Working with clients who have PTSD and experienced a traumatic event is an honor and a privilege.
PTSD develops in people who have seen or experienced an event that is shocking, scary, or dangerous. These events may be from war, domestic violence or abuse, or other trauma. It’s what happens to their bodies when their choices are taken from them.
Most people have experienced some level of trauma in their lives. It doesn’t always need to be a major event to have an impact on our lives.
I began volunteering for People’s Medicine Project last September to learn how to make with clients that have experienced trauma or have PTSD. I still have more to learn to become a trauma-informed practitioner.
For me, it means holding space to listen without providing advice unless asked.
Never passing judgment on a client’s experience or condition.
Not assuming a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
Empowering clients to make decisions and goals to heal and move forward.
In every session with a new client, I ask if there is an area in which they prefer not to be touched. Or, if there is a part of their body that is more sensitive to touch than other areas. If they do not feel comfortable using verbal cues to respond, they can use hand signals to let me know to stop or move on.
Working with this population (and everyone for that matter) comes down to two words: trust and safety. I do my best to hold and practice these values with all of my clients in every session.
When we feel safe, we are better able to receive the benefit of compassionate touch.