Join the Nova Integration Hub!

Hub blog 2

November 28, 2022

The Nova Integration Hub, an initiative of the Nova Institute for Health, is a web-based forum created to empower a transdisciplinary community to share new ideas and ways of thinking, put research findings into practice and policy, and spark creativity, collaboration, and solutions for health and well-being.

We are excited to launch our new Nova Integration Hub today, and we invite you to join the fun! 

We created the Hub because we heard time and again that a space like this needed to exist. Colleagues said they too often worked in silos, in competitive and isolated environments, with limited opportunities for collaboration and integration.  

We heard that people working across disciplines wanted a dynamic, supportive forum focused on solutions for health and well-being — and they wanted something ongoing, available 24/7, not just at annual meetings. And we longed for a communal space that felt welcoming and non-judgmental — a place for belonging during these times of so much “othering.”  

The Nova Institute is all about integration, creativity, and collaboration, so we were excited to work with our partners and colleagues to create just such a place. 

We think of the Hub as an online café where people from all walks of life can strike up conversations, exchange viewpoints, review each other’s work, forge unlikely friendships, generate new ideas, and develop collaborations. The Hub is similar to other social networking sites, but tailored specifically for us. 

Who will join the Integration Hub? 

We hope to engage a broad audience on the Hub — thought leaders, researchers (including early-career researchers), creatives, educators, clinicians, policymakers, advocates, community organizers, journalists, and young people — anyone who wants to make a change in the world. We want every contributor to see themselves reflected in the Hub, no matter what their field of expertise or interest.

What can you do on the Hub? 

Ready to jump in? Register at, then take a look around! Here are just some things you can do: 

  • Join or create Groups  
  • Participate in and start Discussions  
  • Write a Post to share what’s on your mind  
  • Connect with other Hub Members 
  • Read News from the Hub (featuring our inaugural Nova Interview with Dr. Helene Langevin, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • Check out Events (including our virtual Nova Annual Conference December 1-2, 2022) and Activities
  • Explore the site with our Search feature or using #hashtags

Our Integration Hub Team

We are fortunate to have a terrific team that has been developing and testing the Hub. This includes Dawn Stoltzfus, Senior Director of Strategic Communications, and Airynn Strout, Communications and Development Associate, both with the Nova Institute, as well as Nova Scholar and Director of the Nova Network, Susan Prescott, and Nova Fellow Alan Logan (also author of our new Nova Interviews!). We are working with Fireside Digital to create (and continue to customize, based on user feedback) this unique platform.   

We hope you will connect with us on the Hub, say hello, and share your feedback, thoughts, and ideas!

Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.

  • Persistence: “People did not simply progress through this sequence and experience healing. The healing journey was a recursive, back and forth process. They found helpers, used the skills/resources that those helpers provided, found other helpers that provided more resources and used those skills and resources. As this process continued, people experienced a gradual amelioration of their suffering. Although many despaired at times, all demonstrated the quality of persistence—they refused to give up.”
  • Safety & Trust: “To connect to helpers, it was essential for people to feel safe in those relationships and able to trust that the person would be a helper and not a barrier to healing. Persons whose wounds included a violation of trust were especially careful about testing the safety of new relationships.”

Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”

  • Reframing: “A particularly important skill was the ability to reframe—that is to look at suffering through a different lens.” This does NOT mean minimizing trauma or pain, but rather it often means the opposite: understanding what happened was wrong, unfair, or uncontrollable and that we are not to blame for it.
  • Responsibility: While we don’t have control over what happened to us, we are the only ones who can help ourselves heal. “A third essential resource that people acquired or refined was the ability to take an appropriate amount of responsibility for their healing journeys. They participated actively in the process of healing. Once again, some participants already had developed this skill, and some acquired or refined it from their helpers.”
  • Positivity: “Another resource that people acquired or refined during their healing journey was choose to be positive—that is to have some optimism about their situation.” People have varying predispositions to positivity. In the study, positivity was important in helping people heal. This doesn’t mean a toxic positivity, but rather simply finding some good in life and feeling hopeful about our situations.

“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad. 

When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.) 

“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”

  • “Moving from being wounded, through suffering to healing, is possible. It is facilitated by developing safe, trusting relationships and by positive reframing that moves through the weight of responsibility to the ability to respond.”
  • “Relationships with health professionals were among these but were not necessarily any more important to the healing journey than other kinds of helpers, which included family members, friends, spirituality and their God, pets, support groups, administrators, case workers and supervisors.”

Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.” 

Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”

 In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.” 

  • Helping Others: We find meaning in helping others. “Understanding that suffering gives the strength and experience to help others in similar situations.”
  • Hope: We begin to have hope that we will not always feel this bad. A Crohn’s patient said, “I think gradually I realized that I was going to feel better. I did have days when I actually didn’t vomit, when I did feel better. And I think gradually I came to believe that maybe I could have a normal life again.”
  • Self-Acceptance: We see our inherent value and understand that we are not to blame for our suffering. A participant living with HIV said, “I’m really proud of myself. I think that now I still want to live. I don’t want to die, and I really love myself a lot. I have a lot of comfort in myself.”

Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding. 

There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.

Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors. 

“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”

Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.

Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.

Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.