Secondary Trauma

How many times can a person be traumatized by the same event. Recently I sat with a mother in the privacy of my consulting rooms as she revealed pornographic images and video material of her teenage daughter. These graphics were voluntarily taken by her teenager and subsequently posted on the internet. It was clear that the mother had suffered multiple traumas from discovering the offensive photos, to discussing them with her husband and now sharing the details with her therapist. There was the ongoing scraping of an infected wound. Her distress was tangible.

As the therapist I also felt the blow of the trauma. I saw the mother suffer and the graphic images unsettled me both emotionally and mentally. These stories once again just brought to the fore the fragility and brokenness of our human condition. We all struggle. Not one of us is immune. We can offer each other comfort, understanding and a space of non-judgement. In my position, I could also assist the mother to define the next step so that we might bring healing to her and this fractured family.

Reflection

  1. Is there someone in your world that needs understanding and non-judgement today?

Written by Dr Rani Samuel
Clinical Psychologist