Understanding Trauma and the Cycle of Growth

Mary Jo Barrett on Discovering How Clients Learn

Rich Simon

People experience and respond to trauma in any number of ways, so the first step to determining how to best help clients work through their trauma is to understand their growth cycle.

After many years of working with traumatized clients, Symposium 2014 presenter Mary Jo Barrett has figured out the essential steps to offering effective trauma treatment.

Watch the clip below from one of our webcast series sessions to hear Mary Jo talk about the first stage of trauma treatment, where she teaches clients about the natural cycle of growth in order to discover how they prefer to learn and change.

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, the founder and director of the Center for Contextual Change, teaches at the University of Chicago. She’s the coauthor of Systemic Treatment of Incest.

Join us at Networker Symposium 2014 to hear Mary Jo speak at the trauma forum, "Advances and Challenges in Trauma Treatment Today," and/or attend either of her workshops, "The Ethically Attuned Therapist" and "Customizing Trauma Treatment."

Networker Symposium 2014
March 20-23 in Washington, DC

Register Now

Topic: Trauma

Tags: attuned therapist | growth cycle | Mary Jo Barrett | Networker Symposium | Symposium | Symposium 2014 | therapist | trauma treatment | traumatized | traumatized clients

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1 Comment

Monday, June 2, 2014 10:59:13 PM | posted by daisys
This article is a very important beginning.
I'm aware of this because I was 14 when I first came to grips with incest in the family and by the time I was 24 I had realized the extent of the family abuse and that I needed to un-learn much of my childhood behavior and reestablish a healthier foundation.That was decades ago. I had to do much of my recovery alone.

What I've come to awareness about is that much of the behaviors listed in the DSM are related to childhood development. Self-regulation, for example, begins when a newborn baby cries in distress and his/her mother comforts him/her. The foundations of physiological and emotional self-regulation begin to be laid that early. [My mtother in contrast would become hysterical if my baby brother cried, later she went into violent rages].

Self-regulation and mood disorders are related to these beginnings in infancy. ADHD, manic-depression, etc.
Coping skills and problem-solving skills begin a little later.
Personality disorders are related to childhood trauma.
Understanding childhood development would clarify what is real "mental illness" and what is developmental problems that can be rehabilitated.