Webinar presenter Denise Beagley answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Trauma Informed Care & Response: 101 Training for Justice Professionals. Here are just a few of her responses.
Audience Question: Can you re-explain just a couple of terms for us really quick? Vicarious trauma and historical trauma.
Denise Beagley: Vicarious trauma is sometimes we end up, we may not have gone through the event, I’ll use an example but we experience it as if we have. So a coworker of mine her son has seen and experienced a home invasion. He kind of processed through it but she kept having nightmares as if it had happened to her. We get that vicariously through that person. Some of you see a parent live vicariously through their child, right? This for her as she was literally having the nightmares associated with that home invasion. The other question was about historical trauma. We see that particularly here in Arizona with our native population is it may not have happened, the trauma from the land being taken from Native Americans that kind of gets passed down generationally. The introduction of alcohol, drugs to the Native culture. If you look in history, the drawings that were done of many Native Indians were very slim, very muscular and now looking at fast forward how the diet has changed and alcohol and they just don’t breakdown the alcohol the same as the others. Just kind of that historical trauma that goes along with it. A person may not have obviously lived in that time but they have those respects from that. It gets passed down generationally.
Audience Question: We had several folks ask for the name of two videos that you shared. Do you have those handy?
Denise Beagley: The first one is from the Gains Institute, it is called The Cycle of Violence. There’s also another video that I usually show in my longer class. They interview a probation officer and a police officer and the police officer was shot, survived, but talked about that trauma of being shot with her own gun/weapon. The probation officer is physically assaulted by an offender that is in the office and she gets attacked. She talked about how she was not even off five days and went back to work because she thought that was the thing to do. They talked about their trauma. I think that’s a good video too. If I had more time, I would have shown it. Then the other one is called the ACEs Primer. If you just Google that and look in Video you’ll pull that one up.
Audience Question: Denise what was the statistic that you shared about the percentage of women versus men experiencing trauma. Could you repeat that for the audience again?
Denise Beagley: Even though males are exposed to trauma more than female, females seek treatment more. When we look at the numbers, 61% of males and 51% of women reported at least one trauma. I’m hoping that was what they were looking for.
Audience Question: Does trauma inhibit or stunt emotional intelligence development. We talked about IQ versus EQ. Does trauma impact that EQ development?
Denise Beagley: I haven’t done any formal research on it just like an experience out in the field. Like I mentioned that individual who was 23 where he started using around 10-13. I do find, I find a lot of times even when I ask students, I’ll say you know you’re working with a 34-year-old probationer that they used in their early adolescence you feel like you’re working with that adolescent brain. Oftentimes they say yes. Even the decision making, I mean our brains develop from the back to the front. it takes about to age 30 to be fully developed. You see people are making pretty rash decisions. Their decision-making process isn’t fully operational. I jokingly say that to my teenage daughters, they are 18 and 19 argued with me and I say your brain isn’t fully developed yet. They go that’s not fair and I go exhibit Q you know like here is an example of such. I definitely believe there is a relationship there.
Audience Question: In your experience what are some of the most overlooked things that all of us can do to help people recover that we might be overlooking?
Denise Beagley: I think to me I see a common thread of communication and empathy. I think just listening to people’s stories I think so many times I kind of jokingly say tick tock let’s rock. I’ve been here before. I’ve seen this before. I’ve been on this call. I think just shutting down the engines and really listening to the person. I had an experience I got called out, the A, B and C shift had all seen this individual and I came out, I’m not a medically trained person but I know some stuff. My probation officer friend actually always taught me that the ocular presentation is the window to the soul of the person. This individual, “Captain, I said I’m seeing one eye is blown out and one eye is constricted. He had stitches on his head. He had fallen in the shower. That’s usually indicative of a head injury, right?” He said get the medic here right now. We bring him into the ER and the nurse said, “Why is he back in my ER? This is the third time.” I said, “Because he has a head injury we believe.” We explained it. The ER doc was walking by and goes I’m ordering a head CT right now. I think sometimes they are at that compassion fatigue. You are just in the process and we forget that these are people and we got to communicate and listen to them because they are trying to tell us something. I think sometimes we are just – they saw this guy as oh he had a beard, he’s drinking, he’s a drunk. In fact, he had never been involved in their hospital until he had the fall in the last 72 to 82 hours. Kind of interesting how we miss some of that stuff. That’s my opinion. I think we got to listen to each other more. That goes for our own personal relationships too, right?
Click Here to Watch a Recording of Trauma Informed Care & Response: 101 Training for Justice Professionals.