Complexity of Post-Traumatic Reactions examined in one day educational event for Psychiatrists & Senior Clinicians
Supported by the EPA (European Psychiatric Association), the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland recently hosted a CME course looking at the impact of trauma, sexual violence, dissociation and psychosis as well as treatment provisions. Combining presentations by six key experts from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Croatia with roundtable discussions the fully subscribed event provided delegates (over 70 attended) with evidence based information on methods for treating complex PTSD.
The College was delighted that the day included highly informed speakers on PTSD and particularly guest speakers from Croatia and Northern Ireland. They shared their very personal experiences from their geographical and clinical settings, giving great insight into aspects and approaches to treating post-traumatic reactions which combined well with the experience of the Irish speakers resulting in an informative insightful educational day for attendees.
Speaking after the event Dr Miriam Kennedy Director for the College PCS reflected,
The day offered a great combination of speakers: our Croatian colleagues with detailed experience with trauma, dissociation and the impact on families, and our Northern Irish colleagues with immediate knowledge and understanding of the impact of PTSD in people’s lives. A reminder of the wider impact of complex trauma on family, close relatives and communities was a constant theme through the day”.
A key take away from the discussions was “First Do No Harm”. Some people will naturally work through or adapt to certain traumas with the supports that they have; however others cannot do so and need treatment”.
Dr Michael Duffy, Associate Research Fellow of The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice gave a compelling presentation on the evidence base for Trauma Focused CBT, which was followed by stimulating discussion on the topic. Dr Duffy invited centres and services in the Republic of Ireland to form a network with the Omagh Group so that further knowledge of what works best with patients can be explored.
“Trauma, Dissociation & Psychosis’ was presented by Prof Dolores Britvic from the University of Split, Croatia, who gave a theoretical framework of dissociation and included case presentation of PTSD with dissociative and psychotic features.
Prof Tanja Franciskovic, University of Rijeka, Croatia gave insight to delegates on ‘Beyond the PTSD diagnosis – post traumatic effects on families(partners and children)’ looking at the spectrum of psychological reactions in partners of persons suffering from PTSD, signs and characteristics of burnout and secondary traumatic stress and the impact of parental PTSD on children and transgenerational transmission of trauma.
The importance of self-care for the treating clinicians in trauma and post-traumatic stress cases was also emphasised.
A lively Q&A included discussion on fragmented memory (often referred to as false memory) and thought suppression. Rumination as a key predictor of becoming unwell was also discussed and the Stepped Care model of treatment was shared.
Delegates said of the day:
It related to my professional values because it took a broad approach to treatment, using cognitive, emotional, physical, biological and social approaches to treatment”
High quality speakers presenting clinically relevant research”
It clarified treatment pathways”