374 -Enhancing Trauma Resilience
Counselor Toolbox

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Enhancing Trauma Resiliency
~ Learn about the effects of acute and intergenerational trauma
~ Review risk and protective factors for PTSD
~ Identify strategies to enhance resiliency in persons who have experienced past trauma
Effects of Lack of Resilience from Primary and Intergenerational Trauma
~ Anxiety and Depression
~ Addictions
~ Personality Disorders
~ Relationship Issues
~ Poverty / Reduced Success
~ Stress Related Physical Health Problems
~ Intergenerational Trauma
~ Attachment Issues
~ Pessimism
~ Rigid Thinking
~ Lack of Psychological Flexibility

Signs of Resilience
~ Optimism / Pessimism
~ Empowerment / Helplessness
~ Flexibility / Rigidity
~ Confidence / Meekness/Anxiety
~ Competence / Incompetence
~ Insightfulness / Lack of Insight
~ Perseverance / Gives Up Easily
~ Perspective / Lack of Perspective
~ Self Control / Dysregulation
PTSD Risk Factors
~ Age
~ Developmental level
~ Prior history of trauma
~ Prior history of mental health or substance abuse issues (including autism and FASD)
~ Number of stressors in the prior 6 months
~ Availability of social support within 4/24/72 hours
~ Effective problem solving & coping skills
~ Effective distress tolerance skills

Protective Factors
~ Psychological Flexibility
Protective Factors
~ Mindfulness
~ The awareness of the present moment and ones needs in the moment without judgement
~ Activities
~ 5-4-3-2-1
~ What’s in the Room
~ Word’s in a Word
~ Scavenger Hunt – (i.e. All things green)
~ Noticing Log

Protective Factors
~ Mindfulness/Vulnerability Prevention
~ Morning/Evening (Whiteboard) Mindfulness
Protective Factors
~ Mindfulness
~ Evening
~ How do I feel physically?
~ Do I have pain anywhere?
~ What am I thinking about the most?
~ How do I feel emotionally?
~ What is one thing I am grateful for today?
~ What do I need to do so I can get relaxed enough to go to sleep?

Distress Tolerance / Self Control
~ Activities
~ Contribute
~ Comparisons (to when you were in a worse state, to how things could be worse)
~ Emotions
~ Push Away
~ Thoughts
~ Sensations

Framing/Perspective Skills
~ What is the evidence for and against that fear or belief?
~ Am I considering the big picture (all the factors)
~ My active part
~ My current situation and vulnerabilities that contributed
~ Other people’s active part in it
~ Transference issues
~ Am I catastrophizing/confusing
Problem Solving Skills
~ Brainstorming– (Hand drawing for children, mind-map for adults)
~ Ask someone who has been through it
~ How does this keep me from moving closer to my goals and what can I do about it?

~ Helps people learn that things won’t always go the way they want, BUT it doesn’t mean it will be awful.
~ Does not come easy to those with a “J” personality
~ Identify things we need to be flexible in (vacations, workouts, job duties, relationships, time management)
~ Activities
~ Choices Hat (meals, vacations, television programs)
~ Schedule a spontaneous day
~ How many uses game (Duct tape, coconut oil, plastic shopping bags, cardboard boxes, wire coat hangers…)\
~ How are you like a…. game

~ Learned Optimism (Martin Seligman)
~ The traumatized brain stays on alert and notices the dangers or potential threats
~ Teaching people to identify the good things as well can be helpful (Hardiness, Kobasa 1979; ACT Russ Harries, Steven Hayes; DBT Marsh Linehan)
~ Commitment – The current situation is unfortunate AND what other aspects of your life are you committed to which are going okay? (Dialectics, Living in the AND)
~ Control—What parts of this situation can you control? What aspects of the other parts of your life are in your control?
~ Challenge—In what ways can the current situation be viewed as a challenge or obstacle instead of a barrier?

~ Learned Optimism (Martin Seligman)
~ Activities
~ Positive journaling
~ Gratitude (wall, tree, branch)

~ Activities
~ Learn about others like you who have overcome challenges
~ Break big tasks into small steps
~ Give credit where credit is due. “I did that” wall
~ Make a “My support” list
~ Make sure not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Confidence and Competence

~ When people feel incompetent and lack confidence, the world seems much more threatening and they can feel more helpless.
~ Signature strengths
~ Ad campaign
~ Body Poster / Collage
~ “Biography”
~ Who I look up to…
~ Personal scrapbook of accomplishments
~ Emotional/Courage/Perseverance/Dedication
~ Physical
~ Mental/Occupational/Creativity/Hobbies
~ Interpersonal/Friendship/Patience/Advocacy
~ Spiritual

Confidence and Competence

~ Signature strengths
~ Goals Workbook
~ My Goal
~ Why I want it
~ What could stand in my way
~ How I can deal with that
~ The steps to get it


~ From a young age it can be difficult to keep going in the face of adversity, especially if you are already stressed and feeling disempowered.
~ Activities
~ Scaffolding (Tying shoes, doing laundry, reading a book)
~ For adults–Mentorship
~ Chunk It
~ Decisional Balance

Social Support and Connectedness
~ Social support is a great resource when trauma knocks people off balance
~ Developing Connectedness
~ Participate in hobby groups
~ Join clubs, faith organizations
~ Put effort into developing relationships
~ Trauma can enhance feelings of disconnectedness, helplessness and anxiety.
~ Trauma impacts people emotionally, mentally, physically, interpersonally, occupationally
~ By helping people develop trauma resiliency we can assist them in preventing PTSD after a trauma and breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma

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