Principles of Practice & Ethical Considerations for Working with Trauma Survivors
What you will learn
- Understand the questions and issues to consider when offering trauma survivors truly informed consent.
- Create an awareness of the breadth of what it means to respect the rights and dignity of trauma survivors, and understand how to do this practically in a clinical setting.
- Know specific steps you can take as a practitioner to maintain clinical transparency when treating trauma survivors.
- Value the importance of understanding what cultural competency means, how to be culturally competent, and why this is important to ethical treatment of trauma survivors.
- Be aware of special considerations with respect to scope of practice that are relevant when treating trauma survivors.
- Be aware of languaging approaches that are effective in working with trauma survivors in treatment situations.
This course explores the ethical principles that are important to consider when working with trauma survivors. It presents a foundation for understanding the physiological, psycho-emotional and energetic dynamics of trauma from the perspective of neuro-biology and Five-Element Chinese medicine.
Trauma creates profound experiences of dysregulation in the body, mind and spirit of survivors that impact ethical considerations of our work in important ways. Specifically, trauma survivors may suffer from impaired cognition, compromised capacity for social engagement, profound shame and dissociation. Their capacity for trusting a clinician, asking questions that are the foundation of truly informed consent to treatment, navigating the complexities of dissociation, shame and dysregulated affect all impact their experience inside and outside of the treatment room.
It is our responsibility to provide treatment that rests on the principles of respecting rights and dignity; is humble in the presence of cultural differences, addresses the dynamics of power and authority, shame and guilt between first world and third world peoples in international service projects; does not discriminate based on race, class, gender, or sexual preference, and respects our patient’s boundaries. We are charged with knowing our scope of practice, and knowing when to refer or confer with other providers. Sexual contact is absolutely prohibited. We must keep appropriate records and comply with both the rules and the privacy intentions of HIPPA in terms of our clinical interactions, documentation and records.
While these ethical principles are the foundation of our work with all clients, trauma survivors present with unique challenges that require our thoughtful reflection, consideration and cultivation of practices that support safety and relationship, regulation and balance, transformation and healing of these often fragile people.
This foundation serves as a departure point for exploring the critical choices a practitioner must make in order to provide ethical treatment for trauma survivors. The principles. With this awareness, practitioners can make situationally appropriate choices with respect to a variety of areas including: patient consent, respecting right and dignity, clinical transparency, cultural competency, non-discrimination, and scope of practice.
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