Tips for working with individuals who have experienced trauma
Trauma is characterized by a state of terror, therefore allowing an individual to 'experience' a sense of safety is essential for post-traumatic growth. As trauma is a mind-body experience stored in the sensory part of the brain treatment should also include interventions that provide sensory relief as well (structured sensory intervention, art therapy, yoga, meditation, mindfulness etc.)
Allow for expression of needs and feelings. When expressed respect these, this allows for a sense of empowerment and ultimately a perceived sense of control. As trauma is marked by a loss of control it is essential to provide opportunity for regaining of control wherever possible.
Be aware of trauma and how it impacts the brain, body, and behaviour. Please find a link to my blog posting for the National Institute for Trauma and Loss on the topic for further details.
Be compassionate, individuals are often acting from a state of survival. As a result, their behaviour may not seem logical. This is often hard and confusing for them as well. Being tolerant and having decreased expectations should also be applied as this is most practical.
Practice patience and understand that trauma work can be very slow. People are generally doing the best that they can. The safer, better supported, and more empowered an individual feels the more likely they are to heal and progress through their trauma experience.
I am also including links to some videos that may be helpful: ATTCH has recently released some video resources to expand upon core concepts from our trainings that may be helpful to you in your life and practice.
Creating Containment: This video is about creating containment to help manage overwhelming emotions, intrusive images and memories, and uncomfortable body sensations. Please note that this is not meant to replace therapy. This is a tool/technique that may be helpful to reduce some of the overwhelm associated with intense emotions or traumatic events. As with most techniques, especially in the treatment of trauma, healing will be most effective when working with a qualified trauma-processing therapist. This technique is meant to provide containment between sessions to reduce arousal. This can also be used for helpers to contain anything that may come up during session to allow for attuned presence to your client, while later attuning, attending and nurturing yourself as a helper. I hope that you find this brief intro helpful. Wishing you a gentle rest of your day! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdzJ-M2xL2c
Understanding Affect Regulation Working With the Window Of Tolerance: This video provides a brief intro to working with the window of tolerance through a trauma-informed / trauma-treatment lens to promote increased affect regulation. Please see our blog post on the topic as well, which expands upon this concept further: https://www.attachment-and-trauma-treatment-centre-for-healing.com/blogs. I hope that you find this brief intro helpful. Wishing you a gentle rest of your day! https://youtu.be/omy_po9gszc Hand-Brain Model: This video provides a brief overview of Dr. Daniel Siegel's hand-brain model and the concept of 'flipping your lid' (https://www.attachment-and-trauma-treatment-centre-for-healing.com/uploads/4/0/5/4/4054075/flipping_lid_infographic.pdf). This is a great way to teach children, youth, parents, caregivers, and professionals about affect regulation, the window of tolerance, and integration to promote regulation. I hope that this will be helpful for you. Please also see the handout resource we have developed to expand upon this concept. https://youtu.be/iVYXhezfj5Y
Trauma, Mindfulness & Neurofeedback: Interested in learning more about trauma and neurofeedback? Here is a link to a free webinar where ATTCH Founder Lori Gill as a guest speaker for MUSE (the brain sensing headband) and explains the benefits of neurofeedback and biofeedback for treating trauma. A review of some programs and apps are discussed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9iitQhx9j8&feature=youtu.be&a=
Here are a few infographics we have created to illustrate a few of our favourite techniques:
Lori facilitates an online course on Suicide Prevention for the National Institute for Trauma and Loss. This is a course geared towards professionals seeking to learn about the warning signs, contributing risk factors, and prevention, intervention, and postvention strategies regarding non-fatal and fatal suicides: Suicide Prevention and Intervention: Online Course
Articles, Video Links, and Information
Please find a link to some of my favourite trauma resources below:
Dr. Bruce Perry has several articles and resources that can be found on his website Child Trauma Academy
Dr. Daniel Siegel offers brilliant insight into neurology, attachment, regulation and mindfulness. We would highly recommend The Whole Brain Child and Parenting from the Inside Out as essential readings for parents and professionals. We look forward to hearing him speak at our 2013 Trauma and Attachment Conference!
Peter Levine also offers a myriad of resources regarding trauma and healing at the sensory and body level as vital to healing. We have found his books to offer great insight a few include Trauma-Proofing Your Kids, Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma Through Yoga. We are thrilled to include mind-body regulating strategies as part of our every day treatment at ATTCH!
Dr. Allan Schore also has many excellent resources (books and journal articles) to provide insight into the impact of attachment on development and regulation. He is a wealth of information.
Daniel Hughes provides valuable insight to how to create healthy attachment relationships with children. Some of our favourites are: Attachment-Focused Parenting, Attachment Focused Therapy Workbook, Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children.
Dr. Gabor Mate has some excellent resources on attachment and parenting, ADHD, and addictions. There are a multitude of video resources in varied lengths available on you tube, as well he has several books that are full of insightful and empowering information.
Self compassion reflection activities manual and workbook
This workbook provides practical and gentle self-reflection activities intended to cultivate self compassion in the participants. Please complete in session with clients or provide as take-home self reflection activities to supplement therapy.
*Note you will receive an copy for ease of use and printing upon completion of payment (within 24 hours).