Advice from therapist for dealing with trauma

Advice from therapist for dealing with trauma

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 9:27 PM

Traumatic events like last week's shootings in Conn. and at the Clackamas Town Center can have a lasting effect on the survivors and the community, and trauma specialists want people to know there are resources available to help them cope.

"Likely they'll be experiencing a wide variety of emotions," said trauma therapist Karen Mindt-Howell. "They should be prepared for ups and downs from hour to hour and day to day. We often see mental, cognitive and physical reactions to this kind of trauma."

Click for more on managing distress after a shooting

People could see symptoms including trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, fear of public places, depression and anxiety.  Mindt-Howell said even for people who weren't there, such symptoms are possible, and even more likely among people who have experienced past trauma.

Adults often find it difficult to talk with children about events like these, and Mindt-Howell said parents should start the conversation.

"If they saw it on TV or heard about it at school, ask them what they heard about," she said. "Give them on opportunity to talk. Let them know that whatever they want to talk about is fine."

Crisis help is available through Clackamas County, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers can speak with crisis counselors by calling (503) 655-8585.

A Facebook page was also set up to help support the victims and their families

Click here to share your condolences or experiences

Mindt-Howell is involved with a group called the EMDR therapist network, and she said the group was bringing together volunteers and therapists to help survivors of the Clackamas shooting.

Click for more from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Click here for updates from the Oregon Psychological Association

 

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