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Trauma Recovery: Wellness for Counselors and Teachers


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Title: Trauma Recovery: Wellness for Counselors and Teachers

Trauma Recovery Wellness for Counselors and
  • Dr. Vaughn Millner

  • As a result of this viewing this presentation,
    participants will be able to
  • Identify personal signs of compassion
    satisfaction and fatigue
  • Examine various components of mental health
  • Begin an individual wellness plan

Helpers Also Cope with Disaster and Trauma
  • It is essential that as you care for others
    during disaster recovery, you take care of
  • How are you
  • Mentally?
  • Physically?
  • Emotionally?
  • Spiritually?

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit

Stress at Work (2005 Wellness Councils of
  • 40 of individuals say that job is very or
    extremely stressful
  • 43 of adults suffer health problems due to
    stress about 90 million people
  • 75 to 90 of all visits to primary care
    physicians are stress-related

  • When stress strikes, the following occurs
  • Alarm Reaction. Prepares the body for flight or
  • Resistance. Your body releases stress hormones.
    Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and body
    temperature increase.
  • Exhaustion. Bodys ability to adapt runs out.

  • Condition of feeling wasted physically,
    emotionally, spiritually, interpersonally, and
    behaviorally (MacClusky and Ingersoll)

Stages of Burnout
Three Stages of Burnout(Texas Medical
  • Stress Arousal (persistent irritability, anxiety
    high blood pressure bruxism insomnia
    forgetfulness heart palpitations unusual heart
    rhythm inability to concentrate headaches)
  • Energy Conservation (lateness for work,
    procrastination need 3 day weekends decreased
    sexual desire tiredness in mornings turning
    work in late social withdrawal cynical
    attitudes resentfulness increased caffeine
    consumption increased alcohol consumption
  • Exhaustion (chronic sadness or depression
    stomach or bowel problems mental fatigue
    headaches desire to drop out

Burnout results in
  • Exhaustion
  • Cynicism
  • Tense exchanges with others including students
    Particularly impacts those in caring professions
  • Low level, chronic fuzziness of caring for others
    to feeling emotionally numb

Compassionate Caring
  • Compassionately caring for others without taking
    time for self is a recipe for burn-out.
  • The higher your level of conscientiousness, the
    higher the danger of burnout (American Academic
    of Family Physicians, 1997).

Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) (sometimes
called compassion fatigue or vicarious
  • Risk related to empathy with anothers traumatic
  • Can result from hearing emotionally shocking
    material from others over time
  • Can result in depression, insomnia, loss of
    intimacy numbing of feelings

Watch for these signs
  • Clock watching
  • Postponing contact with children
  • Postponing returning phone calls
  • Generalizing others (Example When faced with a
    few children misbehaving in the classroom,
    thinking Theyre all the same)
  • Increased use of drugs to control mood/sleep
  • Marital conflict
  • Absenteeism

Watch for these signs
  • Resistance to going to work every day
  • Sense of failure
  • Feelings of resentment
  • Feelings of discouragement or indifference
  • Negativism
  • Self-preoccupation
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Rigidity in thinking and resistance to change
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Feelings of guilt and blame
  • Suppressing emotion
  • Suppressing problems
  • Refusing to handle stress effectively
  • Difficulty in saying no
  • Assuming additional responsibility
  • Sacrificing personal life for work

Watch for these signs
  • Tired during workday
  • General fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep problems
  • Frequents colds and/or flu
  • Frequent headaches
  • Frequent gastro-intestinal problems
  • Frequent aches and pains
  • Long time to rebound in enthusiasm and energy
    about work

Helper Traits and Burnout
  • Fragile self-esteem
  • Lacking intimacy in personal life
  • Isolation
  • Need to rescue others
  • Need for reassurance about self worth
  • Substance abuse

Avoiding Compassion Fatigue Burnout
  • Increase personal capabilities
  • Enhance support systems

Meeting your needs
  • After trauma, the school system will attempt to
    meet students basic needs, such as providing
    physiological support and a sense of safety. The
    school and you also help to provide a sense of
    belonginess to students. Remember you have these
    needs, as well.
  • Getting your needs met results in you
  • a. Feeling self-determined
  • b. Interpersonally connected
  • c. Feeling competent

Assume Personal Responsibility
  • Compassion fatigue can be avoided.
  • Main Optimism
  • Take control over personal well-being. No one
    will do this for you.
  • Make wise choices through each day.
  • Take personal action. Do not put off taking care
    of self.

Wellness Focus
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms
  • Correct thoughts and attitudes that are hurting
    you. (Example Change I cant keep doing this
    to I can do most things over a brief period of
    time. I really do care about others.)
  • Talk to responsive and responsible colleagues
  • Be assertive set limits learn to say no

  • Listen to your body.
  • Reassess your values.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Maintain your sense of humor.

Living with our Values
  • Better to fail at doing the right thing than to
    succeed at doing the wrong thing
  • Guy Kawasaki
  • The key is not to prioritize whats on your
    schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
  • Stephen Covey

Take a Moment Now Contract With Self
  • What will I do by the end of this week that will
    help me take better care of myself?
  • __________________________________
  • __________________________________
  • __________________________________
  • Signature __________________________

Intention and Persistence
  • Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what
    you can do.
  • John Wooden

Cognitive Restructuring
  • Experience is not what happens to you - its how
    you interpret what happens to you.
  • Aldous Huxley

Develop a Wellness Philosophy
  • I suggest you express these thoughts to yourself
  • I have all the time I need to accomplish my work.
  • I give myself personal time.
  • I provide myself with good nutrition.
  • I exercise myself (body, mind, spirit).
  • I have fun.
  • I spend time with friends and family.
  • I connect with a higher being.
  • My life has purpose.

  • The biggest change we can make is to make a
    change within ourselves.

  • Success is the ability to go from failure to
    failure without losing your enthusiasm.
  • Winston Churchill

Leisure Take Time for Yourself
  • As I must repeat once again, the first principle
    of all action is leisure. (Aristotle, Po., Bk
  • Time is of the essence
  • Now is the time of your life.
  • You are free to choose your thoughts and free to
    be. Play during free time.

Investing in Life
  • Click below for a reminder to take time for
    yourself (from
  • http//  

Thank you.
  • You have been given a tremendous task. You have
    children and adolescents in your care who
    particularly need to feel safe and wanted. They
    may not know how to express this. Of all the
    lessons they learn throughout life, the lessons
    they learn now will be among those not soon
  • Thank you so much for being there.

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