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PTSD in Client Relationships

Thu. March 28, 2019

With Beth Romanski, Program Director of Professional and Continuing Education and Erin Welkin,  

How prevalent is PTSD and how does it manifest in our lives?

PTSD, or some less clinical form of emotional trauma is rampant on both the individual and societal level. Almost everyone has experienced some form of lingering emotional shock, whether directly or vicariously. As a culture, we may avoid or are highly reactive to certain topics/people, while at the same time may feel helpless to improve situations. Some of us get stuck in negativity or struggle. PTSD wears many faces and if we are not aware of working through our pain, we may get stuck there.

What is the most common misconception about PTSD?

It is challenging for people to truly understand PTSD. The symptoms present with such diversity and intensity that if you don’t know what you are looking for, it might simply seem like a traumatized person is being distant, selfish, mean, or unreasonable. Similarly, if you are living with trauma, the feelings, thoughts, and internal experiences can be extremely confusing and upsetting. Once we understand how trauma works on the brain, emotions, and nervous system, we are better able to understand, work with, and ultimately heal the symptoms and their underlying cause.

Why do health practitioners need to gain skills to identify and manage PTSD in client relationships?

Since the symptoms of trauma can show up in a variety of ways, including denial or secrecy, it may be difficult to identify clients living with trauma. If PTSD is at play and we are aware of it, we are better able to seek consent, communicate clearly, establish boundaries, and work with the client’s physiology and neurology to work towards whole-person health.

This level of respect and sensitivity increases benefits to the clients and leads to better retention and word of mouth. The quality of the relationship between client and practitioner is one of the best predictors of improvement.

 

Learn more about this important therapy and earn CEUs at http://ce.muih.edu/browse/ce/courses/pstd-in-client-relationships-master...