Preparing for Traumatic Exposure; Practical Strategies for Interpreter Self-Health

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  • Ron Lybarger, Ph.D.SLS KC Spring 2014

  • Discuss the nature of traumatic exposure

    The nature of interpreting related stress-how do you cope?

    Coping strategies-stress management training/resources

    Professional Quality of Life Scales-Revised

    Emphasize personal responsibility

  • Under stress (fight or flight) muscles tense and blood flow is restricted to the main body and reduced to the hands and feet

    Warmer hands->more relaxed->less cortisol Colder hands->increased stress->more cortisol

    There is significant variance between individuals-take time to find your set point

  • 1987-met Deaf man-JCCC-KSD-Park University1990-A.A.S.-Sign Language Interpreting-B.S. Addiction Studies-MCDPDHHI>600 Deaf1992 M.A.-Counseling Psychology1995-UMKC-KSD-Private Practice1996-caseload of interpreters1999-Ph.D. Counseling Psychology2006 Sorenson-2012-911 Project Hundreds of Workshops and Trauma Debriefings

  • The ability to grow and thrive in the face of life's challenges and bounce back from adversity

    Increase self-awareness

    Improve self-regulation

    Enhance your ability to manage energy and emotion in a stressful situation

  • The natural consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about and exposure to a traumatizing experience of a significant other (Figley, 1995)

    Caring people sometimes experience pain as a direct result of exposure to others traumatic material.it is the natural, predictable, treatable, and preventable unwanted consequence of working with suffering people. (Figley, 1999)

  • Occupational hazards of interpreting can include extreme & chronic stress, exposure to direct trauma, secondary trauma, depression, and burnout

    Denial can be a natural response to these conditions

    Your trauma history will impact your emotional processing and reactions

    Unidentified, unresolved trauma is likely to be activated by similar reports of consumers

  • In order to be self-aware and professionally effective as possible, we need to become more aware of our own issues, identify resources, and seek the necessary support

    Interpreters must have your own sources of support and resources or your work and personal lives will be affected

  • Physiological arousalDepressionAnxietyDisrupted interpersonal relationshipsIncreased sensitivity to violenceCynicismSocial WithdrawalSleep ProblemsSubstance AbuseEating disordersFeelings of hopelessness

  • Tardiness or absenteeism

    Loss of motivation/energy

    Increased procrastination

    Social withdrawal

    Cynicism

    Resentment/indifference/defiance

    Increased use of substances

  • Body, mind and spirit run out of resources

    Mental, physical and emotional damage

    Adrenals become depleted-blood sugar plummets-decreased stress tolerance

    Progressive mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion-illness-collapse

  • Being depressed or having symptoms make you more vulnerable to the negative effects of stressDepressed mood most of the day, nearly every dayDiminished interest or pleasure in activitiesAppetite disturbance-weight gain or lossInsomnia or hypersomniaFatigue or loss of energyFeelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guiltDifficulty with concentration/decision makingThoughts of death-suicidal ideationFamily history increases vulnerability 2-4X Average of 8 years after symptoms appear that folks seek professional assistance

  • Cardiovascular disease

    Musculoskeletal disorders

    Psycho-emotional disorders

    Workplace injury

    Suicide, cancer, ulcers and impaired immune function

  • Few people receive formal training on how to manage stress-Im gonna provide you some!Training and preparation is the best defense for effectively coping with stressIndividuals with good stress management skills are happier and more productive both personally and professionallyExercise, meditation, and yoga all are beneficial in multiple waysPrevention is the most effective stress management strategy

  • Fight or flightMuscle tensionIncreased heart rateEyes dilateBreathing changesStomach may clenchBiologically/neurologically wired for survivalWhen perception of stress subsides, body returns to normal-homeostasis

  • Hypothalamus signals adrenals to produce cortisolCortisol is a chemical messenger in the body-it causes the liver to release energyProlonged exposure=increased risk of long term damageAffects bodies ability to use insulinCortisol-visceral fatIncreases blood pressureDe-stabilizes glycemic levelsCan cause sugar/fat cravingsAffects encoding of memory

  • High cortisol levels cause us to age more quickly and increase the risk of heart disease.

    Leads to depletion of essential nutrients.

    High cortisol levels increase your risk of infection because it weakens the immune system and increases the breakdown of muscle and tissue.

  • Overtime, the adrenal glands cannot meet the demands of continued stress and become fatigued.

    Adrenal fatigue eventually results in lower cortisol because the glands cannot continue the elevated production.

    Low cortisol levels due to adrenal fatigue causes many unpleasant symptoms and increases the risk of health conditions such as heart disease.

  • Eating is a mood altering experienceFood choices effect our ability to cope with stress-glycemic controlAnxiety and stress cause the body and mind to crave sweet, fatty foods These foods/substances suppress the chemical stress response happening in our bodies.also release pain relieving hormonesSimple carbs>tryptophan>serotonin

  • Bodys response to long term stress

    Ongoing secretion of hormones-corticosteroids

    Increase in blood sugar levels

    Increased blood pressure

    Overuse of bodys reserves

    Eventually leads to disease

  • Discussion of cognitive errors/distorted thinking and how it contributes to life/occupational stress

  • Emotion impedes rational thinking and sabotages effective decision makingLearn to identify emotions and thought patterns that contribute to changes in yourUnderstand how your emotions contribute to your behaviorPractice managing and modifying your emotions Reduce intensity and duration of painful emotions Identify and manage your emotional vulnerability

  • Automatic thoughts

    Irrational thinking

    Rational rebuttal

  • Learn to recognize and define what is stressful for you

    Identify unhealthy behaviors you use to cope

    Take decisive actions to create new more effective coping strategies-BABY STEPS

    Learn to take care of yourself

    Get support

  • Identify and manage sources of stress

    Relaxation techniques

    Thought management

    Stress prevention

  • Exercise

    Meditation

    Yoga

    Spiritual activity

    Rest

    Maintain a rational perspective

  • The mental and physical effects of exercise are far more profound and complex than we once thoughtRegular exercise=neuroplasticity-neurogenesisRegular exercise improves your mood, decreases anxiety, improves sleep, decreases physiological and psychological effects of stress and raises self-esteemProven antidote to stress and aging1 hour of exercise + 2 hours of life expectancy

  • Hippocampus

  • The term meditation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration. Walsh & Shapiro, American Psychologist 4/06

  • Goal is to aim for continuous focus primarily on one object such as the breath

    Meditation is simply focusing on your breath

  • Clinical observations and initial research suggest that personal meditation can mediate the costs of professional stress including:BurnoutDepressionAnxietyJob satisfactionEfficacyInterpersonal relationships

    Walsh & Shapiro, American Psychologist 4/06

  • Personal meditation practice has shown effectiveness in:Reducing stressEnhancing empathyImproving life satisfactionIncreasing self-compassion

    Walsh & Shapiro, American Psychologist 4/06

  • A growing body of scientific research supports the efficacy of a regular yoga practice for stress reduction/remediation

    Yoga's emphasis on breathing and the mind/body/spirit connection yields strong psychological and emotional benefits

  • A short lived gas that tremendously affects your bodys functionHighest levels in the nasal pharynxStimulating NO promotes wakefulnessNot enough NO promotes aging of the skinHelps dilate arteries and enhances blood flowHas a calming effect on the nervous systemRoizen & Ozz 2007

  • Treating yourself with the same kindness and care youd treat a loved one or friendAvoid harsh and irrational critiques or negative generalizations about yourselfEmploying a gentle nonjudgmental approach with ourselves helps with resilience, stress management and enhances the ability to bounce back after strugglesSelf-gratitude Give yourself a fist bumpreally!

  • Compassion Satisfaction

    Burnout

    Compassion Fatigue/Secondary Trauma

  • Emerging research has shown that yoga: reduces stressimproves sleepreduces cortisol levelslowers blood pressurelowers heart rateincreases personal perception of well-beingreduces overall anxiety and muscle tensionincreases strength and flexibility

  • Average: 37 (39 for terps)

    Above 42-all right!

    Below 33-cant get no satisfaction..