A Trauma is an event that can make an individual extremely distressed and usually leads to a reaction of excess fears, helplessness or anxiety. Thus trauma is usually psychologically and physically painful. Trauma in most cases manifests itself in young people as either a prolonged event over time or a single event that may have adverse effects on an individual. These traumatic experiences may result from experiences such as natural disasters, terrorism or even war-zone trauma and such victims may develop effects that may have negative effects in their lives especially if it happens in their early stages of life. Additionally, it has been proved that childhood exposure to traumatic events increases the chances of youths developing neuropsychiatric and social disorders that may continue into their adulthood.
In the process of taking youths through a trauma intervention process, it will be important to take into consideration a number of things that may include the experiences that the youths went through, the type of trauma they had, either as a result of terrorism, war or any other event that may traumatize them. Since the youths have different ways in which they may react to the trauma such as flashbacking, nightmares, sleep disturbances as well as physical complaints among others it will be important to design an activity that will cater for the various response behaviors to trauma.
• Gather information regarding the whole event that has caused trauma to the victims.
• Create an avenue for the victims to express their feelings such as hopelessness, bravery as well as fear.
• Get access to ways of accessing support to the victims
Materials to be used in Trauma intervention
i. Large sheet of paper or if possible a poster board
iii. Paper and pencil for each of the 8- 12 youths
With the aim of trauma intervention being stabilizing the youth and the child emotionally so as to enhance their feelings of control and safety, the levels involved in the process, therefore, will revolve about defusing, debriefing as well as social responsiveness.
I will start by providing a large surface or paper to the victims for drawing. This will involve placing a huge sheet of paper or the poster board where all the victims can easily get access to it as well as arranging the sitting so as to ensure that each one has privacy while writing.
This has to be initiated within the initial eight hours of a traumatic event so as to reduce the overall impact on the youth. There will be the need of me establishing a plan of action through involving specific personnel that will take part in the intervention as well as address the issue of safety. Secondly, I will have clarified misunderstandings that may have led to anxiety, confusion as well as those that threaten the sense of safety among the youths by giving them accurate information regarding the tragedy that is consistent.
Therefore, the whole process of defusing will involve taking the victims through active listening by expressing concern to the victim as well as maintaining eye contact, reflective listening, validating what the youth says regarding the event, normalizing the emotions of the victims by assuring them of their safety, providing further information regarding the incident as well as planning for the rest of the day with the individuals affected.
This will involve discussing briefly with the victims about the whole traumatic event. Debriefing will be provided in at least a day after the event with the aim of accelerating the normal process of recovery, reducing the levels of stress as well as teaching the victims on the basic stress management techniques.
To achieve debriefing to this individuals, it will involve activities such as deriving the meaning by asking the victim’s questions that will help the victim derive meaning from their thoughts, behaviors as well as actions. Planning for the future will also be important so as to help the youths view themselves as the ultimate survivors of the event instead of viewing themselves as victims of the event.
3. Social Responsiveness
This involves making an active contribution towards the event that has traumatized the individuals. This is inform of social activities that can be initiated to make the victims feel more helpful about the event such as fundraising, making cards, taking part in communal activities, organizing food and clothing drives as well as drawing murals about the event. It is known that social responsiveness helps in empowering the victims as well as restore their hope. It also helps the victims learn more about generosity, diversity as well as collaboration as well as other social acts.
Osofsky, J. D. (2007). Young children and trauma: Intervention and treatment. New York: Guilford Press.