Victims Whose Experience Involved Week 4 Forum Po
In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.
Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:
This week, we examine domestic violence, considering the many forms it can be displayed against all members of a family unit. In addition to understanding what domestic violence may look like, the course materials provide insight to the difficulties of identifying, assessing, and appropriately intervening in cases of domestic violence. The trauma response cycle is explained as a model of victim response and recovery.
forum post response #1
The trauma response cycle explains the different stages in which a person experiences and recovers from a traumatic experience. The trauma response cycle can be applied to different traumas but this week we are focusing on victims of domestic abuse. Utilizing the trauma response cycle can be really helpful for us. By assessing the client, we can determine which stage of response the client may be in and address their needs accordingly. It also provides the client with information about trauma and how it has or can impact their lives and decisions during the recovery process.
Understanding the trauma response cycle can assist us in explaining the to the client that response to trauma is a process rather than a specific emotional reaction can help them understand their own feelings and reactions. For example, a battered woman may feel emotionless or apathy after being abused rather than angry or hurt. She may question her emotions and feel uncomfortable with them. Explaining that she may be in the shock stage of the trauma response or disbelief in the recovery phase may ease her worries. It can also help us tailor which intervention strategies can best fit the client in accordance to which stage of the cycle the client is in.
Personally, I feel that it would be difficult to implement intervention is immediately after the trauma. At the time, the client is experiencing a range of emotions and can be in a state of shock and disbelief about the traumatic event. In this state of confusion, it may be hard to establish a connection with the client. It may also be hard to gather more information or details about the domestic violence incident. The client may still be in denial or downplay the situation. In this situation, I would like to establish that my role as a person that is here to help them. It is also important to be patient and empathetic to the client’s emotions and situation. Guiding the client through expressing their emotions will help them process the trauma and their own reactions. Another time that I feel would be difficult is the actively angry stage in recovery. I personally connect with this stage. I went through abuse as a child and held a lot of anger towards my family members until recently. Because of my own experiences,I feel that it would be really difficult to help the client redirect their anger from their loved ones.
forum post response #2
The trauma response cycle model can be a helpful guide for working with victims of domestic violence (and other survivors of trauma). For victims of domestic violence, particularly the initial violence, they may experience being in shock over what has happened to them, initially focusing in the moment on keeping themselves alive (i.e. getting away, finding others to help, etc.). Victims may move into the phase of denial, when their brains try coming to terms with the reality of what happened to them (i.e. recalling what was said and done to them in chronological order). Victims may move into the phase of realizing their vulnerability for being victimized and experience worry and fear of being victimized again (i.e. wondering if/when/how s/he might experience the violence again). Considering these trauma response phases, it would seem that while working with victims, clinicians could use the information to acknowledge and validate the victim’s processing of the violence. Clinicians might offer victims information on the proposed reactive process, to help them normalize and understand their reactions.
As the victims move through the phases of recovery, it seems important to continue to provide information on each new phase throughout the cycle, to help victims with understanding and knowing that their reactions are normal and even expected after experiencing domestic violence. Clinicians might offer information on the proposed phases of reactions to domestic violence and use it to validate and promote openness for therapeutic understanding and processing through each phase. Information and interventions specifically for depressive and stress/trauma symptoms would seem appropriate during the phases of depression and mood swings. Everstine & Everstine (2006) mention that it is the role of the clinician to guide the client through the traumatic experience, utilizing appropriate interventions to include different suggested approaches and interventions including couples and family therapy. However, it is also mentioned that especially when working with victims whose experience involved violent human intent, methods for treating victims of trauma need to be chosen with great care. I cannot agree more and would assume that it would be most difficult to implement intervention and treatment goals with clients during the phase of anger. As a clinician, I might not attempt to do couples/family therapy during this phase as the victim may receive more support from processing through the anger in a safe environment, as well as processing any instances of acting out toward others with displaced anger. However, it would seem supportive to help family members understand this phase and that it indicates that their loved one is progressing through the phases of recovery in a healthy way. To me, supportive counseling/listening/validating would be most appropriate during this phase, along with teaching ways to relax and cope with the intense related feelings.
forum post response #3
Understanding the trauma response cycle allows the therapist to accurately assess how receptive or defiant to treatment the victim might be. In certain parts of the cycle a person’s ability to recognize true or false ideas and thoughts is impaired due to the shock of the trauma. Knowing the particular stages allows the opportunity to either implement treatment immediately or to wait and hold off until the person has had time to come down from the initial shock of treatment. It also gives the therapist an understanding of why a victim would show a partiality to the person who victimized them. If a person has processed through most of the trauma cycle stages and is near the recovery phases, treatment may not need to be as intensive or demanding since the person is already showing some coping skills or mechanisms. Intervention can be tailored more to each particular stage.
At first I was going to say that I feel initial shock phase would be the hardest part of the cycle to implement intervention or treatment goals; then I stopped and thought about it a little more. I believe the hardest stage to implement any kind of treatment would be during the denial stage. During this stage the client is struggling with the realization that the trauma or crisis even took place. They have not yet processed that they have been exposed too trauma or have been victimized, therefore they do not feel as if they have any reason to seek treatment. Since they deny they have been through trauma because it has not been effectively processed, they may be very resistant to any kind of intervention or therapy methods. If they are being told they were a victim, they might either shut down and refuse to proceed any further through the trauma cycle, or they might become angry and abandon the therapeutic process. By attempting therapy, it could cause a person to feel as if you are attempting to victimize them or attempting to make them believe and feel what is not true, therefore they will become resentful or angry towards you. When they start to exhibit these feelings towards people who are trying to help them, it might further their current belief that the person who victimized them was the safer person to be with because they did not cause the pain they are feeling now from the therapist. One thing that does not need to happen during intervention is to make the person feel as if they are being pressured to submit to therapy or counseling. This is why I feel that when a person is in the trauma stage phase of denial, intervention would be the most difficult.