This article discusses about Working with people living with PTSD.
1 Discussion: Working With PTSD Victims
In the second part of your initial post, consider the following case scenario: A veteran who is of a different ethnicity than you and who has been honorably discharged from her service in Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD symptoms. Her family and children are concerned about her. Utilizing the readings, address the following:
- List the three most important topics you would want to be sure to address in your first meeting with the client and her family and provide a rationale for your choices.
- Identify one self-care tool or method you would likely utilize while working with this family.
- Justify your answers with information supported by your reading and experiences.
Working with people living with PTSD
Terrifying events often trigger Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a patient that either experienced or witnessed the event. During the first meeting, I will address the following essential topics: the traumatic or frightening event the patient experienced, the impact of the event or the trauma on the patient, and what the patient does to cope with trauma.
For effective treatment, it is vital to ensure that the patient can describe the event because the more vivid their description is, the easier it is to understand the case and develop a care plan (Koenig et al., 2019). The first step of healing is speaking openly about the traumatic event and opening to the practitioner about how the event affects the patient.
It is also critical for the patient to be aware of how the event affects her physically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. I will ask questions like, do you think about the event? How often do you think about it? Do some thoughts about the event force their way into your mind? Do you experience nightmares or flashbacks?
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Do you feel like the event is happening over again? Do you have any struggles remembering the incident? Lastly, I will assess the patient’s coping mechanisms and any avoidance associated with the memories. Addressing these topics will provide a comprehensive understanding of the patient and the event.
Mindfulness is a valuable tool for a patient with PTSD because it can function as a form of physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and personal self-care. Mindfulness would help the patient develop skills like self-awareness, non-evaluative observation, beginner’s mind, and being in the present moment. Mindfulness proves an effective stress reduction technique for individuals with PTSD (Boyd et al., 2018). It helps mitigate the association between maladaptive thinking and post-traumatic distress. Various exercises will introduce the veteran to mindfulness and help her make the most of the self-care practices.
Boyd, J. E., Lanius, R. A., & McKinnon, M. C. (2018). Mindfulness-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder: a review of the treatment literature and neurobiological evidence. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN, 43(1), 7–25. https://doi.org/10.1503/jpn.170021
Koenig, H. G., Youssef, N. A., & Pearce, M. (2019). Assessment of moral injury in veterans and active-duty military personnel with PTSD: A review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 443.
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