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    • #5949

      Tommy Tredway
      Keymaster
      @TommyTredway

      Course reflections will be posted here.

    • #6009

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      Hi,

      I am Deanna Stringer and am currently working at a small hospice. I am interested in taking this course and the symposium not only from a professional perspective but also as a mom of 2 adopted children who have gone through trauma early in life. Nothing that I seem to do makes much difference even though they were adopted at 2 and 3 years old. I have a little bit of understanding as we deal with a lot of counseling and neurologists but am hopeful that I might be able to gain more perspective and maybe even a few hints as to how to manage behavior so that all of us can function together safely.

      I also deal with family systems at the end of life and many families are not healthy to start with so understanding the trauma that may have happened in a family will help me navigate the family dynamics when decisions are being made or when that estranged child comes back into the picture.

    • #6012

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Hi Deanna nice to “meet” you. I look forward to learning from you and the wisdom and real life you may feel comfortable sharing.

      Joy

    • #6013

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Week 1 Article Reflection:

      I’m a bit ahead of the game, but taking advantage of a free moment to get some office work done.  I greatly appreciated the article and how succinctly it presented the research data around childhood trauma.  I am a bit familiar with some of this data, but this was a good refresher.  The correlation to physical illness is astounding and I feel the idea of trauma informed care could be a game changer in the idea of wholistic medicine and stopping looking at individual body organs but instead moving back to looking at the whole person.  I appreciated also how the commitment to Trauma informed care must happen at an organizational level as well as by providers.  The reflection in the article on how this is essential to the person having a sense of safety was helpful. The other thing I noticed, even though it was just a small paragraph towards the end was the importance of spirituality in addressing and healing from trauma.  This I think helps underscore the importance for me as a chaplain to understand and utilize trauma informed care,but it also raises the question – what if the trauma came from a person of spiritual authority in the childs life – that then creates a different dynamic for our role I would think.

      TED Talk Video:

      This video was helpful to me in understanding better some points that the article discussed on the neurobiology of trauma on the brain.  I picked up on the idea of needed to change the assessment questioning from what is wrong to what happened.  This is a complete change in mindset.  I also noticed that is moves to more of a listening compassionate approach than the “fix it” approach that “what is wrong” can lead to.  In the talk she used the statement that the traumatized brain that gets stuck in survival mode is a “velcro for the bad and Tefflon for the good.”  This was incredibly helpful for me in understanding behaviors and life lenses that a person with many ACE’s may function from.

      Just some initial thoughts.  Looking forward to learning with and from all of you.

      Joy

    • #6015

      Angel
      Participant
      @Angel

      Hello Joy and Deanna,

      It is nice to meet the both of you.  I haven’t started with the readings, however, I have just finished the Ted Talk, and it was very revealing in relating Childhood Trauma to physical illness.  I used to work on a Cardiac Floor while working in a Behavioral Health Center, and I often felt there was a correlation, between the two.  I am also familiar with Louise Hayes, and her research between the relationship between physical and emotional illness. I find that if I am having some physical ailment, and I cannot identify a physical source of the pain or disruption I will turn to Louise Hayes to determine the emotional source of my pain.  I am really looking forward to our time together.

       

    • #6018

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Angel,

      I am not familiar with Louise Hayes research. Could you explain a bit more what it is about. Sounds like there may be some parallels.

      Joy

    • #6029

      ehamm
      Member
      @ehamm

      From the article, I appreciated having the six key principles laid out. What I found encouraging is knowing that here at Metro – an urban hospital that serves low income patients – we’re already doing much of this. We have also been focusing on social determinants of health.

      I appreciated the information about the spirituality of survivors of trauma. Too often, patients/staff/doctors look at spiritual care as religious and don’t see that it’s much more than that and this article pointed that out. The reflection on the woman at the well alluded to it but it’s worth noting directly that she probably had feelings of shame, self-blame, being damaged, or feeling like she was “bad” because of her past experiences. Also, I found it interesting that the writer pointed out that she changed the subject from her life to Jewish/Samaritan arguments about worship. So often, I come across patients who want to keep the conversation “light” and not focus on themselves. Just something that stuck out for me…

      My favorite part of the video was when Vicky Kelly pointed out that the people who are in most need of help are the most difficult to engage. I loved her question, “do people with traumatized brains have to get better before we can help them?” I have asked myself this before. Most recently, I visited a woman who was a medical nightmare and she shared with me that she was sexually abused as a young girl by an extended family member. She told me she had never shared it with anyone else. I was disappointed because I did not have the chance to meet with her a second time to explore how she felt her trauma contributed to her health issues.

      But in the video, Kelly answers her question by stating that we can never predict which relationship will be the catalyst that sets a person on a path to healing. Maybe the time I gave that patient to really hear her and the trust she felt that allowed her to share her painful story was that catalyst. I’d like to think so. ☺

       

    • #6030

      ehamm
      Member
      @ehamm

      Joy,

      I too appreciated reading about the research data for childhood trauma. So many adults have experienced some type of abuse from childhood. The article says 64% of the respondents from their study experienced at least one. But how many of us know that our choices may be a result of that? How many drink too much? Do illegal drugs? Cope by turning to the Oreos? Smoke? Or engage in other ways that increase their risk of disease? A LOT! The information is certainly not meant to blame our parents. God knows our children will deal with their own trauma. Screwing up is part of being human. But knowing these things and then caring in a way that helps a person come to terms with it can begin the healing.

      Betsy

    • #6031

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer
        <li style=”text-align: center;”>For me this article was totally on target. This weekend I watched as my son was told he couldn’t have his tablet for 10 minutes until church was finished and he went ballistic, fighting all of us, throwing anything he could reach, ran out of the house and down the road and then hid in his closet screaming. The fight, flight or freeze was acted out before me and I saw all 3. The idea of a new diagnosis called “developmental trauma disorder” would really fit him. I was intrigued by the biology behind this and my questions were pragmatic. How does one break the strong bond between the hippocampus and the amygmala caused by increase in cortisone? ( especially once it has been triggered without damage to the child). I am not sure that both questions are needed to be asked. Yes, what has happened to you?
    • #6032

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Betsy,
      I too appreciated having the six set out principles. I also resonate with what you share about your experience with the woman and not being able to follow up again. I experience this as well in my acute care setting. With hospital stays being so much shorter than they used to, it is more common for me to only get one visit. This is why I appreciated what was said in the video about how we may not be the one to provide all the healing, but through our trauma informed listening and care we may be able to be a catalyst.

      Joy

    • #6033

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Betsy,
      This is why I always try to remember that there is story to the why behind the decisions that led a person to the doors of our hospital. Easier to do with some patients than others, but always helps me to keep focused on the person in front of me and not the actions.
      Joy

    • #6034

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Deanna,
      Thank you for sharing this personal look into this. I wonder if we do need to ask both questions though, but spend more time with what has happened to you. The other question that is more biologic and how do we intervene to me is a question of hope, hope that we can help move them to a different and less scary place of brain function. But we have to understand the what before we can ever begin to ask any other questions.

      Joy

    • #6036

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      The information in both the article and the video provided a good refresher for me on how trauma affects individuals, as well as giving me new data and viewpoints to chew on.  In the video I noted that Kelly described how the thinking brain is hijacked, so that it’s not as simple as a person making good decisions or bad ones.  Previously I have heard about how people in chronic stress do not have brain bandwidth to make well-thought-out decisions.  Under those circumstances, decisions may be short-sighted, focused on immediate needs.  (Maybe this explains the toilet paper crises we have all faced!)  But when a person is not visibly stressed, I may be less likely to remember that past stress can still affect their decision-making.  I also picked up on themes that others of you noted: the Velcro and Teflon comment and the unpredictability of which relationship might offer healing to a traumatized person.

      I found it helpful to learn from the Koetting article that trauma not only affects brain chemistry, but it even alters the size of the hippocampus and the pathways between different parts of the brain.  Alzheimer’s educators often show pictures of the atrophied brains of people with dementia to show caregivers that the behaviors they see have physical causes.  Teepa Snow uses the line, “Remember that you’re the one with the big brain” as a caution to caregivers.  So something similar is true for those who have suffered trauma: they can’t help the way their brains have been rewired, though there is potential for gradual healing.

      I liked the author’s take on the story of the woman at the well.  I had read the story seeing her as an outsider before, but not as one who had experienced trauma.  This made me imagine hearing the woman’s voice differently in the story.  What if she sounded defiant or angry?  What people that I’ve encountered could I see as that figure?

    • #6037

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Betsy, it’s great to hear that your hospital is already following a lot of the best practices that Koetting describes.  I thought about my own setting: in many ways we do take into account residents’ pasts, and in other ways the staff-resident relationships can seem less understanding.  As an independent living community, we have a different balance of services.  We offer spiritual care through the chaplain, and social workers are available to help residents with practical needs and finding resources.  Activities are offered as well.  But on the other hand, we do not offer personal care or medical services, so we are not able to meet the needs of the whole person.  There’s the landlord-tenant relationship, and then the care relationships.  I know the social workers often feel that tension especially.  We have a majority of residents who receive financial assistance, with some even coming to us straight from homeless shelters.  Thinking about trauma-informed care makes me wonder how we might grow in how we respond to residents who have trouble following the community’s rules or keeping up with their obligations.  How might I as a chaplain be more helpful with these residents?

    • #6038

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      Your question about how as a chaplain to be effective with residents who don’t want to follow community standards is a great question. Sometimes the visits we make don’t seem “spiritual” especially when we get the standard comeback. ” Oh I’m good.” But especially with people who are in the emotional brain rather than thinking logically that “Good morning” every day in the hall paints a person of consistency and trust. You might be one of the few trustworthy people and be the one that understands him/her on an emotional level leading to a breakthrough for the community.

       

    • #6041

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Jennifer,

      I picked up on many of the same things you did. I appreciate your correlation to stress in general I had not made that connection, but I think it is an important one. I did not catch the part about the size of the brain being changed that is a helpful insight. I really appreciate the questions you are asking about how this might inform more everyday interactions in a more “real world” living situation.

      Joy

    • #6049

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      It sounds like those who have participated so far are refreshing or getting for the first time some ideas about Trauma-Informed Care.  The resources that will go up on the site today or tomorrow attempt to move us into some application to the systems, communities, and organizations, and those with whom we work.

      Some have already reflected on this question?  How does what you know or are learning to apply to your current situation?

      Jennifer Baldwin’s video is a good introduction to thinking deeper about a theology of trauma-informed care.  Remember, she is one of our keynote speakers for the symposium starting next week.

      I hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day.

      Rick @ Oates

    • #6050

      Rick Underwood
      Moderator
      @RickUnderwood

      It sounds like those who have participated so far are refreshing or getting for the first time some ideas about Trauma-Informed Care.  The resources that will go up on the site today or tomorrow attempt to move us into some application to the systems, communities, and organizations, and those with whom we work.

      Some have already reflected on this question?  How does what you know or are learning to apply to your current situation?

      Jennifer Baldwin’s video is a good introduction to thinking deeper about a theology of trauma-informed care.  Remember, she is one of our keynote speakers for the symposium starting next week.

      I hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day.

      Rick @ Oates

    • #6056

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Rick and all,

      For me in an acute care setting where many are here because of a traumatic health event, I think my biggest application is to remember that I am not only dealing with this one event,  but also all the other traumas that the person has experienced up til now. I need to remember that something as simple as changing the question from something that addresses only the current situation may not get me to real need, but rather a broader question that the patent can respond to from their place of greatest need.

      I’m also beginning to wonder about how I apply this to staff care.  I am doing more staff care these days and I am aware of how traumatic it can be for them in the new ways they are being told to practice medicine.  This will be a trauma for them, but my learning curve is how to move this concept from pt care to staff care.  Because the reality is because of my relationship with staff, the way I care for them is different from my patients.

       

      Joy

    • #6058

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Reflection for Trauma Sensitive Theology video:
      Her statement “Trauma seeps into the very ground water of our cultural awareness” really hit a chord with me. As I think about this statement and the idea it presents of a subclinical trauma running through society in general I realize that spiritual care must take a close look at the words, theologies and supportive phrases that we are so used to using from a completely different lens. I had not really thought deeply about how the theologies that churches and religions teach as being venues for re-traumatization, but it does make some sense.

      Her description of the three tiers of trauma was very helpful, particularly the part about how if trauma is not dealt with it can become a part of the foundation of a culture. Her comments on how violence is connected to the flight or fight response made a light go on for me. If there is a pervading sense of trauma at some level in our culture that has not been dealt with, that would mean society is stuck in a fight or flight cycle and thus makes sense that a symptom of this is the violence of both physical actions and words.

      As one who has utilized ritual in my own healing, I am intreagued by her suggestion of using spiritual ritual to create trauma resiliency.

      I greatly enjoyed her discussion and it has given me lots to think about. I’ll get to the blog post later.

      Joy

    • #6059

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Joy, thinking about your reflections on staff care…  Perhaps this may not necessarily be a trauma for them, but a stressor that could potentially be traumatic depending on their capacity to handle it.  Have you seen the model where stress is divided into 3 categories, positive stress, tolerable stress, and toxic stress?  I had seen it before in a training, but I also found it in clicking a link from the ACEs Connection article: https://originstraining.org/our-approach/#resilience.  Some staff members will find all this to be tolerable stress because they have good training or supportive co-workers or you as an awesome chaplain who shows up for them.  😉  But I guess this situation might be more traumatic if they do not have the external and internal supports to deal with it.

      Thinking about this with respect to staff is helpful to me in realizing why some folks have a harder time dealing with change than others.  Or why some folks tune out during in-services.  It may not be disrespect or uncaring; it could be that whatever else has been going on in their lives makes it difficult to concentrate and think about ways to grow and improve.

      I am on our employee wellness committee, and we have trouble getting front line staff to participate in the wellness program.  Does anyone have ideas about trauma-informed staff care at a program level?  We had someone come in and do a seminar on resilience one time and got a few participants.  But sit-down seminars don’t have broad appeal.

    • #6060

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Jennifer,
      I do think for many of the staff they walk a line between experiences being stress and experiences being traumatic. Sometimes it may be a line between toxic stress and trauma. I do think at times it really is trauma. I have talked with many nurses lately about their distress over not being able to rush right into a room when a person needs CPR, but instead have to take precious minutes to put on all of the required PPE, I hear moral distress, stress and for some who hold themselves to very high personal standards and ethics, trauma. There is also secondary trauma that has been studied in trauma and critical care health providers. This is where the tiers of trauma from the video is helpful to me in seeing that much of the trauma our staff experiences may be tier one trauma that often does get dealt with, healed from and becomes a part of their story.

      I have the benefit of doing nursing orientation and hearing the stories of why the nurses have gone into nursing. Many have some kind of significant illness experience or even low level traumatic illness experience of either themselves or someone they love and that has led them into nursing. It would be interesting to research the ACES in medical providers.

      I have had similar experiences getting staff to attend any of the staff care and wellness things I have done for our wellness program. For nursing staff, I do think it is an issue of time and not being able to get away. I think part of it is not being taught and encouraged to take the time to care for ourselves, but instead put the needs of everyone else first or else we are being selfish.

      Just some of my thoughts, I really do think it is a combination of stress, trauma and other factors for our staff.

      Thanks for getting me thinking more deeply about this.
      Joy

    • #6067

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Reflection on Resilience During a Pandemic:

      I found this article very helpful as I think about stress and trauma reactions to our current pandemic situation and the role fear plays in our individual and collective responses. I had not heard the term “freeze or fawn” before.  If I understand correctly freeze or fawn is basically either being stuck in an angry/blame or shut down mindset or be at the other end of the spectrum where they are fully focused on caring for and pleasing everyone else.  Neither of these seems healthy responses to me either.

      The 4 Rs of realizing, recognizing, responding and reducing seem very teachable to help others create better responses to toxic stress and trauma situations. I also really appreciated the term resiliency zone.  For me it brings up a spacious area where we are able to utilize a wide variety of ways of counteracting the stress and trauma.  It seems to address that we are going to need various ways of healthy coping, one activity will not meet the need of every situation.

      The most important thing the article addresses is also the hardest and that is developing and awareness of our body, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. I often tell people the biggest thing I learned in CPE was to be self aware, it was also the hardest thing I had to learn, and I’m still not always good at it.

      Another great article and the links to the other resources were helpful too.

      Joy

    • #6069

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      Joy, thank you for taking time to share more about what the staff in your hospital are going through.  I realize that without being in a hospital setting during the pandemic, I was making assumptions based on what I have seen in the past.  I hate to hear about the moral distress that they are having to experience right now with delays in life-saving care.

    • #6070

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      In the article “Resilience during a Pandemic,” I made notes on the same concepts that Joy talked about.  I’m going to have to practice with the 4 R’s to try and commit them to memory.  I notice the parenthetical qualifier that Fetzner adds to responding with compassion: “while still holding them accountable and practicing healthy boundaries.”  In thinking about some of my residents who have a history of trauma, I wonder whether it is common for folks with this history to also be manipulative?  Or perhaps that can be linked to the unhealthy coping behaviors that some of these individuals are more likely to have – alcoholism or drug abuse.  A couple of the people that come to mind for me have been seen as manipulative by other people in their life or by a staff member.  I find that this makes it complicated to show compassion to these individuals.  I feel compassion when I hear the stories they share with me, then I question myself when other people cast doubt on these stories.  <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>I know that the compassion I show is never wasted; as I go, I learn to take some of what I hear with a grain of salt.  </span>Thinking through the steps helps me process this: ACEs/trauma -> need for coping+not enough social support -> more likely to turn to drugs/alcohol -> sometimes using manipulative behaviors.  Does anyone else have insights into this?

      I found the Jennifer Baldwin interview really insightful, and it left me wanting more information.  Maybe I’ll get her book.  I wonder what are examples of things clergy say that re-traumatize?  On her website there’s another short video where she describes one category of comments, related to people being fundamentally sinful/bad.  This came to mind for me today as I led a small-group Bible study (via conference call) on Psalm 51.  “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”  I can see how that is a problematic verse and theology for those whose life experiences – the things done to them – make them feel sinful or dirty.  I think I usually do balance my Ash Wednesday messages with words of grace, but this is a good reminder to be aware of how some people might have a harder time with Ash Wednesday or Lenten themes.

      What other things do we/clergy say that could be harmful to people with a history of trauma?

    • #6081

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      Thank you, Joy for asking about the Louise Hayes material.  I had not been exposed to it either.
      <p style=”margin: 0in 0in 8pt;”><span style=”color: #333333; font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif;”>Joy said she was a bit ahead of the game, I am a bit behind.  Sometimes when I leave work, my brain is overloaded and weary.  While I watched the Ted Talk on trauma, I just could not process it at the time.  I really needed notes.  Sometimes life is a bit busy.  I cannot imagine always feeling unsafe. </span></p>
      <p style=”margin: 0in 0in 8pt;”><span style=”color: #333333; font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif;”> I have to wonder how some people experienced trauma like the depression, the death of both parents, family being broken up and live long life?  I read and watched this incredible work on the traumatized brain reviewing stories in my head that I have heard through time and wonder what is different today?  I wonder why the coping skills are so radically different?  I don’t believe the support system is the answer.  I have to wonder if there some resiliency ingrained in the DNA that allows different people to cope with different things achieving different results?  Perhaps I overgeneralize that most people experience trauma in life but the means does not equate the end result. Laura</span></p>
      <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Times New Roman;”>
      </span>

    • #6082

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      Thank you, Joy for asking about the Louise Hayes material.  I had not been exposed to it either. Joy said she was a bit ahead of the game, I am a bit behind.  Sometimes when I leave work, my brain is overloaded and weary.  While I watched the Ted
      Talk on trauma, I just could not process it at the time.  I really needednotes.  Sometimes life is a bit busy.  I cannot imagine always feeling unsafe.  I have to wonder how some people experienced trauma likethe depression, the death of both parents, family being broken up and live long life?  I read and watched this incredible work on the traumatized brain reviewing stories
      in my head that I have heard through time and wonder what is different today?  I wonder why the coping skills are so radically different?  I don’t believe the support system is the answer.  I have to wonder if there some resiliency ingrained in the DNA that allows different people to cope with different things achieving different results?  Perhaps I overgeneralize that most people experience trauma, I believe something I read stated like over 60 %, in life but the means does not equate the same end result. Laura
       

    • #6084

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      Joy, the distress of which you spoke, I have found not only with RN’s but also with the MD’s.  Many changes occur in health care.  I am often reminded it is a theory of practice that hopes to make life better.  One person I know shared a story like you shared that the trauma of growing up neglected and abused inspired this person to become a healthcare professional.  But the treat of the pandemic triggered past threats causing this person to reach out for additional support, allowing this person to be vulnerable, to provide good support and care to glean additional coping skills to hear how valuable their call to health care is and the change this person really does make in the lives of others helps to calm the triggers down to gradually reframe that traumatized brain.

    • #6085

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      Deanna,

      I have to wonder why any visit a chaplain makes would not be spiritual? Perhaps that is defined to the narrative exchanged.   I find that if I work with a patient whose core value is a passion for horses/animals, if I support their core value, why is that not tending to their spirit?  I cannot define spirit as religion in a world where organized religion seems to impart so much pain/suffering/judgment.   I feel like grace, self-care, building trust where trust has been low with others, empowerment, and a host of other spiritual values makes the visit spiritual care.   As you said sometimes the building of trust is tending to the spirit.

    • #6086

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      I have visited with many patients who have endocarditis.  These patients may be slow to build trust with me.  However, I find that along the journey most of these patients can point to a traumatic event that begins a self harm lifestyle.  I try to unpack some of the pain with these patients while they are hospitalized.  Often these patients come in and out over the course of two years which allows many opportunities for care/interaction.  I have had the joy of seeing them return to a healthy lifestyle which is wonderful.  Dr. Judith Landau became a doctor at a very early age dedicating her life to substance abuse.  She believes there is trauma beneath each addiction story.

    • #6089

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Jennifer,

      I appreciate your reflection and how you break down the steps that we may need to think through during interactions where awareness of trauma is present.  I too wonder about the connection with manipulative behaviors, we see this in the acute care setting as well.

      In terms of your question about theology that is harmful to trauma survivors I would think anything related to God has a plan/purpose in this for you would be harmful (takes one down the road of did God mean for the trauma to happen to me, then how can that be a loving God), In regards to anyone dealing with trauma of a death of a child – statements of God needed another angel in heaven, they are in a better place -etc are awful (I speak to this from personal experience).  Just some general thoughts. I would love to keep adding to this list.

      Joy

    • #6090

      Joy Freeman
      Participant
      @jfreeman

      Laura,

      Like you by the time I get home, I know nothing will happen with this class cause my brain is just too tired.  I have to make sure I get it done before I leave.

      I too ask the question what is different now?  I wonder is it really that there is a difference, or is it more that we are more open to talking about these things and addressing them, so it seems like there is more of it.  I also wonder if there is a relationship to privilege – those more privileged have more resources to do the healing work so trauma never moves to tier 2.

      And yes, I mentioned nurses because that is the conversation I had most recently, but I do see it in our doctors as well.

       

      Joy

    • #6097

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      We hear so much about the fight or flight response to fear/trauma that I did not consider other responses and I found it enlightening to recognize that responses such as fixating blame, shutting sown, and even going on with life as usual in an unusual situation or people pleasing might be responses to trauma also. I do get concerned in the hospice when I see family that continues “life as usual” without emotion or life as usual response to grief. I often wonder when the dam will break or inappropriate responses will come out in the unusual situation. End of life situations are traumatic especially if a family has not been educated on what they may see, and even then seeing a loved one who was strong succumb to a weakened state and breathing differently can be traumatic. Continuing “life as usual” can be indicative of denial or even shutting off uncomfortable feelings or freezing. I worry most about the people who respond in this way.

      I am definitely going to order this book. I want that practical understanding of how clergy re-traumatize. I was telling a client a story and I saw her face drop and realized that I had said something that caused stress to her but I could not tell what I had said that would have been an issue. Maybe if I had some more ideas, I would catch myself before I cause others hurt with something that I would not think of. I understand that being a white middle class woman there are issues that I have not dealt with that others have as a daily part of life. Becoming more culturally aware might help with trauma awareness and the retraumatization also.

      I also want to know more about the stage 3 and how to move someone out of the Dorsal vega Nerveous System response of freezing back to being “unstuck”. Is this what EMDR does? Deanna

       

    • #6098

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      I think any time we bring attention to our sinful nature we can be in jeopardy of retraumatizing someone as that person could believe that “it is all my fault”, “I brought this on myself.” We always need to remind people that God is in the business of making all things new, including ourselves and that brings hope. Hope is resiliency. It is being reminded that God has the capability to make us OK even. He is our resource, our rock and when we trust him, our Savior. That is the sticky part because when trauma happens it short circuits trust. We don’t trust anyone and get into that hypervigilant state of mind. Putting ourselves in God’s hands isn’t easy because trust must be there. I am so glad for prevenient grace and that he continues to call each of us to himself over and over again. He creates the environment for trust and he knows our background and the trauma that we have had in this world and places the Holy Spirit as the balm that will heal the soul. S0…. we battle our own traumatic brain with “Is this God trustworthy” and “Can I place myself in his care?” Faith is that step toward healing when “We are yet sinners.” It is the “working out” of this faith step in the area of trust where we can begin to heal from the world’s traumas and move toward recreation and being made new again.

    • #6101

      Laura Broadwater
      Participant
      @Laura

      I wonder if you could have stopped and asked the person what the expression meant when you noticed a change?  I often will call out the elephant in the room to create space for someone to let me know what they are thinking.  I agree with you that end of life causes great trauma.  Telling narrative from generation to generation is valuable, not as history but as teaching coping skills.  One of my favorites was in a death.  The mother of the patient took her grandchildren to the bedside.  She took a deep breathe and began singing songs of faith.  I commented on the beauty and courage to send her son off with such a blessing.  She said she was teaching her grandchildren how to cope with death.  She was intentional and it was beautiful.  More people should have such an awareness of the teachable moment!

    • #6102

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      You correctly hit the nail on the head. I usually do also say something lie ” I noticed your face change. What were you thinking” but this patient had MS and she was unable to move her mouth much to be understandable. I got mostly nods yes or a no was a no response.

    • #6114

      Jennifer Gingerich
      Member
      @JenniferGingerich

      I’m picking up on the thread of Laura’s question, what is different now?  It seems like the answers to that are probably multiple and complicated.  I wonder how the changes in people’s relationships to church in recent generations plays into it.  On one hand, the trauma/abuse perpetrated by some in positions of authority in churches has come to light in the last few decades, and while that has led to healing for some, it also alienated others from church.  I have heard from at least two or three individuals who stopped going to church when the stories of abuse started coming out.  While I definitely do not think that church is the only place to find spirituality or community, it does offer connection, nurture, and a spiritual framework as Deanna pointed out.

      In part connected to that, there has been the shift in society that made it more acceptable to question institutional religion and not go to church – from baby-boomers through to millenials.  And that has it benefits and downsides.  People feel more free to think for themselves and question pat answers.  But then they do not have as frequent/easy access to the rituals that Baldwin notes can promote healing.  (If, that is, churches do a decent job of caring for those who have been traumatized.)

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