Archive for Healing from Trauma

Change

The rhythm of life is about change

like a beautiful dance

we learn and grow.

two steps forward and one step sideways

never backwards

Gently as a slow waltz

gracefully moving to our own heartbeat and our own rhythm.

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The Soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The Challenge is to silence the mind.

TREATMENT FOR COMPLEX PTSD

ADULTS

Judith Herman believes that recovery from C-PTSD  occurs in three stages. These are: Establishing safety, remembrance and mourning for what was lost and reconnecting with community and more broadly society. Herman believes that recovery can only occur within a healing relationship and only if the survivor is empowered by that relationship. This healing relationships  need  not be romantic or sexual in the coloquial sense of relationship however and can also include relationships with friends co workers, ones relatives or children and the therapeutic relationship. Complex trauma means complex reactions and this leads to complex treatments. Hence treatment for  C-PTSD requires a multi modal approach. It has been suggested that treatment for C-PTSD should differ from treatment for PTSD by focusing on problems that cause more functional impairment than the PTSD symptoms. These problems include emotional deregulation, dissociation and interpersonal problems. Six suggested core components of complex trauma treatment include: 1. safety 2. self-regulation 3. Self reflective information processing 4. traumatic experience integration 5. relational engagement 6. positive affect enhancement.

FOR CHILDREN

The utility of PTSD derived psychotherapies for assisting children with C-PTSD is uncertain. This area of diagnosis and treatment calls for caution in use of the category of C-PTSD.

Ford and Van Der Kolk have suggested that C-PTSD may not be as useful a category for diagnosis and treatment of children as a proposed category of developmental trauma disorder DTD. For DTD to be diagnosed it requires a ” history of exposure to early life developmentally adverse interpersonal trauma such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, violence, traumatic losses of other significant disruption or betrayal of the child’s relationships with primary caregivers, which has been postulated as an etiological basis for complex traumatic stress disorders. Diagnosis treatment planning and outcome are always relational”.

Since C-PTSD or DTD in children is often causes by chronic maltreatment, neglect or abuse in a caregiving relationship the first element of the biopsychosiocial system to address is that relationship. This involves some sort of child protection agency. This both widens the range of support that can be given to the child but also the complexity of the situation since the agency’s statutory legal obligations many then need to be enforced.

A number of practical therapeutic and ethical principles for assessment and intervention have been developed and explored in the field.

1. Identifying and addressing threats to the child’s or family’s safety and stability are the frist priority

2. A relational bridge must be developed to engage retain and maximize the benefit for the child and caregiver.

3. Diagnosis treatment planning and outcome monitoring are always relational and strengths based.

4. All phases of treatment should aim to enhance self-regulation competencies

5. Determining with whom, when and how to address traumatic memories

6. Preventing and managing relational discontinuities and psychosocial crisis.

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS

The symptoms of PTSD apply well to people who have experienced a discreet or short-lived traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident, natural disaster or rape. However, the symptoms of PTSD do not always completely map on to the experiences of people who have experienced chronic, repeated or long-lasting traumatic events such as childhood sexual and/or physical abuse, domestic violence or captivity such as in a prisoner of war camp. When it comes to these events, the symptoms of PTSD do not really seem to completely describe the psychological harm, emotional problems and changes in how people view themselves and the world following chronic traumatic exposure. Therefore it is important to distinguish between the type of PTSD that develops from chronic long-lasting traumatic events as compared PTSD from short-lived events. The diagnosis of Complex PTSD refers to the set of symptoms that commonly follow exposure to a chronic traumatic event.

EVENTS CONNECTED TO COMPLEX PTSD

The traumatic events connected to Complex PTSD are long-lasting and generally involve some form of physical and or emotional captivity such as childhood sexual and/or physical abuse or domestic violence. In these types of a victim is under the control of another person and does not have the ability to easily escape.

SYMPTOMS OF COMPLEX PTSD

The following symptoms stem from exposure to a chronic traumatic event where a person felt captive.

EMOTION REGULATION PROBLEMS

People with complex PTSD experience difficulties managing their emotions. They may experience severe depression, thoughts of suicide or have difficulties controlling their anger.

CHANGES IN CONSCIOUSNESS

Following exposure to a chronic traumatic event, a person may repress memories of the traumatic event, experience flashbacks or experience dissociation.

CHANGES IN HOW A PERSON VIEWS THEMSELVES

Symptoms in this category include feelings of helplessness, shame, guilt or feeling detached and different from others.

CHANGES IN HOW THE VICTIM VIEWS THE PERPETRATOR

A person with Complex PTSD may feel like he/she has no power over a perpetrator ( the perpetrator has complete power in a relationship) In complex PTSD people might also become preoccupied with their relationship to the perpetrator.

CHANGES IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

These symptoms include problems with relationships such as isolating oneself or being distrusting of others.

CHANGES IN HOW ONE VIEWS THE WORLD

People exposed to chronic or repeated traumatic events may also lose faith in humanity or have a sense of hopelessness about the future.

CYBERBULLYING

Defamatory web sites posted on large web hosts such as Yahoo Geocities, Tripod, Homestead etc. may be even harder to get the attention of, let alone see action from , so this is why www.cyberbullying.ca believes that the most effective efforts that can be made with respect to the issue of cyber bullying is based upon prevention.

VOTING/POLLING BOOTHS;

 Some websites such as www.freevote.com offer users the opportunity to create online polling/voting booths. Cyber bullies can use these Web sites to create Web pages that allow others to vote online for “the ugliest”, fastest, dumbest etc boy/girl at …. school.

While such Web sites may state that they do not condone the use of their web sites for such purposes and we do commend them for having clear abuse policies and a clear abuse reporting system, the reality is that most of these pages are not regulated by the website creators. They are supposed to be overseen by the volunteer maintainers who are supposed to be the quality control gatekeepers but most of these positions are listed as abandoned.

OTHER

There are many emerging technologies such as Wi-  Fi , Spot, three degrees etc that are making it easier to be connected to the internet and therefore one another anywhere, anytime. We are becoming an increasingly wired society. This offers many exciting possibilities to create, connect and learn from one another. Some fabulous examples of this potential can be seen on such websites as IEARN, Childnet International, the Global Junior Challenge the Stockholm Challenge etc.

CYBERBULLYING

COMPUTERS, PART OF THE BULLYING SCENE.

The best defense against cyber bullying for now is a watchful, involved parent, guardian, family member or friend.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF SOMEONE IS BEING  CYBER BULLIED? HERE ARE SOME SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

long hours on the computer

closes windows on their computer when you enter the room

is secretive about internet activities

behavioural changes

is always doing homework on the internet but always in chat groups and getting behind with school work

may find unexplained long distance phone call charges

won’t say who they are talking to

may find unexplained pictures on computer

trouble sleeping

stomach or headaches

lack of appetite, throwing up

fear of going out of the house

crying for no apparant reason

lack of interest at social events that include other students

complaints of illness before school or community events

frequent visits to the school nurse or office complaining of feeling sick – wants to call mom or dad to come and get them

lowered self esteem a marked change in attitude, dress or habits

unexplained broken personal possessions, loss of memory, loss of personal items

stories that don’t seem to make sense

acting out aggression at home

missing or incomplete school work, decreased success in class

TEACH YOUR CHILD TO COMMUNICATE. IF AN ADULT OR A CHILD KNOWS SOMEONE IS BEING CYBER BULLIED DO NOT ACCEPT THE BULLYING BEHAVIOUR AS A PROBLEM YOUR CHILD HAS TO LIVE WITH. THE BULLYING BEHAVIOUR IS THE REPSONSIBILITY OF THE BULLY NOT THE CHILD BEING BULLIED

HELPING YOUR CHILD HANDLE BULLYING

  • Advise your child to leave expensive toys, sports equipment and money at home.
  • Encourage your child to play near a group or with a group
  • Encourage your child to visualize themselves making friends and staying in charge of their behaviour.
  • Encourage and model confident body language
  • Suggest your child play near the teacher on yard duty or in view of the staff room.
  • Encourage your child to use positive self-talk statements
  • Teach and model assertiveness strategies
  • Encourage communication at home
  • Encourage your child to use humour
  • Ask your child if they would like  you to pick them up or meet them at their classroom.
  • Talk to your child about being in the right place at the right time.