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Domestic Violence Awareness During the Holidays

By: Marissa Ghavami, Founding Executive + Artistic Director of Healing TREE 

The holidays are upon us and for so many of us, that means being around family members who have brought us great pain. It’s key to our mental, emotional and physical health to have resources in place so that this time of year doesn’t knock us off balance. We may find that the holiday season causes old wounds to resurface and realize that trauma-healing work may be what we need. 

Healing TREE (Trauma Resources, Education & Entertainment) advocates healing from abuse and trauma rather than coping with the symptoms, in order to transform lives and, ultimately,  society. We achieve this by providing trauma-focused resources and education and by  producing and partnering with relevant film, television, and theater, empowering the social change necessary to create a healing movement. We are a 501(c)(3), national nonprofit that  was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 2014. Since our inception, we have partnered with some  of the largest names in the trauma field, including Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s team, Dr. Peter  Levine, Dr. David Grand, Dr. Jamie Marich and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network  (NCTSN). We have Artist Advocates who are familiar faces from Broadway, Film and Television, and we have partnered with the critically acclaimed feature film Mass. Our short film, Silk, was recently an Official Selection at an Academy Award qualifying festival. Earlier this year, CVS Health put out a press release announcing our groundbreaking partnership with Aetna, which is under the CVS umbrella. 

Our life-saving mission, which aligns with our partners at the Kosair Charities Face It Movement’s work of ending child abuse, strengthening families and more, centers around our three main programs, which get to the root issue, namely, trauma. 

We support individuals suffering from trauma to get the help that they need to heal rather than cope through our Approved Care Network (ACN), a free, nationwide directory of trauma focused mental health providers. We host workshops for high schoolers, college students and community members on the most  insidious red flags of abuse and trauma, built around our short film SilkWe facilitate and sponsor trainings in the evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment modality EMDR to spread healing to underserved populations. 

We invite you to take a further look at our programs via our website. If you realize that you may want to connect with a trauma-focused therapist in preparation for this holiday season or beyond, please contact If you’re a therapist who would like to bring EMDR to your organization or be added to our waitlist for sponsored EMDR Therapy Trainings in order to help your clients heal their trauma, rather than cope with the symptoms,  effectively breaking cycles of child abuse, please contact If you’d like to bring a Silk Screening + Workshop to your school or organization in order to help your community recognize the most insidious forms of abuse and trauma and know what can be done about them, please contact (Please note, we have a limited number of free, virtual Silk workshops available thanks to Face It!) You can also find  trauma-focused, recommended articles, books and videos on our website. Lastly, we are  actively seeking Board Members and volunteers, so if this time of year has you wanting to give back, please email

You can learn more about the lack of integration between the trauma, mental health and medical fields and why our unique approach is so important via this short about us video. You can stay connected to us by joining our mailing list in the footer of our website and following us on Facebook and Instagram

Marissa Ghavami (she/they) is an Iranian-American, queer artist, advocate and creator and the  Founding Executive + Artistic Director of Healing TREE. Career highlights include starring in the feature film The Gift of Christmas alongside Academy Award Nominee Bruce Davison, singing  at the legendary It’s Showtime at the Apollo, Co-Producing the BAFTA nominated, theatrically released feature film Mass and giving a speaking engagement for The Mighty, the world’s largest online health community. | @marissaghavami