Speaking

Photo of Tamara Lynn Robert

i have been a speaker, a storyteller, and an educator throughout my career.

Each one of the positions I have held has required this of me, and if it didn’t, I created space for it. I have an innate passion to teach and create change through connection, awareness, and understanding. In the last five years, most of my audiences have been people in the health and social service sector. I have been told that I am a compassionate and dynamic speaker that leave people feeling understood and inspired. I am highly skilled in teaching about complex issues that create resonance not only with the work we do but with our own human experience of suffering and healing. I combine my love of storytelling with the use of cutting-edge research and root it in over 20 years of working in the field of serving individuals and communities. My background in theatre only serves to enhance this experience all while staying very close to the heart.

I have been a regular speaker for Toronto Public Health’s Harm Reduction Trainings and Gaining Ground (Women and Harm Reduction Training). I have spoken at Mount Sinai Hospital and CAMH for anti-stigma initiatives. I have also been invited by several social service agencies to talk about workplace wellness and working with people with mental health and substance use issues. I have recently started to branch out as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at conferences across Ontario on themes of Trauma and Addiction as well as Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue. As a speaker, I am deeply influenced by the work of Dr. Gabor Maté and Dr. Brené Brown and believe strongly that if I can reach your heart it will positively impact you and your work!

workshops

Below is a list of the workshops I deliver most frequently. Please feel free to be in touch if there is anything you do not see but are interested in me presenting.

For rates and booking please contact me at: speaking@tamaralynnrobert.com

trauma and addiction: the hidden pain
Underneath the addiction is often a world of pain. I have witnessed time and again how addictions are used to cope, soothe or escape from deep emotional wounds. Drawn from a compassionate lens, this workshop will serve to explore the most recent research on the connections between a history of trauma and how that can lead to a life of addictions and health disparities. It further examines how building therapeutic relationships and reducing stigma can support people to heal from life’s deepest wounds of abuse, neglect and isolation.

“Why do we despise, ostracize and punish the drug addict, when as a social collective, we share the same blindness and engage in the same rationalizations?” — gabor maté, in the realm of hungry ghosts: close encounters with addiction

her hidden pain
“Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants.” — edgar allen poe

This workshop serves to explore the unique experiences of women who have turned to addictions of all types in the efforts to cope with and soothe deep emotional pain. It explores research that has focused on women who use substances and is interwoven with stories and case studies to highlight these findings. It encourages us to build empathy and compassion that promote therapeutic relationships that end the silence and apathy that surrounds female survivors of abuse and neglect.

when work hurts: vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue
This full day workshop explores the impacts of vicarious trauma (VT) and compassion fatigue (CF) on frontline service providers. It serves firstly to normalize the impacts on workers of being immersed in suffering and traumatic material aiming to reduce stigma, shame and isolation. The workshop promotes the recognition of the signs and symptoms of VT/CF as well as raise awareness of individual, organizational and systemic issues that can place workers at risk. This interactive workshop uses exercises in self-reflection and group discussion to help create strategies to develop compassion satisfaction, enhance protective factors and promote recovery. Furthermore, the workshop endeavours to inspire a shift in thinking from individual responsibility to working together to create psychologically safe work environments.

“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” — rachel remen

the power of connection: breaking down mental health and substance use stigma
Often Stigma is presented as fear of the unknown, I propose that mental health struggles are far more familiar than we would like to admit. We all know what it feels like to grieve, to be overcome with worry and to even feel like we have “lost our minds”, we just don’t like to be reminded. This workshop explores the impacts of mental health stigma and how we can work together to develop a culture of compassion towards self and others that helps fight stigma and opens the doors for people to get the help, care and support they deserve.

“The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.” — daniell koepke