Treating and preventing PTSD

Consider the following vignette for this week’s discussion.

You are working in the health care field and are assigned to follow up with Shauna, a woman who recently sustained serious injuries.

Shauna was badly injured when metal shelving filled with vases and tools collapsed onto her at the florist shop that she owns. Her 12-year old son, Trevor, and her mother, Gloria, found her in the store when they came at closing time. According to Shauna’s records, Trevor saw his mother first and called 911, as his grandmother fainted.

As this week’s readings indicate, Shauna is at risk of a post-traumatic stress response. You meet with Shauna to see how she is doing and to assess for PTSD and any needed services.

Shauna is in fairly good spirits and expresses gratitude for having lived through the accident. Gloria and Trevor are also present at the meeting. Trevor is engrossed on his cell phone and makes only minimal eye contact when spoken to. Gloria appears quite distraught, talking a great deal about the trauma of seeing her daughter lying on the floor and believing her dead initially. Gloria shares that she is having nightmares and fears for Shauna if she reopens the florist shop. Gloria further shares that she has been fearful to let Trevor out of her sight for fear that he will somehow be injured.

Shauna is trying to comfort her mother, but it is clear that she is feeling the stress of Gloria’s strong emotional response. Even as she tries to reassure her mother, Shauna expresses eagerness to return home and reopen her business, particularly as this time of the year is a very busy and lucrative time for her shop. She further expresses concern about the family’s finances if she does not do so, particularly with the looming medical bills.

Based on what you have learned so far this term, your experiences, and your opinion: Why are some people are more prone to developing PTSD than others?
Let’s talk about which theory or treatment model might be the most appropriate for Gloria. We need to explore the key elements of these models, and why they would work, in order to determine the most appropriate one(s).
Once we have decided which model(s) would work, what are the strengths of the model? What are the risks of using this model? Why would this model work better than the others?

Reference:  Posttraumatic and Acute Stress Disorder, Matthew Friedman Sixth Ed Chapter 4

The War at Home, Shawn Gourley

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