Our hearts and thoughts go out to everyone affected by the tragedies in Dallas, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Seattle, Oakland, and Orlando.
‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror
which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.’
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Roosevelt’s famous quote is applicable today because fear is one of the emotions triggered by these recent events.
Fear is an automatic psychological and physical reaction to a perceived threat. Fear fuels negative emotions and behaviors related to unresolved trauma.
Incidents like those in Dallas, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Seattle, Oakland, and Orlando play into our collective automatic fear response because they are random and unpredictable.
The national trauma response also fuels feelings of helplessness and hopelessness for many people. The repetitive news coverage heightens the feelings of imminent danger.
Understanding what has happened to us in the past allows us to manage emotions and behaviors today and in the future.
It’s important for adults to reassure children in the wake of these tragedies and shield the youngest children from much of the news coverage. In order to reassure children, we first have to reassure ourselves.
Now that we are aware these feelings, how do we deal with them when faced with today’s events and future man-made or natural disasters?
Using Sanctuary model of trauma informed care, we can:
• Understand these feelings are a normal reaction
• Evaluate what has happened in past and how it affects today’s response
• Identify our emotions triggered by past and current events. Process the emotions and loss connected to those events.
• Challenge our thoughts today based on this knowledge
• Make a list of how we are safe today and how to maintain safety
• Identify and use coping skills that have helped us feel safe in the past
• Maintain our usual routines, get rest, and continue to do things we enjoy.
• Limit exposure to media coverage and put coverage into perspective with everyday life.
• Talk to others about their fears and listen to how they are coping.
Counseling & Recovery Services is available to help people of all ages cope with traumatic events and create a future of growth and change.