Practical strategies and techniques to help you and your children to process the trauma more effectively.
Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 pm
Christ the King Church, entrance is in the back
4700 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, CT
This is workshop is FREE, and open to the public. Please, no children.
- How to talk with your child about traumatic events
- How trauma affects our bodies
- How we can help the natural process of healing
Handouts, Resources and Refreshments will be available
Valerie Gillies is a Licensed Family Therapist and EMDR clinician. Her practice is solely focused on children who have attachment and trauma challenges. She takes a holistic, systemic approach, and involves parents, school, sensory processing, play, exercise and nutrition in treatment. She is the mother of 5 children, aged 14-28, and writes for the syndicated blog: Mothering In the Middle.
Dawn Roy, Linda Rost, Karen Alter-Reid, Cheryl Kenn and Susan Marcus are among the other licensed trauma specialists who will be on hand for this presentation, and will be available to engage in discussion with parents.
If you have any questions please contact the EMDR HAP office at (203) 288-4450.
Sponsored by EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP) 2911 Dixwell Ave Suite 201 Hamden, CT 06518 www.emdrhap.org
HAP is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to build the capacity of underserved communities to meet their needs for effective trauma therapy throughout the world. HAP has been a part of healing communities in all 50 states and 33 countries around the world. We remain committed to families and communities through support and education of the effects of trauma and how it can be dealt with successfully.
In the course of a lifetime most of us will experience, directly or indirectly, several personally shocking or traumatic incidents. Witnessing, experiencing or being close to a shocking event is one such example. There are normal reactions to these intense and/or abnormal events. Although some of these reactions can be painful, they are part of the natural healing process. If you have experienced an intense personal situation or a shocking/traumatic event recently, some possible responses might be:
- Shock and disbelief-Immediately after learning about a traumatic event many people feel numb or feel like such an event can’t be real.
- Speculation about what happened and information seeking – Listening to or watching news, checking the internet for updates, talking to others about what you know or have heard.
- Wanting to turn off the TV and the radio “make it all go away” for a while.
- Feelings of sadness or anger about the tragedy and discussing these feelings with others.
- Wanting to check in with loved ones, even if they are not close to the disaster or in immediate danger. It is normal to want to touch base with someone you care about.
- If you are in a role where you need to attend to or provide for others, you may not be aware of your own feelings until the immediate crisis is over.
In the hours and days following such tragedies, the shock begins to wear off and it is possible that other feelings may emerge. It is also possible that no other feelings will emerge. Everyone’s reaction is individual and perfectly OK. In the cases when other feelings emerge-these feelings might include anger, sadness, fear, panic or depression. It is important to share these feelings with people whom you trust.
What You Can Do To Take Care Of Yourself: Promoting a Healthy Response
- Talk with people about what you are experiencing-parents, friends, super visor, pastor, counselor-someone you feel comfortable sharing with.
- Breathe – slow and deep abdominal breathing.
- Maintain regular exercise.
- Eat healthy-don’t skip meals, don’t eat excessively.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
- Schedule your time and meet as many of your usual commitments and activities as possible.
- Take time to be alone in order to listen to yourself. Give yourself permission to have your feelings, whatever they are. Also, give yourself permission NOT to have intense feeling about the situation.
- Don’t withdraw for an extended period of time.
- Avoid overextending yourself in your work or in new commitments.
- • Remind yourself that you’re normal and are having normal reactions-your reactions may be different from your friends and that’s OK-reactions are very individualistic.
- Engaging in excessive substance use (alcohol or other drugs) to numb or escape is not advisable. It often only delays or intensifies emotional responses.
- Don’t label your reactions or the reactions of others as weak, strange, wrong, or crazy.
- Transfer the energy of anger into productive activities within your community.
- Ask others directly for what you need and want.
- Help others.
- Pray, meditate, spend time in nature, or do whatever suits your belief system and allows you to connect with something larger than yourself.
Action That You Can Take With Others
- Show that you hear their feelings and that you care through your choice of words and behaviors.
- Just be with them
- If appropriate, respect their desire to grieve in their own way
- Assist people with solving immediate concerns or problems
- Help connect people with available resources
- Reassure them that they are safe
- Be particularly aware of those already vulnerable to depression, mood swings and suicidal thoughts
Within Your Community (when the situation calls for it):
- Find ways to contribute your unique talents and areas of expertise to your community
- Provide opportunities in classrooms or in work settings for people to talk with each other about their reactions to the recent events – right now people need a sense of community, safety, and places to talk
- Initiate or contribute to communications with others that help to create a sense of safety and healing
Sometimes It Might Be Good To Consider Professional Counseling if:
- You are experiencing memories of previous losses, traumas, or crisis.
- You are experiencing heightened feelings of anxiety, fear for your own safety, or rage.
- You are crying more than usual in response to sadness and fear.
- You are experiencing difficulty sleeping or nightmares.
- You become angry or upset more easily than typical.
- You notice a tendency to isolate yourself or withdraw.
Changes in behavior are usually significant when they interfere with usual activities, change behavior in significant ways, or persist for more than two weeks. If you are having these responses, ask for help.
(Adapted from Eastern Kentucky University – 2012)
2-1-1 is available 24 hours to connect families with the resources they need in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Wellspring Counseling Center is available to all local communities for support and counseling during this difficult time.
Please call 203-758-2296
The Arch Bridge School at Wellspring is participating in the Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards Program. Through March 28, 2013, we can earn CASH through this exciting program each time our parents and friends shop at any Stop & Shop store.
You can help!
Log on to www.stopandshop.com/aplus and choose “Designate Your School” from the A+ menu found under “Our Stores” to register your card online. Then, each time you shop at any Stop & Shop using your STOP & SHOP Card, you will earn cash for our school! You can track the amount of points you earn for our school by checking your grocery receipt and online when you create an account at www.stopandshop.com. Each month, the amount of cash awarded will be updated on the Stop & Shop website. Wellspring will receive a check at the end of the program. The money can be used for any of our school’s educational needs!
Last year we earned over $700 which were were able to use to purchase planners for our students. These daily planners are a portal of communication between our parents and school staff.
Taking just a minute of your time to register can make a huge difference to our school. We need your support! Please be sure to register Arch Bridge School using ID # 05773 at www.stopandshop.com/aplus . Also, don’t forget to encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. It could mean the world to our school!
More than 200 attendees found their way to the little town of Bethlehem, September 8 to celebrate Wellspring’s 35th Anniversary. The heavy rains and threat of tornadoes couldn’t keep the former staff, alum, and friends of Wellspring from joining in the celebration.
The day’s activities included music performed by former staff and residents, testimonials of “life after Wellspring” from graduates of Wellspring’s programs and a heartfelt message from co-founders Richard and Phyllis Beauvais:
“If we as founders have done anything, we have worked to create and sustain a culture of healing to which others, in turn, have responded and have added their gifts. Wellspring has always been a community effort, for there is no other way to do this work. And as a community dedicated to healing, our focus continues to be the fostering of wholeness – body, mind, heart and spirit – in the mysterious uniqueness of each individual. Individuals become persons only through relationship, and at the heart of true relationship is love.”
Wellspring CEO, Dan Murray, shared news of Wellspring’s recent awards and partnerships:
- The Arch Bridge School at Wellspring has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) as an Independent School and approved by the State of Connecticut as a Private School
- Wellspring has been approved as an out of state school by the New York State Department of Education
- Wellspring has partnered with local school districts to provide consultative services in the area of special education and behavioral health to help districts identify and work with children experiencing emotional issues
In the three-and-a-half decades of the organization’s existence, Wellspring has provided services to over 3,500 individuals and their families in their residential, outpatient, and school programs.