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Karla Bauer Burnsville Family Resource Center Coordinator 360 Communities.

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Presentation on theme: "Karla Bauer Burnsville Family Resource Center Coordinator 360 Communities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karla Bauer Burnsville Family Resource Center Coordinator 360 Communities

2 Objectives  Identify the dimensions of trauma and the potential reactions to crisis.  Differentiate between the short and long term impact of trauma on victims of crime  Recognize the role of an advocate and determine when further mental health referrals are appropriate  Name the three steps in effective crisis intervention

3 Good crisis intervention, like good mental health treatment, is a serious professional activity calling for creativity and adaptability to changing conditions of the therapeutic moment.

4 What you can do?  Understand Trauma  Examine How You Respond to Trauma Survivors  Develop Trauma Informed Care Best- Practices  Develop Protocols  Caring for the Caregiver – Understanding Vicarious Trauma

5 “Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence. Not only can trauma be healed, but with appropriate guidance and support, it can be transformative. Trauma has the potential to be one of the most significant forces for psychological, social, and spiritual awakening and evolution. How we handle trauma (as individuals, communities and societies) greatly influences the quality of our lives. It ultimately affects how or even whether we will survive as a species.” Trauma Therapist Peter Levine (Waking the Tiger, 1997, p.2)

6  People exist in a state of equilibrium  The equilibrium may be relatively even (moderate highs and lows)  The equilibrium may include dramatic highs and lows

7 Normal Stressors Both positive and negative events cause stress  Getting a new job  Getting fired  Getting married  Getting divorced  Having a baby  Losing a loved one

8 What is Trauma? “Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.”

9 Processing Traumatic Stimuli 1.Stimuli enters 2. It is perceived threatening by the Thalamus 3. Then emotions trigger physical reactions and override the cognitive processes 4. Scattered emotional information interferes with the cognitive process.

10 Trauma and Equilibrium  Trauma can affect the ability to re-establish balance  Re-established balance may never return to the level it was prior to the experience  Equilibrium may be effected differently by the duration of the trauma- if it is chronic or acute

11 Psychological Trauma  Extreme stress that overwhelms a person ’ s ability to cope  Also can have a physiological impact  Individual ’ s subjective experience that determines whether an event is traumatic

12 Psychological Trauma  Unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions, in which:  The individual ’ s ability to integrate her/his emotional experience is overwhelmed, or  The individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity

13 Psychological Trauma  Psychologically, the bottom line is that trauma is overwhelming emotion and a feeling of utter helplessness  It is very personal and subjective  2 people could go through the same event or series of events and one is traumatized and the other is not

14 Single v. Multiple  A single event can be very traumatic  The most serious mental health issues generally come from prolonged and repeated traumatic experiences

15 Natural v. Human Made  Prolonged stressors, deliberately inflicted by people, are far harder to bear than accidents or natural disasters  Situations involving interpersonal relationships and most specifically the parent-child relationship may be more impactful

16 Stress Reaction  Initial crisis reaction- Short term  Long term stress reactions  Both physical and emotional

17 Short Term Stress Reactions  3 F’s  Fight  Flight  Freeze

18 Fight, Flight or Freeze  Freeze: orienting response (What is happening? I need to be afraid)  Flight: I need to get away – can I?  Fight: Couldn’t outrun the panther; can’t fight off the larger person 18

19 2009 South Carolina Victim Assistance Academy 19 Short-term Psychological Trauma: During the Crime  Shock, surprise, terror  Feelings of unreality; think it can’t be happening  High levels of physiological anxiety (e.g., rapid heart rate, rapid breathing)  Cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., feel helpless, fear being killed)

20 2009 South Carolina Victim Assistance Academy 20 Common Short-term Reactions  Preoccupation with the event  High anxiety  May or may not look distressed  Disturbed concentration and difficulty performing simple mental tasks  Concerns about safety  Avoidance

21 2009 South Carolina Victim Assistance Academy 21 Common Short-term Reactions (continued)  Sleep disturbances  Concerns about whom to tell  Concerns about being believed  Concerns about being blamed

22 Tonic Immobility  “Play” dead/state of complete paralysis  Not a conscious choice  Body functions shut down  All of those used during flight and fight  Respiration  Heart beat  Vocal chords  Same whether real or perceived entrapment 22

23 Fear System  All about self preservation  Learning/Experience of trauma creates new neural pathways that serve self preservation 23

24 “Firefighters still have nightmares about what they saw when they stumbled through the smoke into the Happy Land Social Club on an early Sunday morning one year ago today. There on the dance floor, dozens of partygoers dressed in night-on- the-town clothes lay slumped on the ground, not burned but covered in a fine layer of soot. People still sat at the bar, holding drinks. Couples embraced. There was not a life left to be saved. Some firefighters vomited. Some just wandered, dazed.” “Smoldering Memories: A Year After the Happy Land Fire, Unfulfilled Promises and an unresolved Case,” Laurie Goldstein, The Washington Post, March 25, 1991.

25 Short Term Continued  Physical shock  Numbness  Disorientation  Involuntary bodily reactions  Heightened awareness of senses  Eventual physical collapse

26 Short Term Emotional  Anger or rage  Fear and terror  Frustration, helplessness, powerlessness  Confusion  Guilt and Self Blame  Grief and Sorrow  Reconstruction of equilibrium

27 Long Term Stress Reactions  Victims may continue to experience crisis reactions over long periods of time  These reactions are usually caused by triggers

28 Long-term Psychological Problems  PTSD  Major depression  Suicidal thoughts and attempts  Alcohol and drug use problems  Relationship problems 28

29 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  Must involve a traumatic event  Usually involves multiple events over a prolonged period of time  Usually involves human made events

30 Symptoms  Intrusive Re-experiencing of the trauma (flashbacks, reliving experience or abreaction)  Avoidance of anything that might remind them of the traumatic experience -- may avoid people, places or feelings that remind them. May resort to numbing out.

31 PTSD Symptoms (continued)  Arousal  could be psychological or physiological arousal.  Varies -- jumpy, easily startled, irritable and sleep disturbances  May seem constantly on guard and may find it difficult to concentrate  Panic attacks, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

32 Dissociative Disorder  Numbing  Spacing  Losing Time  Inability to Concentrate  Addictive  Automatic Response

33 2009 South Carolina Victim Assistance Academy 33 Other Long-term Psychological and Behavioral Problems  Changes in lifestyle and restrictions in behavior  Changes in pre-crime beliefs and attributions about the world  Increased risk of future victimization

34 Triggers  Hearings, trials, appeals  Identification of an assailant  Anniversaries  Holidays, birthdays, significant events  Media stories about the event or similar crimes

35 Crisis Intervention  Good News: What You Do Does Help!  Reduce the severity of the crisis  Assist the victim in gaining control over the crisis  Reduce chances of repeated victimization

36 Three Techniques  Safety and Security  Ventilation and Validation  Prediction and Preparation

37 Safety and Security  Physical safety of the victim  Helping the victim feel safe  Helping victims be safe

38 Safety and Security  Respond to the need for nurturing  Help victims re-establish a sense of control

39 Ventilation and Validation  Allow victims to tell their story  Ventilation may be verbal, musical, artistic, active etc.  Validation is achieved by providers assuring victims that most reactions to traumatic events are normal  Validation should reinforce that most reactions of anger, fear, frustration, guilt, and grief do not mean the victim is abnormal, immoral, or bad.

40 On the wall of Brasenose College at Oxford University hands a letter from President Abraham Lincoln as a model of ‘purest English.” It is a model of a written response to a grieving Mother: Dear Mrs. Bixby,. I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have had so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom Yours very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln

41 Prediction and Preparation  Victims need information about the crime and what happens next  This is a way to help the victim regain control  Victims need to know how to cope on a day- to-day basis  Victims need practical information

42 Victim Behaviors that Contribute to Blaming and Doubting Victims  A confused or disorganized presentation  Behaviors or emotions that differ from how we think a ‘real’ victim should act or feel  Statements that are not chronological (i.e., do not start at the beginning and give a blow-by- blow account of what happened in sequence) and/or that are not told exactly the same way every time. 42

43 Questions  What do we think about the truthfulness of victims who are confused and have trouble remembering details of what happened?  How do we feel about victims who were attacked when they were intoxicated or engaged in other risky behavior?  What do we think about victims who have been victimized repeatedly and/or who won’t get out of bad relationships? 43

44 Contact Me: Karla Bauer 360 Communities 952.985.4067 kbauer@360communities.org


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