Presentation on theme: "Trauma, Grief, and Loss Greg Bohall, M.S., C.R.C., CADC-II."— Presentation transcript:
Trauma, Grief, and Loss Greg Bohall, M.S., C.R.C., CADC-II
Nature of Trauma Experiencing the event Witnessing in person Learning that the event(s) occurred to a close relative or close friend; in such cases, the actual or threatened death must have been violent or accidental. Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the event(s) (first responders, police officers repeatedly answering child abuse calls);does not apply to exposure through electronic media (television, movies, pictures) unless it’s work related. (Small, 2011)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder The essential feature of PTSD is the development of symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor. The response involves intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Symptoms resulting from exposure to the extreme trauma include persistent re-experiencing of the event. Persistently avoiding of stimuli associated with the trauma Persistent symptoms of increased arousal. Must be present for more than one month. Must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. (American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
Trauma and PTSD PTSD is a significant potential negative outcome of trauma exposure. Not all individuals exposed to trauma develop PTSD. A growing body of research is showing that the cumulative effects of prior traumas contribute to PTSD symptoms. Exposure to multiple traumas has been shown to have a stronger effect on subsequent PTSD symptoms than an exposure to one single trauma. Researchers have also considered the possibility that prior trauma exposure may be a resource for coping with future life stressors. (Schuster, Park, & Frisman, 2011)
Why does PTSD Develop? Failure to process trauma successfully Trauma does not fit our understanding of reality. Causes most people distress and conflict. An invalidating environment “It didn’t happen” Not everyone responds to anxiety the same Coping mechanisms (Small, 2011)
Posttraumatic Growth The experience of positive psychological change following highly challenging and traumatic life circumstances. Relating to others New possibilities Personal strength Spiritual change Appreciation of life Posttraumatic Growth tends to help people grow through PTSD. (Small, 2011)
Resiliency The ability to sustain trauma without developing PTSD Less likely to see the trauma as a threat to self therefore they are less likely to need to make meaning of a situation. Many times don’t address the situation. Tends to be related to certain personal characteristics: optimism, coping, positive affect. (Small, 2011)
Psychological First Aid Help them decide what type of help they need. Provide comfort and validation. Provide information. Reduce stigma. Don’t force disclosure. (Litz, 2004)
Discussion Questions What kind of trauma are you seeing in the homeless population? What kinds of things can you do on the street that can be helpful to people having symptoms due to a trauma? How can you improve your personal reactions to hearing some of the trauma people are going through?
References American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders- fourth edition- text revision. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association. Litz, B. T. (2004). Early intervention for trauma and traumatic loss. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Schuster, J., Park, C.L., & Frisman, L. K. (2011). Trauma exposure and ptsd symptoms among homeless mothers: Predicting coping and mental health outcomes. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30 (8). Small, K. (2011). Cognitive-behavioral approaches to treating ptsd: Empirically based treatment techniques. Brentwood, TN: Cross Country Education.