Trauma Recovery Guide: A Journey Toward Peace and Purpose
By Julea Douglass, Ph.D. with Brooks Douglass
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real and measurable phenomenon that affects millions of people. Anyone who has survived an overwhelming force from violent crime, natural disaster, wartime, a car accident, or a traumatic loss of a loved one can relate to the mental, physical, and emotional sensations that make it difficult to stay focused, sleep well, connect with others, resume work responsibilities, and find peace and joy in life.
The Amendment Trauma Recovery Guide is designed for counselor-led support groups to walk together through the stages of PTSD awareness and recovery strategies. Each session is research-based and includes a clip from The Amendment movie to help group members find their story from loss to recovery in Brooks’ and Leslie’s journey. The 60- to 90-minute sessions use cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and systems theory techniques to give participants meaningful insights and strategies to understand and manage their PTSD repercussions.
(See box to the left for sample lessons.)
Table Of Contents
Session 1: Watching The Amendment Movie
Session 2: Finding Commonalities
How is your life similar to the characters in The Amendment? How are your life experiences similar to your groupmates?
Session 3: Grieving Loss
What have you lost as a result of the trauma in your life? How do you grieve for what is lost and restore what can be regained?
Session 4: Awaking to a New Reality
How do you recover from the emotional effects of trauma and find contentment in life again?
Session 5: Fighting Back Memories
How do you overcome and soothe flashbacks of past events?
Session 6: Sleeping Well
Why is sleep important to trauma recovery? What increases sleep quality and quantity?
Session 7: Rebuilding Relationships
Which relationships do you want to improve in your life? What would help improve those relationships?
Session 8: Assessing Coping Strategies
What do you do to soothe stress, frustration, or grief? Is it working?
Session 9: Overcoming Blame
Who/what do you blame for your suffering? What would your life be like without blame?
Session 10: Going Face-to-Face
If you could sit across from the person/event that traumatized you, what would you say? What would you want to hear?
Session 11: Seeking Justice
What does justice mean for your life? How do you go on successfully when faced with injustice?
Session 12: Moving Forward with Purpose
What will your life look like in the future? How do you make a happy ending out of your story?
Session 13: Celebrating Together
What have you learned from this group? And when will you meet again?