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NOTE: ALL VIDEOS are for educational purposes only and are NOT a replacement for medical advice or counseling from a licensed professional.

CBT Strategies for Addressing Trauma Objectives
 Identify the traumas
 Evaluate the memories of the traumas based on
 Facts
 Other Factors
 Cognitive Distortions
 Acknowledge and integrate the trauma
 Explore and address how the trauma is currently impacting the person in the present

Eliminate or mitigate vulnerabilities

Steps in Processing Trauma
 Develop at least 10 distress tolerance skills
 Thoughts:
 Activities
 Guided Imagery
 Sensations:

Develop Cognitive Restructuring Skills
 What is the thought
 Is it related to prior traumas or experiences?
 If so, how are those prior experiences influencing your current perception?
 Are they helping to make your current perceptions more or less accurate in the current context?
 What is different in the present context?
 What are the facts for and against your belief in the current context
 If you are using any of the following unhelpful thinking strategies, restate your thoughts watch this video
 Mindreading / Jumping to conclusions
 Making decisions without sufficient information (Facts, play the tape)
 Emotional reasoning (Remind yourself that emotions are your smoke alarm)
 All or nothing thinking
 Personalization
 Catastrophizing
 Fallacies of control and fate
 Minimizing your strength/accomplishments (I am proud of myself for…)
 What is the best use of your energy to move toward those things important in your rich and meaningful life.

Before You Begin
 Consider doing these activities with a therapist or spiritual leader
 Develop a safety plan in case you start feeling overwhelmed
 Set a timer
 Only process one trauma in a session.
 Begin with your first memory
 Who is important in your life?
 Are they supportive and nurturing or toxic?
 How is your health?
 Are you happy? If not, why not?
 What is important in your life?
 Significant events, what caused them, your reaction
 Repeat this for each grade or year after until the present day.

Identifying Traumas
 Go through your autobiography and identify the traumatic experiences
 Start with the first one and work forward

Processing the Trauma
 What are the facts of the event?
 What are your beliefs about the event? (I should have protected him. That person did not love me. It came from out of the blue.)
 Are there any other factors, perspectives of things that you might not have considered (once you form a schema about a situation it often does not change unless you evaluate and adjust it)
 How was this experience influenced by prior experiences?
 How did the experience shape your beliefs about your ability to: Keep yourself safe? To improve the next moment and live a rich and meaningful life? To be loved? To love and trust others?
Processing the Trauma
 How did the experience shape your beliefs and expectations about other people’s trustworthiness and your general safety in the world? The future?
 Go back over each of your beliefs and complete the Cognitive Restructuring Worksheet
 What losses do you need to grieve as a result of this trauma? (ex. loss of relationships, lost time…)
 What can you do to feel empowered and safe?
 How are you different, wiser and stronger now than you were then?
 How is this event influencing you in the present? Your health? Your mood? Your attitude? Your relationships?
 This experience is part of who you are. How can you use it to help you become more like the person you want to be?
 Trauma can be insidious because, unresolved, it can negatively impact your sense of safety and empowerment.
 When trauma is effectively resolved, you will have a better idea of
 What happened
 What your role actually was
 Losses/other traumas that need to be grieved
 How you can integrate that experience in a way that can help you move toward your rich and meaningful life.

Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.

AllCEUs provides multimedia counselor education and CEUs for LPCs, LMHCs, LMFTs and LCSWs as well as addiction counselor precertification training and continuing education.
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