I was astonished with Christina’s resiliency and determination. Christina took control of her treatment by researching a therapy that could help her, built a relationship with a therapist, set goals for herself, and has decided to try and make a difference for others who come into “ “the system”. Christina has kept a steady job, been promoted, and continues her education. She knows that supports are important and continues to be a part of a support group.
If I were working with Christina I would help assist her with maintaining a positive outlook, support her in her future goals, and inquire about her spirituality.
I have used the ACE to learn the types of trauma clients have experienced in childhood to help understand their behaviors and how this effects school performance and the high risk behaviors the adolescents I work with engage in. This tool needs to be used with care because it could bring up past events clients are not prepared to discuss. PCE is the other tool that I use to understand the positive experience in order to understand their sense of belonging and connection.
PTSD checklist is the other tool I have used to screen clients for PTSD. This is helpful to discuss client’s symptoms and ways to cope. This tool is not a diagnostic tool simply for screening and provisional diagnosis.
With Selena I would start by building trust, normalizing symptoms, and ask her to journal about her thoughts and feelings related to the trauma. Teach mindfulness of emotions to help with the emotions she might be avoiding around bedtime. Ask her to check in with PCP to inquire about medication to help with nightmares for a period of time. Education around sleep hygiene and ways to self soothe.
Encourage and explore peer support groups.