Tiffany Sudela-Junker

TIF’S STORY
Years ago, we were parenting two newly-adopted children, both with significant trauma-related needs. At the time, our children required a high level of support and our whole family became stressed. We had just begun to learn about the impact of developmental trauma, but we had limited resources and little access to support. We were overwhelmed and pretty much on our own. We lived in isolation, similar to how we all have lived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We learned how to do things differently and got our family through the roughest and most isolated days. We kept it simple, stayed connected with each other, and tried our best to be kind. We found that when we could do those things, we really did survive and thrive. We were not perfect. The kids had hard days, and we had them too. When hard days happened, we made repair, tried again, and moved forward. Our greatest lesson learned was that our kids do not need us to be perfect. They need us to be gentle with ourselves and with them, and to worry less about doing and focus more on being.

R.I.S.E. Leadership Training

I have seen such huge improvement in these kids and so much of this is due to the help you have given their caregivers. Thank you!

Katharine G, M.A., Agency - Youthnet

We have a teenager who is on the spectrum. He and I have been in a constant back & forth battle for a few years. The things I learned from you today are going to help me professionally as well as personally. Thank you!

Theresa D, Parent

Tif, your training today was outstanding. Your powerpoint, your delivery, and the content and pace were all spot-on. I felt very moved by many of the stories you shared and the photos that went along with the stories. Thank you for sharing with us.

Sonia, Northwest Maritime Center

Thank you for teaching how to work with people who regress to a younger age. I see it in children AND adults. Before, I would go into observation mode and try to understand “why” it was happening. But now I know how to help in moments like that, besides only trying to comfort, or whatever was situationally appropriate.

Cheyenne, Parent

Thank you for taking the time to share with my classes last week! Their response to your visit was overwhelming. UCLA is a university that values empirical scientific evidence above all, our student rarely encounter experts in the field who are actually on the front-lines, so it’s no surprise to me that they were deeply affected by you and your story! Real world experience is just as valuable as what is happening in the lab.

Bonnie, UCLA

Tif, you have changed my life. You have changed my parenting, and my teaching, and because of you, (me & my husband)… our family is flourishing. The things that I have learned from you are unbelievable and felt like you deserved to know that. Thank you so much!

Jessie, Parent

Three Guiding Truths

one

Early trauma physically changes the developing brain.

two

Kindness and compassionate responses soothe the nervous system.

three

Our idea of community needs to be re-defined, it needs to adapt, because compassionate relationships heal trauma.