These days there is increasing talk about the effects of trauma, now defined more broadly than when PTSD was seen as a response to a particular difficult and harrowing event. Clinicians are beginning to face a quasi-variant of PTSD: Post-COVID stress disorder has become another emerging consequence of the global pandemic. People the world over have faced unexpected deaths of loved ones, along with the possibility of their own death. And many are processing this as trauma. In fact, trauma has gone so viral that many are starting to refer to it as mass trauma. With trauma evolving so radically in the face of the pandemic, shouldn’t therapists look at trauma treatment differently in today’s reality?
PTSD is escalating amongst healthcare workers and survivors
Under any circumstances, dealing with death is traumatic. Add in social isolation, lack of control, and it’s little wonder that 20% of healthcare workers were shown to be experiencing PTSD. Meanwhile, people faced with unexpected deaths of loved ones and the possibility of their own death reacted similarly. While many of those have been able to bounce back, others have not been as lucky. Often this is due to what experts call their lifetime trauma load or the cumulative effect of previous traumas that an individual has been exposed to within their lifetime.
There is growing recognition and validation for somatic approaches to trauma treatment. And Babette Rothschild’s early work, The Body Remembers, published in 2000, helped inform and lead the way for a generation of psychotherapists.
In her latest book, Revolutionizing Trauma Treatment: Stabilization, Safety & Nervous System Balance, Babette explores how trauma can be a signal that the mind and body have not yet registered that a traumatic incident is over. As a result, the body’s autonomic nervous system takes over and continually mobilizes. Marking the event causing trauma with a beginning, middle and end is one step; clearly identifying a flashback as a memory is another. She stresses how therapists can help route clients to their social networks, faith, nature as support. These basic principles for healing trauma can work with any therapeutic approach; Babette stresses that each therapist should use the methods that suit their own personality and style.
Trauma therapy by leading Edge seminars
To delve into trauma treatment in depth, therapists and clinicians are invited to join Babette’s intensive 12-hour training session offered through Leading Edge Seminars on June 2. Revolutionizing Trauma Therapy will explore the phenomenon of somatic memories and how to treat traumatized clients of all ages and backgrounds. This training can be used in conjunction with any method of psychotherapy or specialized trauma therapy.
Babette recently shared some of her thinking during a recent virtual lunch with Leading Edge Seminars Founder Michael Kerman:
While employing Babette Rothschild’s trauma treatment principles can help clients process and move through their trauma, the challenge of helping clients find a healthy path forward remains. Leading Edge Seminars will also be hosting Happiness in Dark Times: The Role of Positivity in Catalyzing Resilience, led by Maria Sirois, PsyD, on June 15. This webinar will counsel how to coach clients to hold onto both the difficult and the positive, by focusing on character strengths in order to build resilience and thrive – extremely useful skills when dealing with clients trying to emerge from the aftermath of the pandemic.
As with all Leading Edge Seminars, if you are unable to attend the event live, all registered participants will receive a link to the recorded event after it is held.