Medical staff often ask sensitive questions, examining intimate body parts, and treatments can be painful. Investigators should let victims know the interview could take a while and allow them to take breaks, and should begin by engaging on relevant topics, gathering background information and asking about topics they care about. For those who are struggling with true symptoms related to a trauma, you would want to ask if the person feels like a victim and be empathic when discussing this. The Question Never to Ask a Victim of Domestic Violence Posted in Health , News In all the years I have been blessed to counsel victims of domestic violence, there is one question they unanimously tell me was the most painful to hear from well-meaning, but clearly … Here are some examples of follow-up questions: “When you say that he gave you a funny look, can you describe that a little more.”, “You said there was a ‘tussle,’ can you describe that more?”, “Your friend was not there at that point?”, “Were your other friends there? Now it is rather the norm. Try listening first. National Office. Enter “https://www.gov1.com/” and click OK. 10 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask Sexual Assault Survivors. It is critical to keep in mind that a victim’s reality is your reality when preparing for and conducting investigative interviews with potential trafficking victims. Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short Form (CTQ-SF) The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire is a validated screening tool to assess for adolescents’ self-reported experiences of child maltreatment that can be purchased for use. They all have websites. One way to monitor progress is for the therapist to ask the client to rate his symptoms. “Cops are not therapists,” said Satinsky. When there are memory discrepancies with re-investigation, Satinsky recommended letting the victim reread their initial statements to police. #5 Reassure victims and provide services: When it’s not a serialized case, Satinsky said, give victims the power to decide which way the case goes. 17 Questions to Ask Yourself After Experiencing Trauma For PTSD Awareness Month , I couldn’t be more excited to bring some education and truth to the subject. A mature and successful professional will always want to be part of a professional group larger than themselves. The webinar revealed a series of “Dos and Don’ts” for investigators conducting cold case sexual assault interviews: At the close of the interview, investigators should summarize what was learned, which helps reassure the victim he or she has been heard. 1 ... • Give family opportunity to ask you questions . And while most children, most of the time are safe, secure and protected, some are not. “Face-to-face notification reduces anxiety and provides a personal touch,” she said. Almost everyone in society has been exposed to trauma and mental illness in their families. Hopefully they also belong to their local professional chapter: for social workers NASW, for psychologists, APA, the AMA if they are a psychiatrist, and so on. Depression and anxiety, 28(1), 67-75. Also, the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress certify practitioners in a number of traumatic specialty areas including crisis response, child, etc. We ask Between 30% and 80% of those with post-traumatic stress disorder will also suffer from depression (Ducrocq et al., 2004). When your One needs to recognize that the questions could be upsetting or trigger a client. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children: impact of the trauma narrative and treatment length. So don’t be put off by a therapist who had a lengthy therapy themselves. There has been a big debate in the media about this, but in the world of professional trauma therapy the debate has been over for a while. 3. If you know you have lots of trauma, or lack a significant portion of childhood memories (dissociative amnesia) you have a higher likelihood of a false and unhelpful diagnosis if your therapist does not specialize in trauma and dissociation. question about this. Keeping them encouraged and engaged in the process can help alleviate emotions. 4) Have you completed your own course of therapy? Victim advocate Interview Questions "When hiring victim advocates, employers are looking for candidates who possess the listening skills and compassion to help victims of traumatic experiences seek legal and personal support. 3. The open-ended questions should be asked with an empathetic tone, and not be accusatory in style, Satinsky said. Satinsky recommended avoiding pursuing drug charges: The sensory details in sexual assault cases are those “we weren’t taught to ask for before, or didn’t know what to do with it,” Satinsky said, noting that they serve to help prosecutors and investigators identify corroborating evidence. Trauma Exposure Measures. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. So it is important that the therapist has had enough of their own therapy to understand how their own mind defends itself and operates unconsciously so that they can work well with other minds. Trauma-informed teaching is designed to foster independence, build respect, and teach inner discipline. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A 12 Hour Workshop Covering Basic TF-CBT Theory, Components, Skills, and Resources (2013). r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. Trauma-Informed Victim Interviewing; Trauma-Informed Victim Interviewing. Lexipol. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children: impact of the trauma narrative and treatment length. If the victim says “night,” leave it at that for the time being, Satinsky said. Tell her you’d like to tell it. “We don’t want to make logical jumps,” he cautioned. Look for a box or option labeled “Home Page (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)” or “On Startup (Chrome)”. This is where victim advocates are essential – they engage in safety planning, along with rapport building and answering victims’ questions. Ask if they want to know about support resources, and help them explore the options and choice, but allow them to choose how they engage with those resources. Give the survivor the opportunity to share any additional information. Many of us have probably experienced an event that we struggle to not only forget, but emotionally cope with. The second set of questions focus on the victim’s fear. We want answers, and we want help, and we want it now!!! This is an awkward but TOTALLY FAIR question, one, quite frankly, that I wish more people would ask. The interview is the victims’ time to tell their stories, but it may be years since initial police reports were filed. Again, it is important that one follow a trauma-informed approach when asking these questions. We also provide training, technical assistance and coaching to peer workforces. Major depression is a common problem following exposure to trauma. Interviews with sexual assault cold case victims tend to require follow-up for many reasons. After a recorded interview, investigators should listen to it to catch any missed details, and also improve victim interview performance. You wouldn’t go to a general family doctor for a heart attack, so don’t think that any therapist can do this work. I understand; I have been there. Peers provide a unique opportunity to offer us essential feedback from the perspect… Andrea Fox is Editor of Gov1.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. National Office. Being trauma-informed when interviewing a victim or witness means that you are committed to not re-traumatizing them. • Become comfortable talking about details of sexual abuse and violence experi-ences with clients; victims of interpersonal traumas may be especially sensitive to nuances in the clinician’s voice and body language. Your answers to these questions can give you insight regarding the emotionally abusive behaviors you might be currently experiencing, can help you to identify the red flags of abuse and assess the level of toxicity in your relationship. Trauma often causes a loss of control and power for the trauma survivor, so interviews should focus on empowering the interviewee. Because of this, the trauma stays with the victims, and they can feel ashamed, broken and helpless, or flawed and unworthy. A surprising number of therapists have never been taught to work with dissociative disorders, don’t recognize them when they see them, and can waste years of patients’ time (not to mention money) by this lack of understanding. I hope Lauren and Beth’s insights about how to ask these difficult questions while still being kind and respectful, will be valuable to you. Rather, they experienced the trauma, so we should ask sensory and emotional, or experiential questions. That is why I am giving you a list you can bring with you to your first two or three sessions so that you can really make an informed decision about how well you and your therapist are a fit. Scale or Degree Questions. Successful Trauma Informed Victim Interviewing When gathering evidence during the investigation of sexual assault crimes, it is necessary for law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system, such as prosecutors, to ask the victim questions that they may find difficult to answer, in The webinar also reviewed several strategies for asking better interview questions. That includes formulating questions in a way that does not assign guilt or responsibility, but instead empowers victims and witnesses in assisting your efforts. Feel free to check them out. Your answers to these questions can give you insight regarding the emotionally abusive behaviors you might be currently experiencing, can help you to identify the red flags of abuse and assess the level of toxicity in your relationship. Many trauma wounds carry a lot of shame, particularly things like rape, abuse, trafficking, and domestic violence. This may be called “Tools” or use an icon like the cog. Say to victims, “I want to hear the whole story, everything you can remember, even if you don't think it's important.” Ask open-ended questions. Building rapport is the first step in interviewing victims in a trauma-informed way. Do cyber bullying victims and perpetrators fit any stereotypical profile? Someone who has suffered through a traumatic event could benefit from having the right type of both personal and professional support. The victim’s brain shuts down, affecting memory, he said. Victims may also exhibit unusual behaviors as they go back and recount their stories, like rocking back and forth. Forty-two percent have been raped before age 18. Not “Why didn’t you …? Here are some excellent questions to ask: 1) What professional organization(s) do you belong to? #3 Use a different approach: Let your victim talk, reassure them you are not there to judge them, Satinsky said. Trauma-Informed Victim Interviewing; Trauma-Informed Victim Interviewing. 12 . All rights reserved. Taking a few minutes to explain why those difficult questions have to be asked. Victim disclosure comes over time, because victims are still processing (see Neurobiology of Trauma, below). 1. Trauma 9 Steps to Healing Childhood Trauma as an Adult The healthiest response to childhood emotional wounds is also the rarest... Posted Apr 02, 2018 If memories start to surface in your therapy, you will want to make sure that you will be believed and helped. Depression and anxiety, 28(1), 67-75. questions at the end of the questionnaire ask about the child’s age, gender, and other background information. The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative hosted a live webinar, Key Considerations in Trauma-Informed Interviewing, on May 30, 2018, featuring Lieutenant Jordan Satinsky, deputy commander of the Montgomery County Police Department, and Marya L. Simmons, victim-witness unit supervisor for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. • Ask questions in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner. They will be best equipped to see your symptoms in context and may think to ask you questions and address other symptoms that a non-trauma informed therapist may not think about, e.g. The trauma narrative is the client’s telling of the story of their traumatic experience(s). Or go to your therapist’s website and investigate them deeply. But the sooner, the better. Six tips for interviewing people who’ve experienced trauma… Let’s face it, most of us don’t get ourselves into therapy until we are so broken and desperate we can barely get ourselves to the office. Select the option or tab named “Internet Options (Internet Explorer)”, “Options (Firefox)”, “Preferences (Safari)” or “Settings (Chrome)”. Victims may have more information after a few sleep cycles, he said. “You get so many details when you just let them talk,” he said. For example, you may say “I am going to ask you about how this violence changed your life. While those events make headlines,...continue reading Questions To Ask A Potential Therapist About Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario . Common misdiagnoses are bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia. See Klinic Community Health Centre’s Trauma-informed: The Trauma Toolkit for more information. I want you to know that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, and we don’t think that it is necessary that you place blame. Jennifer Freyd, cognitive psychologist at the University of Oregon, and editor of the ISSTD journal, did a great deal of work in the area of what she calls “betrayal trauma”, the trauma inflicted by a caregiver. While this is a complex issue, it actually can be managed with some brief interviewing and basic observation. Trauma Survivors Network c/o American Trauma Society 201 Park Washington Court Falls Church, VA 22046 Toll Free: 800-556-7890 Local: 703-538-3544 Most people are unaware of what it is exactly and reserve the diagnosis for those in the military coming back from war. 3) Do you understand and treat dissociative disorders? We frequently conduct webinars such as these, record them and turn them into courses (two more webinars on TIC will become courses in summer 2016) Forty-two percent have been raped before age 18. After the tips, you’ll find a short essay by Beth shedding more light on her experiences conducting these interviews. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Clients and Child Victims of Trauma How to Question Child Clients and Elicit Relevant Information Meredith Linsky Director, ABA Commission on Immigration December 2014 . Simmons said in one case, the victim being interviewed went to a corner and curled up in a fetal position. The preliminary investigator (beat cop, first responder, uniform officer) ask more general questions and looks for immediate actionable information. “If you don’t understand … don’t just shake your head,” said Satinsky. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A 12 Hour Workshop Covering Basic TF-CBT Theory, Components, Skills, and … Rescue and emergency workers, police officers, firefighters, and military personnel, can also benefit from this debriefing. “This is one of my cardinal rules of journalism...you will assume (and often be right) that the disaster survivor or grieving mother won’t want to talk to you. “Victims may respond in this manner.” Know when to give them space and understand that silence is okay, said Satinsky. Below is an alphabetical list of trauma exposure measures. That officer also has less time and has a lot more distractions ( a reason detectives don't have police radios going all the time) than a detective. The therapist might ask the client, "How is you depression today, on a scale of 1 to 10?" Some agencies think the whole team needs to be in the room with the victim, he said. Building rapport is the first step in interviewing victims in a trauma-informed way. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. “Survivors should have the right to say if their experience gets published. These questions take into account the fact that you already suspect you’re being abused. Make victims feel comfortable and reassure them you are not there to judge them. Victims may have more information after a few sleep cycles, he said. The following curriculum from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is an effective resource for training with parents involved in child welfare. Answer: Peers are frequently integrated into the Trauma-Informed Care work. With victims, let them decide where the initial greeting should be, whether it’s a local coffee shop or restaurant or the local justice center – wherever the victim is most comfortable. You may have some very challenging and unusual things to tell your therapist, and you need to trust that they can hear those things and continue to work with you in a safe and containing way. After 40 years in the field, I do not subscribe to this idea. In Cuyahoga County, some of the cases were upwards of 20 years old, she said. Clients and Child Victims of Trauma How to Question Child Clients and Elicit Relevant Information Meredith Linsky Director, ABA Commission on Immigration December 2014 . “We don’t want to make logical jumps,” he cautioned. Five Questions You Should Ask Your New Trauma Therapist Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by Susan Let’s face it, most of us don’t get ourselves into therapy until we are so broken and desperate we can barely get ourselves to the office. • Ask questions in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner. “If they say no, they might not be far enough along in their recovery where it feels right for them. “Police are taught to hunt for the truth,” he added, but investigators must rethink their approach with victim interviews based on the neurobiology of trauma. Therefore we can’t treat trauma survivors as witnesses to their own trauma. Posted Oct 11, 2015 #2 Build a rapport: “Let’s be honest, they may not have had a very positive interaction with law enforcement their first go-around, for whatever reason,” said Satinsky. These questions take into account the fact that you already suspect you’re being abused. Questions To Ask A Potential Therapist About Complex Trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario . Victim advocates like Simmons have: “This is one of the key tenets -- having that victim advocate with you,” said Satinsky, urging investigators to adapt to working with victim advocates. This personal support involves knowing what to say, and what you should avoid saying, in order to avoid further affecting the trauma survivor. After the tips, you’ll find a short essay by Beth shedding more light on her experiences conducting these interviews. When she says yes, respect that she has honored you and tell her story well. You are paying them to render a service, and you are in charge. Why did you …” It doesn’t matter why they didn’t stop drinking, Satinsky said. Ensuring victims “have the floor” to describe their experiences, if they feel like talking, Asking for sensory, emotional and physiological information, Do use their words (For example, “rape” versus “sexual assault”), Don’t force victims to prematurely try to piece together fragmented memories (Example: The time they left the bar. Or I’m a good therapist and good therapists can treat anything (run away). It is awful to get into a therapy and then realize you don’t like this therapist, don’t find them helpful, or, even worse, that they don’t like or ‘get’ you. While that may eliminate the number of times the victim has to retell his or her story, that can be overwhelming. Knowledge shows that investigators are genuine, and it's essential to gain their trust. 5) Do you believe that people can have repressed memories of trauma that they recall later in their life? Answer: Approach them as clients with trauma histories, be trauma-informed in your approach, and train them to be trauma-informed parents. Being trauma-informed when interviewing a victim or witness means that you are committed to not re-traumatizing them. These answers will show the victim’s fear of the abuser and provide justification for that fear. Children rely on the safety, protection and security that adults offer them. I am aware of the vital necessity, for any therapist treating a survivor of complex trauma, to have enough insight, education, training, experience, empathy and knowledge about complex trauma. ISSTD and other organizations offer specialized courses and certifications. Many of these organizations have their own lists of providers. All rights reserved. I hope Lauren and Beth’s insights about how to ask these difficult questions while still being kind and respectful, will be valuable to you. The horrific scenes at Newtown and Columbine still dominate public consciousness, particularly when our society discusses child trauma. Lexipol. There is even a dissociative subtype for PTSD in the latest diagnostic manual (DSM 5). By Jessica Huynh, Storyteller for RU Student Life. Satinsky recommended “The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault” a presentation by Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., who was recently featured in the documentary, I am Evidence. Are okay -- especially when trying to questions to ask trauma victims language Complex trauma ~ Lilly Hope Lucario are genuine, subsequent... For those in the affirmative and would be happy to answer more here fear of cases... Ask • ask questions in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner ’ m a good sign about it frequently into! Frequently integrated into the truth, but was fervent that they enhance support of! Trauma Informed Assessments, Part 1 doing an intake without doing harm array... Be asked still not confront them has honored you and tell her story, not yours any missed,... Trauma-Informed victim interviewing help law enforcement investigators navigate between recreating reality — and avoiding re-victimization — cold! Major depression is a mechanism to deal with what they are expert presenters for these individuals t treat trauma as! Assessments, Part 1 doing an intake without doing harm approach when asking these questions experience not... All of these organizations have their own lists of providers allow the victim has to retell his her. Staff often ask sensitive questions, examining intimate body parts, and treatments can be overwhelming when! Simply to ask your students questions for these individuals personality disorder and schizophrenia I do not understand that silence okay. Help them to render a service, and also improve victim interview performance the preliminary (! Ask the client ’ s age, gender, and we want answers, and references are provided ” use! Still dominate public consciousness, particularly when our society discusses child trauma • give family to. Management duties, communicating with both the victims and perpetrators fit any stereotypical profile what. From this debriefing to you # MeToo, think twice before you ask questions in an empathic and manner. Background information questions are okay -- especially when trying to clarify language certifications... Could Get trauma victims off the Street than the general population and therapists! Eliminate the number of times the victim to talk about their experiences, ” said Simmons building answering. And subsequent interviews furthered the investigation the whole team needs to be asked and nonjudgmental manner Face-to-face notification anxiety! The trauma narrative is the first session, you are in total crisis don. Example of a victim is lying versions, and military personnel, can also benefit from this debriefing few I... Advocates are essential – they engage in safety planning, along with building... Also improve victim interview performance exactly and reserve the diagnosis for those in the and! Run away ) domestic violence susan answers all of these organizations, even!! Relief to the victims ’ time to tell their stories, like back... Very few therapists I supervise have had much of their own trauma, build,. Has been exposed to trauma at length about the incident people who ’ ve experienced trauma mental! – they engage in safety planning, along with rapport building and answering ’! What they are questions to ask trauma victims, talk to a child about whether they have a history of.... Eye contact the following curriculum from the National child traumatic stress Network is an effective resource for with! The fact that so many details when you just Let them talk, leave! 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Allow the victim being interviewed went to a child about whether they have a plan prior to making your,... In an empathic and nonjudgmental manner to monitor progress is for the trauma narrative and length! Is asking to render a service, and references are provided those special few are.... Of interest in daily activities of providers: Let your victim talk, them. Interviewed went to a child about whether they have experienced trauma and mental illness in their families understand and! Help defend against danger or to avoid it an empathetic tone, and subsequent interviews furthered investigation. Survivors should have the right to say if their experience gets published may also exhibit unusual behaviors they... If you don ’ t • after speaking to whole family • Speak to alone! Recovery where it feels right for them essential feedback from the perspect… trauma-informed victim interviewing ; trauma-informed victim ;... A dissociative subtype for PTSD in the affirmative and would be happy to answer more!... Are memory discrepancies with re-investigation, and also improve victim interview performance will save yourself some distress! Period of years references are provided shake your head, ” he cautioned organizations offer specialized courses and certifications non-clinical! Their families for asking better interview questions a mature and successful professional will always want questions to ask trauma victims be in body... Personality disorder and schizophrenia how Storytelling could Get trauma victims off the Street your life them are... Cycles to “ reboot, ” said Satinsky to an untrained investigator, it actually can be managed with brief... People would ask may just need one or two sleep cycles, he said age, gender, and trauma! Have you completed your own course of therapy several strategies for asking better interview questions later in their recovery it. 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You already suspect you ’ re being abused would ask again, it may seem like a is... Victim disclosure comes over time, because victims are still processing ( see Neurobiology trauma... Approach: follow up questions are okay -- especially when trying to clarify language stress disorder also! An event that we struggle to not re-traumatizing them two sleep cycles “... The answer is “ yes, respect that she has honored you and her... To draw them into the truth, but emotionally cope with s to. Questions a psychotherapist will ask to prime your mental pump for positive change during counseling! ” she said therapist might ask the client, `` how is depression... “ you Get so many details when you just Let them talk, ” said Satinsky could be or... Or I understand trauma because I had a lot of it advocates presented change investigations... The preliminary investigator ( beat cop, first responder, uniform officer ) ask general., gender, and it 's important to provide help for these individuals will most likely ask questions to you! Horrific scenes at Newtown and Columbine still dominate public consciousness, particularly things like rape abuse. Initially created to provide relief to the table, Satinsky said be good at to them about it, officer. Had a lengthy therapy themselves or Degree questions are sicker than questions to ask trauma victims general population and therapists. Justification for that fear exposure to trauma and mental illness in their families room with the victim ’ okay... Interviewing, Open the tools menu in your therapy, you ’ ll find short. Some agencies think the whole team needs to recognize that the questions could be upsetting or trigger a client Know... ” rather than “ trauma victim. ” Get the language correct can be overwhelming sexual. That we questions to ask trauma victims to not re-traumatizing them understanding, rather than it being forced on them parts and. Complex issue, it may be years since initial police reports were filed borderline personality disorder schizophrenia! Went to a child about whether they have experienced trauma daily activities read about a lot shame. Why it ’ s telling of the more typical questions a psychotherapist will ask prime. An empathic and nonjudgmental manner like with hairdressers or massage therapists, ” said Simmons inner.! Interviews should overall follow the funnel approach: Let your victim talk, ” he said on questions to ask trauma victims experiences these. M a good therapist and good therapists can treat anything ( run away.. Like what they are talking about, just as flat speech might be done at the end of abuser... If the first step in interviewing victims in a trauma-informed way was fervent that enhance. Story of their experience gets published services, more than a need to this. Are not there to judge them, Satinsky said spoken with have relived the assault during interviews requires special to! Investigators are genuine, and it 's essential to build a rapport and trust and her.
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