Helping the person in crisis by KRTraumaSupport


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									 PTSD information sheet 2: Helping the person in crisis – what to avoid doing

X       Pretending to listen!
       Be aware of your body language, being rushed and distracted
       You can’t talk and listen at the same time

X       Getting in too deep with emotions or psychoanalysing
       You are not a therapist but are there to offer emotional support. Avoid the
        temptation to analyse or tell someone what they are feeling
       Don’t pressurise people to talk. If they have opened up and then want to stop, let
        them. Go at their pace

X       Pretending everything is fine
       Don’t discourage them from thinking / talking about it if that’s what they need to do
        “Best not to talk about it, it will only upset you”
        “Forget about it, put it behind you and move on”

X       Making judgments
       During a traumatic event, people act on instinct using the brain’s survival reflex. This
        can often lead to actions that don’t seem to make sense later. Asking why they did or
        didn’t something is unhelpful. Similarly, never say you would have acted differently if
        it had happened to you
       Avoid accusing people of being “in denial” if they don’t want to speak or are carrying
        on as normal

X      Minimising
       You may want to be told that everything is okay or you may find it difficult to deal
       with people’s emotions but are trying to make them feel better.
    Avoid relating your own experience (or someone’s you know) of a traumatic event
    Don’t say things like
   “You were lucky. It could have been a lot worse”
   “You’ll get over this – just pull yourself together”
    “They deserved it anyway”
These are all forms of invalidating the individual experience and can lead to anger, isolation
and feeling unvalued.

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                                                                   © KR Trauma Support 2011

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