“Jenica Wright works as a Trauma Informed Care Consultant and Energy Healer in Washington, D.C. She is a STAR Practitioner (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) with Eastern Mennonite University and she practices energy healing as a Healing Touch Practitioner with the Healing Touch Program which is recognized by the Holistic Nurses Association.”
About Jenica Wright
Jenica Wright gives workshops on how communities and individuals can begin healing from trauma through awareness and education, self-care, movement workshops and energy healing. She currently is a lead organizer for DCJSC (D.C. Justice for Survivors Campaign) that organizes on issues relating to implementing survivor-centered legislation and making sure survivor voices are heard when crafting policy about the response to sexual assault in D.C. She also works as a consultant for organizations seeking to make their policies more trauma-informed and healing-centered and creates self-care and collective care plans for their employees.
I have worked for the last six years as the lead co-organizer for the DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DCJSC). Our group consists of survivors and allies that work on making sure survivor voices are heard when creating legislation and policy in D.C. We also work to hold stakeholders (like the police, government, and service providers) accountable when there are complaints filed and making sure survivor-centered legislation is implemented and that survivors have the resources they need to heal. We helped pass legislation that ensures each survivor has access to a community-based advocate (whether or not they report to law enforcement) and are not charged for their medical costs following an assault including their forensic exams. This work is led by survivors with support from allies. I also work with service providers in the DC area to provide low-cost or free healing sessions to survivors and advocates if they are waiting for other services to become available.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
I have been organizing in the movement to end sexual violence for over a decade and in doing so have seen the large gaps that exist in services for survivors. Sometimes only one form of support is offered, or services are too expensive or not accessible. In my healing journey the importance of the diversified support that I received to address my different needs as I was healing made all of the difference to me. This has made me want to create other avenues of healing that are accessible and affordable for survivors that address the whole self.
My Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
As a trauma-informed practitioner with the STAR program, I recognize many elements that are needed to provide trauma-informed care. First is the recognition that trauma has many sources including structural, intergenerational, collective and vicarious. Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal situation. Our bodies all respond to trauma in different ways and different things cause trauma responses in different people. Trauma responses involve our whole body, including our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional selves and providing trauma-informed care looks at the impact of trauma on all of these elements. Beyond understanding the causes and responses of all different types of trauma, it is important to create environments where people feel understood, are able to express how they feel without judgement, and feel emotionally and physically safe. For me, this means including the five principles of trauma informed care – safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment when working with clients.
I provide an energy healing modality called Healing Touch. Healing Touch was created by a nurse to help integrate energy medicine practices within a hospital setting. This modality takes knowledge from many different energy healing techniques to work on specific energy centers (chakras) in the body that might need to be cleared, energized or balanced. The session starts with an energy assessment using a pendulum around the major and minor chakras of the body and then applies different methods to address those chakra centers needing attention. It can be done with hands lightly touching or hands hovering above the body. Healing Touch is a heart-centered approach that looks to create an environment where the body can heal itself while addressing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of the client. Please see my website for more information on Healing Touch.
How My Practice Holistically Addresses the Impacts of Sexual Trauma
*Promotes relaxation: Many survivors have problems relaxing or sleeping after an assault, energy healing promotes a relaxation response and many survivors are able to feel more relaxed and even sleep during a session
*Promotes self-awareness/grounding: Healing Touch encourages clients to slowly be back in their body in a safe environment. I assess with a pendulum where there is energy that needs to be cleared or balanced and sometimes, if the client wants to know, this can help with understanding how their body is responding to trauma. It helps plan for future triggers by understanding how their body responds so they can bring in the rational brain and help with grounding.
*Helps balance and heal emotional responses and helps with energetic trauma release: Trauma energy that was generated by the fight, flight or freeze response can stay in the energy field after the event. Energy healing helps release the energy that is ready to leave or is being generated by triggering or flashbacks of the event.
*Empowers: Healing Touch encourages survivors to use self-care techniques, make choices about their healing, and have a space that is not clinical to share their experience with someone else on their own terms. Clients and the practitioner set mutual goals and create intentions together before the session starts and at the end of each session, I share self-care energy techniques that they can use on themselves.
*Confidentiality, Privacy and Safety: I keep my office location, which is in my home, as private and do not give the information until I have confirmed with the client. I adhere to HIPAA guidelines for the protection of personal information and keep all information in a locked cabinet and will only share with consent from the client or in a legal situation where it is required. I only use initials on paperwork. Survivors are welcome to have another trusted person in the room if they choose.
*Informed and ongoing consent: I make sure my clients have control over their session. I thoroughly explain what will happen and what the session involves, what instruments I use and where I will offer touch. Clients can request that I tell them before I touch them each time or request that I don’t touch them at all. They are allowed at any point to request a change or ask questions. I can do the session with no touch, light touch or only touch in certain areas, this consent is ongoing and informed at every stage.
*Choices: At the beginning of the session we set mutual goals and intention for the session and the client’s choices are always honored during the session. Clients can choose what they would like to work on and can tell me as much or as little information as they decide. Survivors don’t even need to disclose that they are survivors of trauma if they do not want to. I do not ask extensive intake questions unless we have built a relationship and it is always up to the client how much they want to share. They have choices over the environment whether lights are on or off, door open or closed, and I have tools and resources that clients can use to show how they are feeling without talking a lot about it such as drawing or picking up emotional label cards on the table.
*Empowerment and Collaboration: One of the underlying values in the modality that I practice is that as practitioners we are creating an environment that is optimal for the body to heal itself. The sessions are in collaboration with the client and designed so that the client can be in charge of their healing journey. At the end of each session, I give self-care resources and tools that can help clients learn about how trauma is affecting them and how they can work on things between sessions.
Additional Areas of Expertise + Interest
I am part of an emerging collective of people of color that is focusing on transformative justice for survivors. We are working on processes that would be for survivors that do not want to report to police but want accountability from the person who caused them harm. As an activist, I work on many social justice issues such as immigration, working against mass incarceration, and state oppression of minorities that have clear intersections with sexual violence and trauma. The collective I am a part was founded to address sexual assault that is happening within social justice organizing circles. We are currently trying to organize ways to support survivors that come forward with accountability processes for people causing harm, healing circles, and training on community care and trauma awareness to provide more support for our communities dealing with sexual assault. I have additional expertise (passion and love for) working with immigrants, refugees (I still teach ESL), survivors that identify as trans or gender non-conforming, and BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color). Please see my website under my values for more information on how I identify and seek to make my practice inclusive.
All of my services are offered on a sliding-scale based on income. I also collect a fund (through tips and donations) to help provide a limited number of free sessions each month. Venmo and cash are accepted.