Reply To: Week 1 Homework Assignment (Trauma-Informed Care)

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Janice Black

Question 1
Left with strong feelings of sadness and loss of such a gifted and tormented woman who was never understood. Thoughts of how our culture wants to ‘fix’ everything and fix it quickly. What are the symptoms, where do they fit in the DSM…with Anthem re-imburse and how many sessions do we have with this client still prevail unfortunately. TIC flies in the face of these questions. May her memory be a blessing. thank you for sharing it.

Question 2
Fortunately there has been a paradigm shift in the way we view people as people and not as a collection of symptoms. I am reminded of actually my best friend here in Maine. A highly successful professional, great mom and loving wife; however, also a survivor of German Nazi ritual abuse. As a friend she has an inordinate need to be in control (of everything), she has gained a large amount of weight since adolescence, has a need for two sound machines in her bedroom, and sleeps with a baseball bat at her door. Many of her friends certainly worry about her weight and the health issues that have arisen and
humorously accommodate to her need to set times, schedules, invitations, menus etc and simply think and joke about the bat as her security system for her fancy home. I’ve known this woman for decades and am one of the few people outside of her family who know her past experiences with horrific abuse both here in the US as well as in Germany. I clearly see her “symptoms” as her story….her way to process, self protect and accommodate to a world that has only started to feel safe. All in all she is simply my friend “…..” not an anxious, over weight over achieving and controlling woman.

Question 3
It is my sincere hope that my small practice reflects a Trauma Informed approach to care and growth. I started out working with a local psychiatrist clearly reflecting a medical model of treatment. We had clear intake forms to complete, were not allowed to have any contact with patients (not clients!!) outside the clinic (if we see them in Shaws….go the other way), all treatment in the room…no walks, no rides home in terrible weather etc. In my own practice now I write the intake assessment after two sometimes three sessions, I need a DSM dx but often use an adjustment reaction rather than anything more pathological, the office is warm, comfortable, I have coffeee, tea and hot chocolate always available. On lovely days I am not aversed to simply sitting outside or going for a walk. My clients know who I am as an imperfect person. Silences don’t bother me nor does pain. The privilege of being in my 7th decade allows me a warm acceptance of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes.