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Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's Biography

Member Info

Feb 2008

For two decades, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky has been working with trauma survivors. After regularly spending nights volunteering in a homeless shelter at age 18, she went on to work with survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, acute trauma and natural disasters. Also active in community organizing and social-justice movements, she has acquired an intimate knowledge of the toll that trauma can take on those who are called to help.

With her theory of Trauma Stewardship she combines the age-old wisdom of traditions from around the globe with the most cutting-edge contemporary research, inviting those of us who have been exposed to hardship, suffering, or trauma, whether directly or indirectly, to reinvent how we approach caring for others and ourselves.

She has shared her practice of Trauma Stewardship through workshops and gatherings, traveling across North America and around the world to bring this work to a dizzyingly broad array of workers—from community organizers and health care workers in Japan to zookeepers and reconstruction volunteers in the post Katrina New Orleans, from U.S. Airforce pilots to Canadian fire fighters, from public school teachers to private practice doctors. Over and over, she was asked to write this book.

Laura continues her work with Trauma Stewardship, collaborating with others to develop sustainable work practices and maintaining a private counseling practice for individuals. She is also the founder and director of a Spanish-language preschool and grade school enrichment program that offers an environmental and social-justice curriculum.


Thich Nhat Hanh

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Pema Chodron

Jack Kornfield

All those with whom I have had the privilege of working

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