Trauma can have a profound impact on our capacity for growth. When we experience trauma, our sense of safety and security can be shattered, leaving us feeling vulnerable and helpless. This can lead to a sense of powerlessness and a loss of control over our lives, which can make it difficult to take risks and pursue new opportunities.

When it comes to growth after trauma, developing capacity and self-agency are two critical factors that can help individuals build a life of safety, connection and community. We are defining capacity building as the process to expand one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Additionally, self-agency involves developing self-reliance, resilience, and confidence to make decisions and take action without relying on others.

Building both capacity and self-agency are lifelong processes that require continuous learning and adaptation. It’s important to balance this work with collaboration and teamwork. No one can achieve success alone, and working with others can bring new perspectives and opportunities for growth.

Here are three effective strategies to help you build your capacity and self-agency:

  1. Self-Reflection
  2. Seek Feedback
  3. Continuous Learning



Regular self-reflection is an excellent way to increase self-awareness and can help you identify your strengths, challenges and areas of opportunity. It can also help you identify patterns in your behavior and thought processes that may be holding you back. With increased awareness, we can develop new ways of managing our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in a manner that leads to positive outcomes. This is essential to build our confidence and capacity to take on new challenges.

Here are several practices that can help you deepen your self-reflection:

  • Engage in holistic practices like yoga, journaling, meditation or Reiki. Any mindfulness practice that involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of one’s thoughts and emotions without judgment can help you develop emotional intelligence. This can help you better understand and connect with others, as well as manage your own emotions more effectively.
  • Set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Setting goals helps you focus on what you need to achieve and provides you with a sense of direction and purpose. Focus on prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, and avoiding procrastination.
  • Identify strengths and resources you already have as well as patterns of behavior and decision-making that may not be serving you well. By recognizing these patterns, you can make more informed choices that align with your goals and values.

Seek Feedback

Sometimes we can feel stuck when we get in a cycle of only self-reflecting. Seeking feedback from others can be a valuable tool in our personal growth. It’s helpful to seek out feedback from individuals who have experience or expertise in the areas you want to improve as they can help you develop those skills. This can be achieved by connecting with colleagues, mentors, or coaches. Coaches can help with things like goal setting, crafting daily routines and time management which are all crucial for building capacity and self-agency.

Here are some things to consider as you seek feedback:

  • Approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Criticism can be hard to hear, but it can also lead to significant improvements.
  • Be specific about what you want to know. This can help the person providing feedback to give you more targeted and actionable advice.
  • Feedback is just one part of the learning and growth process. It’s important to take what you’ve learned and apply it to your work and continue to seek out opportunities for improvement.

Continuous Learning

One of the most effective strategies to build capacity and self-agency is to be continuously learning. This can be achieved by taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, reading books and articles, and networking with others in your field.

Here are some additional ways to expand your knowledge and improve your skills:

  • Participate in online courses or webinars to gain new knowledge and skills at your own pace.
  • Attend networking events to connect with other professionals in your field and learn from their experiences.
  • Take on new challenges and projects that push you out of your comfort zone and require you to learn new skills.


It is important to remember that growth after trauma is a journey, not a destination. With the right approach and supportive environment for healing and growth, survivors can move forward and thrive. Through integrative approaches, coaching and education opportunities provided at ITTC, individuals can continue to develop their capacity and slef-agency, unlocking their full potential along the way. With a little time and effort, we can overcome the effects of trauma and build fulfilling and independent lives.