This educational video will present recovered survivors and therapists discussing their experiences with the healing process after traumatic events.This film will sensitively present insight into the impact of trauma in the survivor's life, however, the main focus of the film is on what helped or did not help them during their healing process.
This educational video will present recovered survivors and therapists discussing their experiences with the healing process after traumatic events. This film will sensitively present insight into the impact of trauma in the survivor's life, however, the main focus of the film is on what helped or did not help them during their healing process.
Survivors of trauma often have difficulty believing that they will ever recover. This film provides a message of hope, but also first hand information on what was helpful to others in similar situations.
The video is useful to both therapists and survivors in guiding their recovery efforts in a positive direction. Family members and community will also learn how they can assist in the recovery of their friends, loved ones and neighbors. A ten minute version suitable for trainings and workshops is included in the professional version.
The six therapists featured are all members of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies:
Marlene E. Coach, Ed.D MSW
Charles R. Figley,Ph.D
Chalsa M. Loo, Ph.D
Frank M. Ochberg, MD
David P. Ribbe, Ph.D
Frank Smyth, Journalist Prisoner-of-War.
Mary, Sexual Assault Survivor.
Angelea Panos, Ph.D. for her wisdom and support.
Many of the statements made by the survivors in the video echoed those made by the survivors I have worked with over the past 25 years.
The accurate and practical information disseminated by the combination of survivors and therapists is powerful. The video "demystifies" the symptoms of PTSD. It removes the stigma of Pathology.
Survivors already feel isolated from the rest of the world. This video goes far beyond simply telling the story because telling the story is just the beginning. Connecting with the pain by integrating the event into one's life story seems to distill out as the second step in healing and recovery. ("Weaving it into the fabric of your life" is what I tell my survivors). Finding a way to make the event a historical event that is "enormous" and one that you will never forget. However, it no longer intrudes into the present preventing you from experiencing joy, peace, and love.
I particularly enjoyed Dr. Ochberg's explanation of the PTSD symptoms. This is the first video that "maps out" the many faces of PTSD from the reactions themselves to suggestions for healing and recovery. Dr. Charles Figley described the fear of repetition in a way that survivors can understand. Dr. Marlene Coach's description of how families can add to the pain of PTSD was very useful, too.
I came away from this video with the confirmation that PTSD is not a mental illness. It's a condition of adaptation, accommodation, and integration. "Mary" said it in a different and more powerful way when she said: "My life ended and then it began." Adapting and respecting the enormity of the trauma helps survivors accommodate the changes and ultimately to integrate the event into their lives. The final message is that there is "hope." That message comes through from therapists and survivors alike. Survivors need to know that there is a light ahead. The power of the human spirit across all traumas and all cultures is consistent. We are truly "all in this together."
And I still find the song that Patti Austin sings "We're all in this Together," extremely powerful. I play the entire song at the end of my debriefings; it gets to the core of my toughest cops.
Dr. Beverly Anderson
Clinical Director & Administrator, Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program, Washington, DC
33 Minutes, includes 10 min. presentation DVD
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