Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thursday's Therapy - TRAUMA Therapy Toolbox - 10 Important Points About Traumatization in Child-Loss ~Dr. Therese A. Rando

Thursday's Therapy

TRAUMA Therapy Toolbox

10 Important Points to Keep in Mind About Traumatization

after Sudden and Traumatic Death such as Child-Loss

~with Dr. Therese A. Rando

After one to two years of having lost one's child, the Shock wears off. The stark realization begins setting in that your child is indeed gone, and is not coming back...

What we would expect after the Shock wears off would be to experience a deeper level of Grief.

What we do NOT expect is the Traumatization that comes with the Shock wearing off.

There are mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual repercussions that most of us never, ever would have imagined possible.


What we know about Traumatic Bereavement is, it unfolds as Shock wears off.
~Dr. Therese Rando, Grief and Trauma Expert

10 Important Points About Traumatization

after Sudden and Traumatic Death such as Child-Loss

  • Traumatization depends upon the perception of the individual involved

Tommy says,

"I expected Grief, Depression, and Mourning. I had been through the unexpected loss of my mother when I was only 14-years-old. I expected to be sad then, and I was..

"After being broken in on by a robber, and being shot by the intruder in my own home when I was 34, I expected to be traumatized, and I was...

"When I was 54, I lost my child. I anticipated to be in Deep Grief and Mourning, but I never anticipated being Traumatized like I have been. I had lost my mother; I thought this was going to be Grief and Depression I would be dealing with, like when I lost my mother. It was and is, but unexpectedly, I am not only dealing with the world's worst grief, my grief becomes complicated by a traumatization I never expected."

  • The individual sees no way to escape from the traumatic situation (You can't undo the death)

  • The traumatic event involves actual or threatened death or serious injury to the self or others

  • The traumatic event shocks the individual involved

  • The person's usual ways of coping are ineffective for the traumatic situation

  • The person is unable to master the feelings aroused in the traumatic situation, and becomes overwhelmed and unable to cope

  • The experience of (powerlessness and) helplessness is a central component of traumatization

  • Selected aspects of the traumatic circumstances can elicit terror and / or horror

The individual has physical reactions that come from their built-in, instinctual Fight, Flight, or Freeze responses.

Extreme Anxiety and Fear are THE dominant emotions.

In the Grief and Trauma workshop, Dr. Therese Rando, asked the people in the workshop a question:

"What is the predominant emotion of a Child-Loss Parent?"

Different class members began giving their answers,



"Depression," etc.

Dr. Rando said, "No."

Tommy and I pipe up, "Anxiety"!

And Dr. Rando said, "Yes. And everybody always misses this!"

In other words, most of the professionals in the helping field think they are prepared to help us deal with grief and sadness, but they have no CLUE of the anxiety that our Grief-torn heart, mind, soul, body, and spirit are now thrown into...

To be continued next Thursday, (that is, if my brain is functioning properly that day!)


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