It can be difficult to know how to help a loved one who’s suffered a traumatic or distressing experience, but your support can be a crucial factor in their recovery. . A supportive environment is a major factor in a person recovering from a traumatic experience and reducing the risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Anxiety Disorders.
Below are a few points to help guide you in support that may be needed…
• Safe Shelter. After trauma, the most basic of human needs must be met. It’s critical to restore your loved one to a place where he or she will be safe and have shelter.
• Nutrition. Make the person eats healthy foods, regular meals, and drinks plenty of water. Hydration is very important during times of stress. It’s also a good idea to avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol during this time.
• Be patient and understanding.
• Offer practical support to help the person get back into a normal routine. That may mean help with collecting groceries or housework, for example, or simply being available to talk or listen.
• Encourage Mastery of the situation and Empowerment. Although you want to help the person practically where need be it is also important to encourage the person to take control again of the situation or their general day to day environment and routine.
• Don’t pressure your loved one into talking but be available when they want to talk.
• Help the person to socialize and relax. Encourage them to participate in social activities, seek out friends, and pursue hobbies and other activities that bring them pleasure.
• Physical Exercise. Sometimes the last thing a person who has experienced trauma wants to do is engage in physical exercise, but this is really a very good way to help them get rid of the negative effects of stress.
• Don’t take the trauma symptoms personally.
• Beware of Substance Abuse. Many people try to deal with trauma by burying it. They drink too much, do drugs, or engage in other addictive behavior in a valiant – and usually ineffective – effort to forget the pain, to numb it, to make it go away.
For further information on Trauma Debriefing, Trauma Counselling or Workshops on trauma please contact Janine on firstname.lastname@example.org