Circle of Control

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For the communities we impact coming from trauma backgrounds, we assist by working consistently with those involved. There is no “quick solution”, and our volunteers understand this. Specifically, concerning the participants that come from trauma backgrounds, our strategies look into more than just setting these children up for success, but also providing emotional support.


Circle of Control is a program we do with our participants coming from backgrounds of trauma so that they have time and support to focus on improving their wellbeing and release past trauma. 


SAMHSA defines the four R’s of trauma as “Realization about trauma and how it can affect people and groups, recognizing the signs of trauma, having a system which can respond to trauma, and resisting re-traumatization”. GirlsWhoSTEAM uses these as a blueprint for the circle of control, where we establish community and communication networks by supporting participants. 

(source: SAMHSA)

“People who experience continuing difficulties following a traumatic experience may seem ‘shut down’ or distant, and you may feel ‘shut out’. For some people this happens because they are trying not to think about the trauma, or trying to block out painful memories. Others may feel sad or numbed, or lack the energy to do things. They may stop participating in family life, ignore your offers of help, or become irritable” (source: Phoenix Australia). 


The goals of circle of control is to help our participants regain control of their emotions and develop emotional maturity such that they are able to use the power of community to focus on themselves. In addition, this program would also implement preventative mental health programs that include opportunities for students to build resilience and independence, as well as mental health curricula that are incorporated into other health curricula. By focusing on our participants’ mental health, we are showing them that they matter, and introducing them to support networks that could be used.