Following recent events around Australia including the fires in WA, the floods in VIC and cyclone Yasi in QLD there will be many young people who have experienced traumatic events.

Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) can develop after exposure to traumatic experiences(s) and results from an imbalance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS prepares to meet a threat, but after the threat is passed or survived, the ANS never returns to its normal, balanced state. Extreme disturbance may lead to symptoms of Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In response, the Australian Childhood Foundation is hosting a series of 2 day seminars around Australia featuring Babette Rothschild “The Body Remembers: Practical therapeutic applications of the neurobiology of trauma”. Please check their website for details. The Australian Childhood Foundation.

Babette Rothschild is based in America and has been a practicing psychotherapist and body-psychotherapist since 1976.  She is a California Licensed clinical Social Worker and a member of the International and European Societies for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists and the National Association of Social Workers.

Her book 8 Ways to Safe Trauma Recovery outlines how to approach trauma recovery treatment. She has set out a very practical set of guidelines for supporting traumatised individuals that privilege emotional and physical safety.

Her foundational principles include:

  • Regard defences as resources: never work to remove coping strategies associated with past trauma; instead support traumatised individuals to create more choices.
  • View the traumatised neurobiology of the individual as a “pressure cooker”.  Always work to reduce – never to increase – the pressure.
  • Adapt helping strategies to the needs of the traumatised individual, rather than expecting the traumatised individual to adapt to the strategies.
  • Do not judge the traumatised individuals for noncompliance or for the failure of a helping strategy designed to support them.

Babette believes “It is clear that traumatic events exact a toll on the body as well as the mind. Trauma treatment must regard the whole person and integrate trauma’s impact on both body and mind”.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Babette Rothschild.