trauma.” – Tracy Treacy

These fears and misunderstandings stem from the prolonged litany of comments made during the extensive 2016 Presidential campaign, by a range of influential figures. Those statements fueled an already divided nation by pitting one against “the other” that raged across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The D & S Healing Center’s clinical team is one of the most diverse in the state, as all are professionals of color which gives the organization an additionally unique perspective. Founder and Executive Director Tracy Treacy, has more than twenty years of experience in education, mental health, and wellness.

“My approach is to take into account the entire person, because your thoughts cannot operate separate from your feelings. To feel balanced, it is important that the head and the heart work together in harmony.”

The clinical team includes Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Dr. Ramel Smith, Dr. Kenneth Cole, Tracey Golden, and Dr. Kenneth Cole. The Center offers programs that also include employee assistance, executive coaching, community advocacy, and a range of mindfulness and holistic services like yoga, bodywork, and meditation.

“We’re not communicating, because were not really trying to communicate. We are talking ‘at’ each other, because we’re not talking ‘with’ each other. We’re listening to respond rather than listening to understand. I think this problem becomes even worse since we sit behind screens and now we don’t have those genuine conversations. So what is said is heard out of context, or misunderstood from whatever context was meant by that other person behind that other screen.” – Pardeep Kaleka

“Why is it difficult to change? Think of it this way. All of your life you’ve been told by your parents, and in news, and from magazines at the checkout stand, that this is how things are. So basically you’re right-handed. Then, all of a sudden, you’re forced to be left-handed with every single thing you do, knowing that the second you encounter someone different you have to look at them differently. You have to think of them differently. You have to approach them or not approach them differently. That is a huge shift for people, and it is scary because it has his cascading effect on everything you do.” – Dr. Kenneth Cole

Read the article and listen to the roundtable podcast that were produced as companion features for this news report.

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