We know that traumatic stress can adversely affect the functioning of individuals in their environments - whether it is learning in school, participating in extracurricular activities or working in a job. The PTSM model can help to expedite natural recovery and accelerate restoration of the normal environment.
The STRN Manager works together with the requesting organization to provide consultation and, if requested and mutually agreeable, to mobilize the team to facilitate 1-3 sessions. It is important to emphasize that the administrator of the organization extending the invitation to the STRN to participate in a postvention remains in charge, unless otherwise specified.
In the event of a traumatic incident, call the STRN Manager (617-625-6600x4325 or 857-221-0942), to discuss the situation. They can provide resource information and determine if a face-to-face meeting to assess if an intervention or mobilization of the STRN is in order. The STRN Manager is also available for follow-up consultation as needed. The role of STRN Manager is to assess and evaluate if, or which, of the services offered below are appropriate to the situation.
Post Traumatic Stress Orientation (PTSO)
A PTSO is a psycho educational group intervention offered following a traumatic incident to people who have been impacted by the event.
By conducting a PTSO, the STRN provides the group with an immediate safe environment for post-disaster learning by offering a secure and familiar environment with no interruptions. The environment is specifically chosen by a support person familiar to and trusted by the affected community. The trauma responders assist in a response only when, and if, these affected individuals or their representative invite them to assist in the aftermath of an incident. When possible, at least one (but more, ideally) of the trauma responders will be a known adult to the impacted group.
The TRN focuses the intervention on teaching about the traumatic stress response, offers self-care techniques that focus on the body and its response to trauma and assists the group in identifying personal coping strategies that are essential for healing. This intervention is specifically geared to the identification of community and individual resources for coping and does not focus on eliciting the narrative of the group or its individuals. This intervention does, however, offer a unique opportunity for trauma responders to assess the level of acuity of the group and its individuals, verify concrete information about the event and the victims, and "set the stage" for future traumatic incident response interventions.
The PTSO is an excellent way to offer supportive services to a group without exposing the affected people to potentially harmful incident narratives.
A Coping Group is a confidential and very structured psycho-educational group intervention offered to people within the same circle of risk following a traumatic incident. The major purpose of a Coping Group is to allow people impacted by the event to tell their stories in a safe environment, and to plan for moving on in the next short period.
The following issues are addressed:
- Individuals share their own narratives of the incident and their reactions
- Normalization and teaching about trauma
- Resource identification
- Sharing of coping strategies
- Immediate future planning
- Information and resources are provided
Compassionate Presence/Psychological First Aid
When requested by the group or authorized representative of the group, the STRN can serve as a compassionate presence and provide psychological first aid at events such as wakes, funerals, and/or memorial services where there is concern about the impact of the incident on the youth community.
The ultimate driving force in conducting any intervention is the desire to "do no harm."