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What Does It Mean To Be Trauma-Informed? January's Confab

Hi NJPN Community,


We're excited to share with you January’s Confab highlights on the topic of "Trauma Informed Care: Increasing Care and Compassion by Adjusting our Approach," featuring the knowledgeable Ken Pecoraro. Ken is a well-respected mental health and addictions professional with over 30 years of experience working directly with individuals and supervising programs for substance use and co-occurring disorders with harm reduction strategies as a primary focus.  

January's Confab Highlights

Together we had the opportunity to participate in an engaging in thought provoking conversation. Ken led us in a discussion on strategies to enhance compassionate practices for both ourselves and the individuals we are supporting. By focusing on adapting and deepening our understanding of trauma-informed care and our approach, we are not only caring for ourselves but also for our community.

What does it mean to be Trauma-Informed?

Being trauma-informed is a way of approaching and understanding individuals who have experienced trauma. It guides our interactions, interventions, and recovery plans to create a safe and supportive environment for the individuals we are supporting.

Ken provided the opportunity to explore evidence-based methodologies aimed at adjusting our approaches, with an emphasis on empathy, understanding, and sensitivity when supporting others affected by trauma. Additionally, we addressed skills for taking care of our own vicarious trauma while in the helping role.

Viewing self-care through the lens of improving our ability to provide trauma-informed care can be a powerful perspective. When we practice trauma-informed care effectively:

  • We enhance our work life balance because we feel more effective and achieve better results.

  • We feel more comfortable and resilient in our roles.

Ken shares with us that in this way, our approach of self-care not only benefits us personally but also enhances our ability to provide trauma-informed care, creating a positive cycle of mutual support and improvement.

About Ken Pecoraro:  

Kenneth Pecoraro received his Master of Social Work degree in 1996 from Rutgers University where he specialized in casework with an emphasis on addictions treatment. 

Ken is insightful and unique in his ability to build relationships through a compassionate approach. He has been a New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2000 and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 1997, and he is also a NJ Certified Clinical Supervisor and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

January Confab Speaker Ken Pecoraro.


Join Us for the Next Confab in 2024 

We invite you to mark your calendars for the last Tuesday of every month and join us virtually on Zoom for an enriching experience. Our Confabs provide a supportive space for individuals to explore holistic pathways to recovery, and we're excited to continue this journey with you.


Save the date for the upcoming Confab, where we'll delve into another compelling topic with our next guest speaker. It's an opportunity to connect with peers, share experiences, and discover new avenues for personal growth.

More information on the confab can be found at


Jenna Reidy is a person in sustained recovery from a substance use disorder since 2008 and is a Peer Recovery Workforce Development Trainer at NJPN. She is a nationally certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) and has earned the National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional designation (NDCCDP). Jenna believes in being of service and values her multiple volunteer roles within her local community. She enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her dog, supporting the peer workforce through her role at NJPN, and prioritizes self-care through work life balance including taking breaks to recharge by spending time with her family and friends.

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