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Historical Trauma


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Presented by:
Dr. Tami De Coteau, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
DeCoteau Trauma-Informed Care & Practice, PLLC

Present Day Trauma
Poverty, Violence, Suicide, Inadequate Education, Substance Abuse, Inadequate Health Care, etc.
Historical Trauma
Indian Boarding Schools
Government Agencies
Centralized Authority, etc

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Historical Trauma

  1. 1. Presented by: Dr. Tami De Coteau, PhD Licensed Clinical Psychologist DeCoteau Trauma-Informed Care & Practice, PLLC
  2. 2. TRACE THE SOURCE No Electricity Failure to Respond Adaptively Present Day Trauma Poverty, Violence, Suicide, Inadequate Education, Substance Abuse, Inadequate Health Care, etc. Historical Trauma Genocide Indian Boarding Schools Government Agencies Centralized Authority, etc
  3. 3. What Is Trauma? Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – variety of symptoms following exposure to a traumatic event. Clinical presentation varies among individuals and may include:  Fear-based re-experiencing, emotional, and behavior symptoms.  Anhedonia or dysphoric mood and negative thoughts.  Arousal  Dissociation  Combination of all of these Other Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders Reactive Attachment Disorder – relationally inhibited and emotionally withdrawn Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder – socially disinhibited
  4. 4. What is Trauma? Violence and betrayal in our own lives, as well as on our histories and cultures. Unbearable. Intolerable. Overwhelming. Out of Control. Trauma has direct and indirect effects. Imprint on the mind, body, and brain. Traces of trauma remain in our minds, emotions, and biology.
  5. 5. Trauma & Visceral Feelings
  7. 7. LH LEADS TO DEFICITS IN 3 CORE AREAS: 1. Cognitive – inability to learn new responses to overcome prior learning that trauma is uncontrollable 2. Emotional – the helpless state resembles depression 3. Motivational – reduced motivation to try new coping responses. The individual therefore STOPS LEARNING new ways of responding
  8. 8. Learned Helplessness LH is NOT a moral choice LH is a conditioned response to adversity The individual is conditioned to believe they have NO CONTROL over their life so they give up trying LH destroys desire to try (not ability)
  9. 9. Learned Helplessness The individual CANNOT process their own way back to normal response patterns
  10. 10. Learned Helplessness The longer an individual is in an uncontrollable situation, the greater the number of times they will have practiced inappropriate responses Days…months…years…decades…generations…of building highly practiced inappropriate responses systems. Such as….
  11. 11. The Human Brain
  12. 12. Trauma & The Brain
  13. 13. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study ACEs are major risk factors for illness, death and poor quality of life, later in life Some of the worst health and social problems in the USA arise as a consequence of
  14. 14. Trauma & The Brain Trauma impairs rationale thought Trauma impairs imagination
  15. 15. How Does Trauma Impact Relationships? Attachment problems arise from repeated experiences of failed emotional connection  Abuse; neglect; trauma; prolonged separation; multiple caregivers; maternal depression and/or substance addiction; lack of harmony between child and parent; inexperience mother with poor parenting skills Attachment problems are passed on from one generation to the next unless repair occurs
  16. 16. Trauma & Memory Dual Memory Unable to “know” what happened Fragmented, dissociated
  17. 17. Trauma & Left-Right Brain Left side rational brain Facts Statistics Sequence Right side emotional brain Sensory experiences Nonverbal signals
  18. 18. Healing from Trauma Healing requires that the body learn that danger has passed Healing involves learning to live in the present
  19. 19. Self-Management Mindfulness Movement Rhythm
  20. 20. The Indian Boarding School
  21. 21. Storytelling
  22. 22. Citations Van Der Kolk, B. 2014. The Body Keeps The Score: Brain Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Penguin Books. New York, NY.  Karen, R. 1998. Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love. Oxford Press, New York, NY. Perry, B. 2009. Examining Child Maltreatment Through a Neurodevelopmental Lens: Clinical Applications of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 14:240-255. Trevarthen, Colwyn, & Kenneth J. Aitken. 2001. Infant Intersubjectivity: Research, Theory, and Clinical Applications. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42, 3 – 48.