In Canada, 32% of an adult sample indicated that they had experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or exposure to intimate partner violence during childhood (2014).
Was your childhood good enough?
Even though we might believe that we had a ‘normal’ childhood, most children experience some form of ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (aka ACE’s). Whether it was emotionally unavailable or controlling (e.g., everything had to be ‘fine’) parents, a chaotic household (due to addiction, mental illness, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, or divorce), neglect or abuse, children are affected. But how? Read more …
I am a trauma-informed counsellor which means I am trained and experienced in dealing with the complex issues and needs of clients whom have experienced trauma in all its forms (sexual abuse, childhood abuse, frontline workers, accidents, suicides/traumatic deaths). Read an article around the importance of trauma-informed society and hear my podcast about trauma.
Extensive training exists in the effects of trauma on the brain and on one’s sense of Self, and in best practices used to treat clients who have experienced trauma. I have completed The Brain Story certification and am currently working towards the Certified Clinical Trauma Professional certification. To read the abstract of my thesis entitled The Middle Ground of Trauma: Where Neuroscience Meets Depth Psychology, click here.
In order to deal with the impact of trauma, special care must be taken. The person’s sense of safety is foremost, with the ability to regulate emotions and be comfortable in their body key. Resource building tools are established and the person is never asked to disclose anything they do not wish to. Details are not important; rather, desensitizing or lessening the intense emotions and making sense of the often fragmented events are the goals. EMDR is an effective psychotherapy for trauma work at some point.
Why a trauma-informed society (& workplace) matters!
Studies show that 51% of the general North American population have experienced trauma in childhood and that 98% of users of services in the public mental health system have trauma histories (e.g., car accidents, deaths, abuse, etc.).
Unresolved or untreated trauma leads to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, alcohol and drug dependency, reliance upon social support, missed work and unemployment, relationship dysfunction, and the increased risk for serious and chronic circulatory, digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory and infectious diseases. Read more …
The 4 R’s of Trauma Informed Practices (SAMSHA, 2014) are:
- REALIZES the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
- RECOGNIZES the signs and symptoms of trauma in everyone involved in the system;
- RESPONDS by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies and procedures, and practices;
- Seeks to actively RESIST RETRAUMATIZATION.