Reframing PTSD as Traumatic Grief: How Caregivers Can Companion Traumatized Grievers Through Catch-Up Mourning
An estimated 8 percent of Americans are thought to be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at any given time. Many are victims of or witnesses to violence. Others have been neglected or abused. Some have experienced a traumatic accident or natural disaster. Still others have experienced the sudden and perhaps violent death of someone they love. No matter the cause, PTSD results in symptoms of acute stress, including anxiety, persistent thoughts or flashbacks, and a host of other physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual challenges.
In this guide for counselors and caregivers, Dr. Alan Wolfelt reframes PTSD as a form of grief. Helping PTSD sufferers mourn their unacknowledged and “carried” grief over the traumatic events that caused their symptoms is the key to helping them heal. Rather than seeking to quickly treat away symptoms of PTSD, caregivers who follow Dr. Wolfelt’s “companioning” philosophy will instead see the natural and necessary PTSD symptoms as indications that the sufferer needs additional support and encouragement to express himself. This holistic new approach acknowledges clinical PTSD treatments as part of the solution while emphasizing that authentic mourning is the primary and most essential healer.
2015: July 20-23
2016: July 18-21
This inspiring training will explore the reframing of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as the need for what Dr. Wolfelt refers to as “catch-up” mourning. He will outline how symptoms of PTSD reflect “carried grief,” which is grief that goes unacknowledged and un-mourned. He will make the case that many people who meet the criteria for PTSD are living in the shadow of the ghosts of grief. That is, they are suffering from unacknowledged and unexpressed thoughts and feelings of trauma and loss. They carry their un-mourned losses, which can accumulate and compound over time, into the future. This training will explore the use of the companioning model of “catch-up” mourning. Helping the griever acknowledge, embrace, and express un-mourned pain is a viable alternative to other approaches, which sometimes seek to eradicate symptoms without exploring their source and without honoring their expression. Yet mourning is an essential process that helps people suffering from PTSD come out of the dark and into the light.
Come join us and open yourself to this holistic approach to helping people who meet the symptom or diagnostic criteria for PTSD, but who actually need the support to authentically mourn the trauma and the carried grief that has transformed their lives.
- Companioning the Mourner: From Theory to Practice
- Companioning the Traumatized Griever: Reframing PTSD as “Catch-Up” Mourning
- Comprehensive Bereavement Skills Training
- Counseling Skills Fundamentals
- Exploring the Depression of Grief
- Exploring the Shadow of the Ghosts of Grief
- Exploring the Spiritual Dimensions of Death, Grief and Mourning
- Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Grief
- Living with Meaning and Purpose in Your Life
- Suicide Grief: Companioning the Mourner
- Support Group Facilitator Training
- Understanding and Responding to Complicated Mourning