Testimony from BiancaBianca is a parent of two amazing children. She is passionate about making positive change in society in the areas of disability, mental health and trauma.

I was given the amazing opportunity to attend the ReAwaken Conference. It was utterly amazing and the first time in my life experience I’ve seen a group of strangers unite, resulting in a community of connection, compassion, and friendships. I also attended the Emotional CPR (eCPR) training, an educational program that teaches people how to assist others through an emotional crisis, that followed the conference.

I left the eCPR training with renewed hope and awareness, challenging myself to bring this amazing therapeutic model into my home. My son, Zion, is 8 years old. He is autistic with other complex needs. Zion has always found it difficult to self-regulate his emotions. He has an assistance dog to help him at times. To give you a picture, my son was having daily, if not more than once a day, meltdowns which were resulting in some behaviors of concern.

The morning after training, I found myself in a situation where I could see the potential for using eCPR. I was able to sit with my son and use the model of Connect, Empower, and Revitalize. Normally the situation would have escalated to the point of a meltdown where behaviors of concern would have come into play. This time, I was not there to fix the problem but just to acknowledge and sit with those not-nice feelings.

This model has opened up my son’s understanding that having emotions is okay and it is safe to be able to sit with one another, connect together, and be in a space of empowerment and healing. I have even expanded this to be included in all of Zion’s therapy sessions. Even the therapists are in awe of his new-found awareness and understanding of emotions. We have done many years of therapy and seen only small steps. Yet in just three weeks of practicing Emotional CPR, this amazing, powerful model approach has changed our lives. Now we are no longer living in a battlefield but in a relationship filled with understanding, acknowledgement, compassion and growth.