Blink of an Eye (Episode 84) Guest: Louise Phipps Senft
Today, our guest is Louise Phipps Senft. Louise is the mother to a son with an SCI, and founder and executive director of Blink of an Eye, a nonprofit organization that is committed to addressing that initial moment when everything changes after a spinal cord injury. A big theme of this conversation is trauma. And one of the things that arises in our dialogue with Louise is how this trauma kind of goes under or undiagnosed – both with the injured person AND with the family and the extended community. Louise is an extraordinary person who will tell us a bit about the story of her family and how they've responded in the aftermath of her son’s SCI. We’ll also talk about her son and where he is now. You can find more information about Blink of an Eye below, and at their website: blinkofaneye.org.
As always, please share your thoughts with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!
Louise Phipps Senft is an attorney and nationally recognized Transformative Mediator for complicated business, family, divorce, and organizational Issues. She is the author of the best-selling book, Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction & Lasting Change (2015), and the Creator of the Blink of an EyeTM Podcast focused on storytelling with trauma-healing insights for listeners across the globe. She founded Baltimore Mediation in 1993 and has mediated and advised thousands through their conflicts and crises, been named a top CEO in the state of Maryland, the top CEO of a minority-owned business, and she has been awarded on multiple occasions the distinguished “Top 100 Women” in Maryland honor. A Midwesterner who hails from Springfield, Illinois, she is a University of Virginia graduate and attended Washington & Lee University School of Law, where she was Chair of the International Moot Court Program and Founder and President of the first Women Law Students Organization and elected the first woman law representative to the 100-year-old Honor System at the traditionally all-male undergraduate campus. She graduated with honors, was voted by her peers and by the law faculty as the Most Outstanding Law Student. She and her husband moved to Baltimore where she practiced law at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston.
After seven years as a litigator, she decided to forge a new alternative way to resolve legal disputes: through face-to-face dialogue and founded Baltimore Mediation, the first mediation firm in Maryland and the U.S. Thirty years later, Baltimore Mediation remains a beacon of transformative practices, one of the most successful mediation firms in the U.S.
Ms. Senft’s life was changed in a Blink of an Eye when one of her five children was tragically injured in a 2015 diving accident in the ocean surf rendering him a quadriplegic. She spent months living by his side in ICUs and hospitals battling for his life, paralyzed from the neck down, and for the quality of his care. She and her family responded with love and fierce advocacy. Her son Archer’s choice to live and be hopeful has been a beacon to many. She learned that most hospitals in the US do not have Spinal Cord Injury expertise and that families do not have mediation skills which are essential for navigating complicated health care, and that most doctors are not trauma-informed. She founded the Integrative Center for Trauma Healing, Advocacy, and Transformation, IC THAT, now known as Blink of an Eye, in 2021 to fill the gap for more relational and trauma-informed responses for SCI families in crisis bringing them cutting-edge SCI medical expertise as well as hope, emotional and spiritual support, and navigation how to’s.
Whether through her Podcast, Blink of an EyeTM, her book Being Relational, her blogs and inspirational speeches, Louise brings a message of hope and living life with the qualities of Being Relational - leaning into the art of living a fully authentic life that is good for self and good for others.
About Blink of an Eye
With a sole focus on Spinal Cord Injury/TBI and Trauma Healing, we journey with patients, families and medical teams through the crisis hours, days and months from initial injury with an unwavering belief in extraordinary possibilities despite the devastation. Our trauma trained, trauma-healing informed HEAL Team travels to be bedside with families in ICUs through the earliest days of injury, bringing Hope, Empathy, Advocacy, and Logistical and Medical tips with care, and our Family Navigation & Support Team provides a 1:1 Navigator for each family available 24/7 for whatever they need in technical, practical, emotional and relational support for the first 30 days of injury when life turns upside down. Our Family Navigation & Support team is supported by a Wrap-Around Team with expertise ranging from ADA and insurance to integrative health and nutrition to financial and legal best practices, and a world-class SCI/TBI Medical Expert Team. We support SCI families through the medical and rehab maze empowering them through the ICU, and the many transitions to an in-patient rehab setting, into an out-patient rehab setting, into their homes, schools and communities. Blink of an Eye collects and curates this wealth of SCI practical knowledge and experience into the Blink of an EyeTM Digital Resource Library for immediate access for families, friends and medical teams across the globe during the crisis days and weeks and months following the initial SCI injury.
This podcast is made possible by a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center. The information provided and opinions expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. For more information about the Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center visit https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis