Professionals across a variety of specialty areas who work with traumatic events and the persons who are affected by these incidents must employ many techniques which support their understanding of the plight of these victims, the severity of the trauma, its far-reaching impacts, and its influence on the surrounding environment and the survivors who are left behind. Their roles are diverse and encompass a variety of duties, but they share some common goals and objectives to ensure that traumatic events are handled properly, professionally, and with the aim to support victims. At the same time, exposure to traumatic events on a repeated basis can be problematic and contribute to problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder and the inability to cope with these incidents. Therefore, coping strategies and the ability to be resilient are critical for workers who are exposed to traumas and they must develop cohesive responses to these events which improve their coping abilities and long-term wellbeing.
Traumatic experiences are common among many professions, such as police, fire, and paramedics, among others; therefore, their routine encounters with persons near death or who have died can be very difficult to process and manage over time (Oginska-Bulik & Kobylarczyk, 2015). It is likely that for some professionals who witness traumatic events, they gain strength and resiliency from these events over time, particularly when they have a greater tendency to appreciate what life has to offer and to believe in what they already have in their own lives (Oginsak-Bulik & Kobylarczyk, 2015). These individuals must develop a high level of resiliency based upon their experiences and also recognize the good in others and in their own interpersonal relationships; this process often leads to new discoveries and the development of greater compassion and understanding of the plight of other people who face traumas, along with greater emotions regarding these events (Oginsak-Bulik & Kobylarczyk, 2015). It is anticipated that trauma workers may develop coping skills out of a sheer need for resilient behaviors after witness traumatic events as part of their regular routines (Oginsak-Bulik & Kobylarczyk, 2015).
A variety of coping mechanisms are common among trauma workers because these experiences are very difficult to endure regularly; some of the most common areas of focus include self-reflection to address the emotional context of traumas; shared resilience in a traumatic reality (SRTR) to allow persons who share traumatic experiences to establish relationships and share individual insights; and meditation and/or yoga which offer the ability to relax and let go of some of the most difficult emotions related to these traumas (Nuttman-Shwartz, 2014; Cocker & Joss, 2016). Traumatic experiences require workers to adjust to a variety of daunting and dramatic situations and to make decisions quickly; therefore, these actions require the development of coping mechanisms which are designed to support these actions and facilitate effective outcomes (Cocker & Joss, 2016). In addition, these actions provide individuals with different opportunities to promote resiliency and their capacity to move forward with their lives.
Specifically, SRTR allows trauma workers to identify shared experiences to achieve greater resilience and to achieve greater cohesion and strength from others who have had the same encounters (Nuttman-Shwartz, 2014). This process may provide workers with bonding time with colleagues who have witnessed the same traumas and can relate on a personal level, thereby promoting greater resiliency and strength among colleagues (Nuttman-Shwartz, 2014). Furthermore, self-reflection to consider the weight and significance of the trauma to support a positive course of action is critical to workers’ strength and ability to move on from these situations without significant scars or harm (Nuttman-Shwartz, 2014). Self-reflection is critical to allow persons to embrace their emotions and to acknowledge that these emotions are natural and they should not be embarrassed or discouraged by these actions. Finally, yoga and meditation are two options that are available to trauma workers to manage their emotions through relaxation and exercise. These activities allow trauma workers to develop a more cohesive focus and to acknowledge that they struggle with traumatic events as part of the daily routine. Their responses to these events are not unusual or unacceptable and should not be viewed as such because these experiences are very challenging; therefore, yoga and meditation can serve as options to cope with traumas by engaging in techniques which allow the mind and body to focus on other activities and to promote relaxation as a form of effective coping. These strategies are important in providing trauma workers with the ability to refocus on other activities and to develop a greater level of compassion and understanding for the plight of other people.
Individuals who work in and around traumatic events and who witness near-death or death experiences often struggle with these encounters and experience their own levels of emotional turmoil related to these actions. For workers in these areas, they must engage in a variety of coping strategies which may be useful in allowing them to share their emotions with other people and relate to them more effectively, to participate in self-reflection to evaluate the positive aspects of their lives, and to emphasize meditation and yoga to allow them to refocus and to relax as best as possible. These strategies are important in providing a greater means of learning how to cope with traumas and in supporting the development of activities which are specifically designed to facilitate mechanisms to promote effective coping and long-term wellbeing going forward.
- Cocker, F., & Joss, N. (2016). Compassion fatigue among healthcare, emergency and community
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- Nuttman-Shwartz, O. (2015). Shared resilience in a traumatic reality: A new concept for trauma
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- Ogińska-Bulik, N., & Kobylarczyk, M. (2015). Relation between resiliency and post-traumatic
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