In 2012, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–V) rewrote the definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) such that it is no longer confined to those who experienced or saw the traumatic event first-hand but also includes those who witness, hear, or are made privy of the details of a traumatic events as it occurred to others.
Duane Bowers, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Educator and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist is back at the Justice Clearinghouse to discuss self-care for justice professionals. Duane specializes in working with survivors of trauma including those who experienced or are exposed to cases like child abduction, trafficking, abuse, and traumatic loss. He provides wellness support, clinical supervision and training to the personnel of organizations that are likely to deal with these.
Some of the specifics he included in this course are:
- The difference between self-care and wellness.
- What trauma and a traumatic event is and the types of incidents that result in trauma.
- Understanding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), its history, what it means, and the behaviors exhibited that serve as criteria.
- The concept of traumatic response, its characteristics and what it looks like.
- The critical role of the limbic and triune brain, cortisol and fight-flight-flee in traumatic response.
- Intervention techniques to reduce cortisol through physical activity, positivity and chocolates.
- The role played by mirror neurons in experiencing secondary trauma in response to someone else’s experience.
- The levels of empathy, the core issues of trauma, and techniques to halt the development of secondary trauma.
- The unique personality of sensation seekers who seem to be cut for trauma work, their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.
- Studies that identify the biggest stressors for those working in law enforcement and what helped support those exposed to secondary trauma.
- Recommendations to consider to assist in preventing secondary trauma as:
- Stress management through de-stress activities.
- Building resiliency through habits and a lifestyle that encourages personal growth and positivity.
- Practicing mindfulness to focus on the present and take a break from work.
- Exercises to draft a mission statement of different facets of your life and evaluate your six dimensions of health and improve it.
- Tips on how to view content that may trigger trauma.
- Keeping tabs on high-risk symptoms that may manifest due to exposure to trauma.
- Conducting a wellness session that assesses your stressors, and people, things and activities that support and help you cope with the stress.
- Duane provided clarifications on questions raised by the attendees on:
- Recommended professional service providers.
- Determining if certain activities are healthy or destructive.
- Data on stressors for emergency dispatch personnel.
- If sleep counts as silence.
- “Very informative and provided excellent supportive and reference material as backup and support to presentations and teachings.” –Nimibia
- “Excellent…I would have loved more time…” –Albert
- “Fantastic webinar. very helpful for those of who are not law enforcement, but work alongside them to help those in our community.” –Scott
- “I found the information on historical trauma and epigenetics most interesting and would like more information on it!” –Dianna