Charna Cassell: Recognizing and Regulating Trauma at Work – Yours and Others

In order to be the best leader you can be, you have to be present and attuned to what your teams are going through. That requires regulating ourselves and our own emotions. Things get even stickier when you throw trauma into the mix. You get triggered, or they get triggered, and ultimately nobody wins. But how do you recognize trauma in the workplace? And what can you do to ensure you create a safe environment where everyone can contribute and collaborate effectively? My guest, Charna Cassell, is an LMFT and a Certified Embodied Leadership Coach. Today we talk about her fascinating work with leaders and trauma survivors and how essential mindfulness, internal work, and consciousness are in being a congruent leader and communicator. We also share how you can recognize trauma in others and respond effectively. You’ll hear about the Window of Tolerance and why expanding yours as a leader enables you to more compassionately navigate traumatic situations with others. 

Key Takeaways:

  • We all have our histories, and when we’re in stressful situations, those can take over unless you’ve trained your nervous system to do something different.
  • If you have not addressed your own traumas and histories, it will inevitably come out in all of your relationships, both personal and professional. 
  • Learning how to breathe is the most direct way to change your mood or state. 
  • When the relationships have been built, you can check in with your coworkers and employees in a healthy, safe manner. But attunement is key and you want to make sure it is done in an appropriate time and manner. 

“Your own ability to feel your own emotions is directly correlated with how much capacity you have to be with other people’s experience.” —  Charna Cassell

About Charna Cassell:

Charna Cassell:  LMFT and Master Somatic Coach

Charna Cassell, an LMFT and a Certified Embodied Leadership Coach, helps people heal and find pleasure in their bodies. For over two decades, she worked as a sex educator and sex toy clerk at Good Vibrations located in San Francisco.  Then, as a Master Somatic Coach and bodyworker, and now, a trauma-trained psychotherapist.

Outside of private practice, she teaches sexuality education classes, leads body wisdom workshops, and offers trauma and resilience training in a variety of institutions, nonprofits, and therapeutic settings. 

As the host of LaidOPEN Podcast, Charna shares her own story, answers your questions, and offers practical exercises. She has conversations with inspirational survivors, trailblazers, and people just like you. Her guests are experts and authors in the field of somatics, trauma, healing modalities, mindfulness, and the arts. 

Charna’s work and expertise have been featured in Oprah magazine,,,, and Currently, Charna’s focused on writing her book, The Authentic Yes: A Guide to Passionate Living  After Sexual Trauma.

Charna is in private practice in Oakland, California.

Connect with Charna Cassell:  

Websites: and





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