Managing Trauma Triggers

Managing Trauma Triggers
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-05-12
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Managing Trauma Triggers
Unit 2Transcript: Managing Trauma Triggers
Unit 3Workbook: Managing Trauma Triggers
Unit 4Recording: Managing Trauma Triggers

People tend to use the term trigger loosely to describe anything that causes them any form of adverse response. In this session, the focus is on trauma triggers – those elicited by a traumatic event and impact both the brain and the body – and how these can be managed.

Back on the Justice Clearinghouse to lead the discussion is Duane Bowers. Duane is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Educator, and Therapist who specializes in trauma and traumatic loss working with victims, victims’ families, and professionals working in the field through clinical supervision and training.

Specifics of this course include:

  • Familiarizing with the definitions of trigger, trauma, and trauma trigger.
  • The characteristics of a traumatic event that looks into the nature of the event itself and the reaction and response of the individual subjected to it.
  • The diagnostic criteria of post-traumatic stress disorder that takes into account the type of exposure, symptoms, duration and changes it results in on the individual’s thought processes and behaviors.
  • The different ways the term trigger is being used in mental health conversations and what trauma triggers specifically refer to.
  • How information is processed in the brain and the two hypotheses on how triggers are developed.
  • The effect of the trigger on an individual, the different parts of the body that are affected by the trauma, and how they manifest.
  • What constitutes external and internal triggers and examples of which.
  • How triggers are always associated with memory that may be sense-centered, emotional, or a body memory.
  • A step-by-step guide when rendering immediate response to a trigger – to foster mindfulness, grounding, awareness, and support – and specific examples of exactly what to do in each step.
  • Strategies to prepare should triggers happen again and cope with them effectively through awareness, planning, practice, and support.
  • The importance of revisiting the trauma to be able to process it, manage it, and resolve it effectively.
  • The common ways triggers are managed through avoidance, multiple or practice exposures, changing the meaning, and creating positive triggers.
  • What it means to change the meaning and value associated with the trigger and create positive triggers to counterbalance the negative ones with examples of how these can be done.
  • Research-supported therapeutic approaches proven to be effective in processing unprocessed traumatic events which then lead to the triggers.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • How the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) approach is used to manage trauma and PTSD.
  • Employing immediate response to triggers to an individual one hasn’t had an established rapport with.
  • The difference between the terms PTSD and trauma.
  • How to ground someone amidst a trigger on the phone.
  • Delayed PTSD symptoms and reactions.
  • Managing trauma and triggers of a person who was unconscious or has no memory of the traumatic event itself.
  • Using EMDR on people who are actively experiencing trauma.


Other Webinars with this Speaker


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming Wellness and Mental Health webinars on the JCH Platform.


Audience Comments

  • “The whole thing. Understanding PTSD triggers and unresolved feelings was like an ah-ha moment for me. Putting the two together flooded me with things to look at and analyze. Looking at scenarios of the scarf and the person who nearly died at birth and seeing the correlations was interesting. Also knowing certain things trigger anxiety and how to come back from flight or flight and being able to analyze why those things trigger you. All good stuff to add to my toolbox. Thank you!” — Brenda
  • “Very detailed and clear objectives and takeaways.” — Cheryl
  • Amazing webinar — Lourdes
  • That the brain is 10% of the communication and the body is 90% in a traumatic event — Molly
  • “Real-world examples were helpful.” — John
  • “The depth in which Duane knew is topic. He is confident with his answers, and he validated my trauma when I was a little girl. Please have Duane more often.” — Katherine
  • “As a practicing LCSW-R, I am thrilled that these trainings are being offered to juvenile justice, child welfare, etc. to assist them in working with youth and families. I had bachelor-level home visitors attend so that we can discuss/process this information as a team. This was exceptional. Thank you.” — Katie
  • “I always enjoy webinars from this presenter. It’s a specific type of knowledge that is interesting and helpful.” — Kelly
  • “This webinar was super helpful! I appreciate that Duane had so many examples of how to get the victim to focus their attention away from their trauma.” — CH





This webinar was pre-approved for 1 CEU credit by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP).  Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.  To learn more about NOVA, visit




Additional Resources
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