Reply To: Week 4 Homework Assignment (Trauma-Informed Care)

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(wow i just deleted all my answers! here I go again)

question 1) Establishing safety will be the first thing to do with her, using grounding techniques and teaching some simple mindfulness exercises – especially breathing. Establishing boundaries from the beginning so that she feels like an equal partner, not patronized and in control of the pace of the treatment. Disclosure of material only when she decides if that’s the route she wants to take. In general, being respectful and compassionate of her process and honoring of her culture.

question 2) SUSTO from the description sounds devastating and almost hopeless. It will be important for Jacinta to help me to understand how she sees it for herself – would she be willing to explain to me what the depth of the condition or process is for her- it will be important to not discount what she is feeling and of course be aware of deep depressive symptoms which may need to be assessed by a psychiatric provider to make certain she is not suicidal and to collaborate my approach with her. I think i would take her out of the general population coed group for the time being – after consulting with her, because it might be too
hard to be herself in such an atmosphere.

Question 3) I think the women’s Seeking Safety group would be good. Our Seeking Safety group which is almost always all women, has a 50% art therapy component – these directives the therapist gives are remarkably healing and soothing for the patients and reinforce the lessons being covered. Today, for example, we were working on compassion and did a mindful exercise of line drawing similar to a stain glass piece. All of the patients were involved in the exercise and appreciated the time for self-compassion. I also would recommend she consider looking into a RAPE CRISIS response group, if available or a Family Violence support group. I would use the recommended approach to a women’s AA meeting as described here – where she can gradually attend and see if it will feel safe enough for her. It occurs to me that the workbook from the 90’s, the COURAGE TO HEAL series, would also be something to use with Jacinta. The approach to safety in that book would complement the Seeking Safety material and would have ideas.
Question 4) I have really appreciated and been pleasantly surprised by all the tools I did not know about for measuring trauma and presenting a way to use evidence based information which is so important to take away some of the subjectivity inherent to our profession. I appreciated the lists of methods and referrals to other manual programs. Thank you.