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In case you missed it: Treating Trauma

16 Jun 2014 9:54 PM | Deleted user

By Jessica Hernandez

Jeanna Gomez, LCSW, presented “Trauma Therapy: Resources for the Healer” to a packed house for HAMFT’s June workshop. She used her expertise and sense of humor to provide a primer on the neuro-biological underpinnings of trauma. Ms. Gomez engaged participants in experiential activities. Here are some points Ms. Gomez made during her presentation:

Vicarious TraumaA negative change that happens over time as one witnesses other people’s suffering.

  •  Because it happens over time, it can be hard to recognize it.
  •  A strong sense of commitment and responsibility to our clients can lead to  high expectations which can contribute to feeling overwhelmed, burdened,  and hopeless.
  •  What you can do:
    • Have a support system.
    • Do your own trauma work.
    • Be aware that vicarious trauma can occur.
    • Be proactive.
Somatic Experiencing
  • Founded by Peter Levine, it provides a psycho-biological perspective on treating trauma.
  • Uses body work to repair thwarted fight-or-flight reactions at the time the trauma occurred.
  • Therapist does not need to know the full details of the trauma in order to  heal it (results in decreased risk of vicarious traumatization).
  • Trauma can be healed by working with body sensations and emotions.

5 Core Symptoms (in clients with unresolved trauma)

  •  Issues with self-esteem and self-worth.
  •  Inability to set boundaries with self and others.
  •  Difficulty knowing and expressing own reality (thoughts, feelings,  behaviors, physical sensations).
  •  Difficulty knowing and meeting own needs and wants.
  •  Inability to moderate and contain the self in an age appropriate manner.
  • A system of limit setting that protects a person from becoming a victim, and contains a person so that he/she is not offensive to others (provides protection and containment).
  • 2 types of boundaries: internal and external.
  • Boundary work helps open clients awareness of other choices and options in their lives.
Thank you to Ms. Gomez for an informative and fun workshop!

For more information about the neuro-biological underpinnings of PTSD, check out the video The Secret Life of the Brain.

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