From Dalia Avello-Vega, Psy.M., MA, MRes, IMH-E, Lecturer | Curriculum and Instruction for the College of Education at Portland State University
One of my favorite things to do is to teach primary age children about the nervous system and stress. During these presentations they typically laugh, frown, look a bit concerned and confused… until a spark appears in their eyes to show me that they’ve got it. It was from them that I learned to identify and most accurately visualize the idea of mixed feelings: this all-encompassing merge of good, bad, sad and plain weird, or as one of them put it, “what happens when you mix a lot of Play-Doh, and you can see the colors, but it also gets parts where there is gray.”
They came to mind as I started to write this note sharing my departure from Trauma Informed Oregon, which has very much been full of many colors of Play-Doh! I received an unexpected yet wonderful opportunity to pursue a project in Scotland. It was a hard decision to make, with a very tight turnaround time, but the amazing team at TIO helped me see that this is more of a “see you soon” than a goodbye. In the meantime, I will continue teaching at Portland State University’s Infant Toddler Mental Health Program as well as being available to the team to help with any needs during the transition.