Reply To: Week 3 Homework Assignment (Trauma-Informed Care)

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Danielle Cimino

1: Generally this story was frustrating and saddening to watch. She was retraumatized over and over again by a system who traumatized and stigmatized her in the first place. She needed someone to point out her strengths and utilize them in moving her forward instead of labeling them as “wrong” or bad”. Christina showed resilience by enrolling herself in therapy and continuing to maintain social connections that encouraged her to move towards her goals. In addition she discussed that she took control of her own recovery which is an example of her taking action and maintaining a hopeful outlook. If I was her counselor, I would continue playing on the strengths that she has, in addition to exploring new ones. I would encourage her to continue maintaining a daily routine, attending her support groups, in addition to work with her on perspective taking. Lastly, I would encourage her to continue working with a medication manager that she trusts, so to empower her confidence in saying no if she does not want to take something.

2. I would use both the life events and ACE’s screening tool with my clients. They are both comprehensive, direct, and non bias. These surveys would give a clinician a picture of what things may be helpful to discuss, and what an appropriate manner to discuss those topics would be. The down side to these screeners, or any other screener is that it leaves space for the clients to be dishonest out of fear, discomfort, anger etc. This can leave the door open for clinicians to misinterpret, or lose sight of providing trauma informed care when speaking with clients.

3. If I was working with Selena, I would first focus on establishing safety, normalizing symptoms, and addressing sleep disturbances. Safety and sleeping are two of our most basic needs as humans, if those are not in check it will be really difficult for Selene to dig into any real work as she will not be physically and mentally healthy enough. With normalizing symptoms, there is also psychoeducation. Providing Selena with factual information about his trauma responses it will allow her to have a clearer picture of why she reacts the way she does. Once she accepts that, it is more likely that she will be able to work to find ways to combat some of those symptoms.