Jenna Raphael, MSW '13, shares her experience designing ITTIC's logo.
In February of 2013, I was asked by one of my favorite professors at UB, Sue Green, to design the logo for the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC). I was excited to start working on the logo and was also a bit nervous. As a social worker, trauma-informed care is something that I am passionate about, and I wanted the logo to be the best possible representation of ITTIC. It was truly a remarkable experience to be able to design each element of the logo.
The logo depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes with a mandala in the background. There's a myth that says a phoenix can rise from its own ashes or, in other words, be reborn into something new. The phoenix relates to trauma because it illustrates how a person can go through a painful, debilitating experience and still rise above the situation and be able to move on with their life. It takes courage, acceptance, forgiveness and undying hope to rise from the aftermath of trauma. The mandala is a circle that characterizes healing. Historically, it has been used to offer healing and protection by Buddhist monks. The mandala was used as part of the logo to bring emphasis to the importance of healing and safety of the individual. Safety is one of the principles of trauma-informed care.
My hope for this logo is that it will be used to portray the values and goals of the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care. The one thing I will always remember about trauma-informed care is the way in which it views a person: as a whole. 'It's not what is wrong with the person; it's what has happened to the person.' If we look at an individual with this mindset, I believe we can provide person-centered care that places a strong emphasis on feeling safe, being accepted and being understood."
Jenna Raphael, MSW '13, currently works for Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) as a substance abuse prevention educator and chemical dependency counselor. In her free time, she enjoys working as a freelance graphic designer.
At ITTIC we are committed to working towards healing and re-birth for people that have experienced trauma in their lives. This image speaks to our work: believing in the strength and resiliency of people to rise out of ashes into wholeness, and believing our systems of care can change to incorporate greater safety, trust, choice, empowerment and collaboration in their work.
A special thank you to Jenna Raphael for her creativity and hard work coming up with the design!