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The Healing of Healers Challenges to overcome the effects of stress, trauma and vicarious traumatization.

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Presentation on theme: "The Healing of Healers Challenges to overcome the effects of stress, trauma and vicarious traumatization."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Healing of Healers Challenges to overcome the effects of stress, trauma and vicarious traumatization

2 Stress and Trauma are a significant health problem in the US. Up to 80% of physical illness is related to stress, life's experiences, overwhelming events – Paul Boyle, Director of Holistic Trauma Healing, Nairobi Up to 80% of physical illness is related to stress, life's experiences, overwhelming events – Paul Boyle, Director of Holistic Trauma Healing, Nairobi If unrecognized or undervalued it will undermine all attempts to heal individuals, communities and society at large. If unrecognized or undervalued it will undermine all attempts to heal individuals, communities and society at large. Often, we treat the symptom, pop a pill, instead of dealing with the source Often, we treat the symptom, pop a pill, instead of dealing with the source We must do both We must do both

3 The first five years after Post Conflict – war in Iraq, Afghanistan If there is no longer an enemy the impact of the trauma must be displaced – on someone, somewhere, somehow If there is no longer an enemy the impact of the trauma must be displaced – on someone, somewhere, somehow The displacement will go back to the culture The displacement will go back to the culture  Spouse  Child  Addictions: alcohol, drug, sex abuse, homicide, suicide

4 Healing Process How do we heal the effects of stress and trauma? Name It Name It Claim It Claim It Tame It Tame It

5 If you don’t deal with trauma … trauma will deal with you. If you don’t deal with trauma … trauma will deal with you. If you don’t manage it … it will manage you. If you don’t manage it … it will manage you. If you don’t control it … it will control you If you don’t control it … it will control you If you don’t sort it out … it will sort you out If you don’t sort it out … it will sort you out

6 Trauma doesn’t go away like stress It remembers itself somewhere in our system, in our minds, bodies and souls. It remembers itself somewhere in our system, in our minds, bodies and souls. It affects our thoughts, feelings and relationships. It affects our thoughts, feelings and relationships. Often in the place that wants to be gratified which promotes self medication and in turn addictions Often in the place that wants to be gratified which promotes self medication and in turn addictions All human beings seek happiness however when stressed/traumatised we tend to seek and gain only pleasure that does not fulfil. All human beings seek happiness however when stressed/traumatised we tend to seek and gain only pleasure that does not fulfil.

7 There is always a trigger Something that will evoke a memory Something that will evoke a memory Smell, sounds, sights, dates, familiar people, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. Smell, sounds, sights, dates, familiar people, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. The memory remains stored in the brain and comes alive as if it is happening all over again and again. The memory remains stored in the brain and comes alive as if it is happening all over again and again.

8 Indicators of Stress & Trauma StressTraumaSevere Trauma AngerRageHomicide SadnessDepressionSuicide FearTerrorGenocide DistrustParanoiaSerious Mental Illness ControlledManipulatedAbused HelplessHopelessUseless

9 One traumatized person can traumatize 100 people Stress is momentary, whereas Trauma Stress is momentary, whereas Trauma Is a way of life Is a way of life Alters the Ego Alters the Ego Causes a Negative Life change Causes a Negative Life change Can create permanent emotional, physical and mental disability. Can create permanent emotional, physical and mental disability. Can Lead to PTSD Can Lead to PTSD

10 Two Emergency Responses to Trauma Hyper-Arousal = Fight or Flight Hyper-Arousal = Fight or Flight Dissociation = Freeze Dissociation = Freeze

11 Hyper-Arousal/Fight or Flight Fear – Terror Fear – Terror Adrenal System increases Adrenal System increases Heart/Blood pressure system increase Heart/Blood pressure system increase Serotonin decreases Serotonin decreases Cognitive Process hyper Cognitive Process hyper Respiration increases Respiration increases Adult male response – aggression Adult male response – aggression Potential homicide Potential homicide

12 Dissociation/Freeze Defeat – surrender Defeat – surrender Numbing – dissociation Numbing – dissociation Freezing feelings – Compliant Freezing feelings – Compliant Fainting Fainting Heart Rate decreases Heart Rate decreases Sensory alterations Sensory alterations Muscles go numb Muscles go numb Passive Passive Potential suicide Potential suicide

13 Possible Responses Denial Trauma remains unconscious and is subject to triggers where the trauma is stored – the place where the brain wants stimulations Trauma remains unconscious and is subject to triggers where the trauma is stored – the place where the brain wants stimulations Drugs, Sex, Violence Drugs, Sex, Violence Reward > addictions Reward > addictions Healing Begins by reflecting on the symptoms and the traumatic event A supportive environment that takes serious the reality of trauma Prayer Processing Forgiving the past

14 Process of Trauma (PTSD) 35% of symptoms on regular basis indicates presence of Trauma Shock Shock Numbness Numbness Denial/Disconnected Denial/Disconnected Reoccurring anxiety Reoccurring anxiety Nightmares Nightmares Changes in appetite Changes in appetite Trouble sleeping Trouble sleeping Shame/Guilt Shame/Guilt Being on edge Being on edge Despair/Hopeless Despair/Hopeless Easily startled Easily startled Low energy/depressing Low energy/depressing Constantly busy Constantly busy Memory Problems Memory Problems Overly Alert/Agitated Overly Alert/Agitated Unable to focus Unable to focus Resentful Resentful Difficulty making decisions Difficulty making decisions Spontaneous crying Spontaneous crying Over-protective of loved ones Over-protective of loved ones

15 Healing Process How do we heal the effects of stress and trauma? Name It Name It Claim It Claim It Tame It Tame It

16 Recommendation Goal: For therapists, police, medical staff, clergy who are exposed to vicarious or direct trauma attend a full 5 day workshop Goal: For therapists, police, medical staff, clergy who are exposed to vicarious or direct trauma attend a full 5 day workshop The affected and those infected by stress and trauma get one on one support to overcome and process the symptoms of the stress or trauma The affected and those infected by stress and trauma get one on one support to overcome and process the symptoms of the stress or trauma Contact: Contact:


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