Monday, March 5, 2018

Coping with Traumatic Loss: Suggested Resources

[Reviewed and updated August 5, 2019]

There is a light within each of us that need never entirely go out. We can lose the battles, but not the war. We can go on when our minds tell us that there is no point in going on- because something deep inside tells us we can go on. And we do.  ~ A. Powell Davies

A colleague writes: I am wondering if you would send me your best recommendations for dealing with traumatic loss. If you know any activities or rituals that can help a person heal that would be helpful. A coworker is dealing with a traumatic event and has asked for some help. Thanks so much.

My response:
There are so many resources available nowadays, and without knowing a little more detail about your coworker (e.g., age, gender, nature of the traumatic event, etc.), it's difficult for me to recommend the "best" ones for his or her specific circumstances. Loss that stems from a chronic or lingering illness, that is sudden and unexpected, or happens as a result of an accident or a fire, a natural or a national disaster, an abortion, a suicide, a homicide, domestic violence, abandonment, incarceration, relinquishment of a baby through adoption ~ any loss that produces a complex and difficult ending ~ can be considered traumatic.

Below I've listed a number of resources focusing on various types of trauma, separated into broad categories, which I hope will be of help to you. (As always, if anyone else reading this knows of any others that should be included, please feel free to let me know in the Comments section below.)

Organizations and Websites

After Abortion: Information, Healing, Research, Testimonies
After Abortion: Rachel's Vineyard Ministries
After Abortion: Help for Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS)

AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services (ACCESS)
After Adoption: Birth Parent Loss and Grief
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS)
AMF: National Students of Ailing Mothers and Fathers Support Network for College Students
Campaign to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse: Stop It Now!
Center for Loss and Trauma (Phoenix and Sedona, AZ)
Center for Mind-Body Medicine

Children's Mental Health: Coping in the Wake of a Traumatic Event
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. (COPS)
David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages: Comprehensive Resources on Traumatic Stress
Difficult Endings
Drowning Support Network
Ellie's Way: Assisting Those Affected by Tragedies
Gift from Within: For Survivors of Trauma and Victimization and Their Loved Ones
Griefwork Center: Crisis Information and Training
Health Journeys: Resources for Mind, Body and Spirit
Homicide: Resources for Death, Grief, and Survivors of Homicide
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Living with Heart
MADD: Helping Families Victimized by Drunk Driving
National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
National Donor Family Council: Home for Donor Families
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
National Resource Directory for Military Families
National Society of Military Widows
Office for Victims of Crime: Help Series for Crime Victims
Online Grief Healing Discussion Groups
Parents of Suicide
Peacock Foundation: Empowering Traumatized Youth through Animal Assisted Therapy
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD Alliance
PTSD and Trauma Residential Treatment Center: The Refuge, A Healing Place
PTSD: Gateway to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Information
Real Warriors: Resilience, Recovery, Reintegration for Returning Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
Refuge for Victims of Domestic Violence
Safe Horizon: Moving Victims of Violence from Crisis to Confidence
Sexual Abuse: After Silence: Online Support for Survivors of Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse
Sexual Abuse: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Sexual Abuse: Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA)
Shaken Baby Alliance
Sidran Institute: Traumatic Stress Education and Advocacy
Support after Manslaughter and Murder Abroad (SAMM)
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
Traumatic Brain Injury Center - Spinal Cord Injury Resource
Violent Crime Victim Services: Reaching Out to Co-Victims of Homicide In Need of Support
Violent Death Bereavement Society
Wings of Light, Inc. Aircraft Accident Support

Articles / Guides / Interviews

Acute Stress Disorder

Articles by Belleruth Naparstek, Expert in PTSD and Innovator in Guided Imagery
Articles on Murder of a Sister by Shirley Wiles-Dickinson
Articles on Trauma by Dr. Kathleen Young, Specialist in Treatment of Trauma
Articles on Traumatic Stress and PTSD, from Gift from Within
Chronic or Persistent Pain: Finding the Energy to Heal
Complicated Grief in Those Bereaved by Violent Death
Coping With Disasters and Terrorism (APA)
Coping with Sudden and Traumatic Loss
Dealing with Sudden, Accidental or Traumatic Death
Embracing Change: Transforming Traumatic Grief (Interview with Courtney Armstrong)
Emotional and Psychological Trauma
Explaining Suicide to a Child
Grief After Traumatic Loss
Grief Arising from Sudden and Traumatic Loss
Grief Interrupted: PTSD in the Time of Tsunami and War
Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff
Helpful Information During and After a Traumatic Event (Information Sheet)
Helping A Homicide Survivor Heal
Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters
Helping Military Kids with Traumatic Death by Linda Goldman
How Do People Respond During Traumatic Exposure? 
How Do You Move Forward after Causing Accidental Injury or Death (CADI)?
How Dogs Can Help with Mental Health
How to Provide Spiritually Sensitive Trauma Care by Janice Harris Lord

How to Tell When Technology Makes Anxiety Worse by Cheryl Gerson
How to Understand, Identify and Release Your Emotions

“I sadly lost my boy, 18 years old, in a car accident…”
In Grief: Causing Accidental Death or Injury (CADI) to Another
My Mom's Violent Death Gave Me PTSD
Multiple Losses Can Increase Isolation
Parental Grief in the Wake of Homicide
PTSD: A Guide (Article from
PTSD: How Service and Therapy Dogs Are Helping PTSD Victims
PTSD: Home Management Strategies
PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers
Recongizing Child Abuse: Prevention Tips for All of Us
Remembering September 11- Coping with Aftershocks
Supporting a Child During Crisis
Supporting Children When A Loved One Dies of A Drug Overdose
Surviving A Child's Homicide
Tragedy in Boston, Collective Grief and Aftershocks of Loss
Trauma After the Aurora Theater Shooting
Traumatic Loss: Needing to Know the Details
Tsunami Aftershock: Grief, Sickness
Understanding Traumatic Grief--Mass Violence, Shattered Lives
Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) in Grief
Weighted Blankets for PTSD
What Works Best for Traumatized Troops
When Grief Seems Insignificant by Comparison
Woman Overwhelmed by Series of Major Losses
Working with Survivors of Homicide Victims (from Parents of Murdered Children)

Crash Course: Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery 
Handbook for Survivors of Suicide by Jeffrey Jackson
Healing Your Grief When A Natural Disaster Strikes: 100 Practical Ideas for Coping by Alan Wolfelt
Invisible Heroes : Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal  by Belleruth Naparstek
I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Death of a Loved One  by Brook Noel and Pamela D Blair, PhD
Loss of the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss Edited by Jeffrey Kauffman
Love You, Mean It: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Friendship by Patricia Carrington et al
No Time for Goodbyes: Coping with Sorrow, Anger and Injustice After a Tragic Death by Janice Harris Lord
No Words: A True Story of Love, Tragic Loss, and Ultimate Survival by Renee Kimberling
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Transforming Traumatic Grief: Six Steps to Move from Grief to Peace after the Sudden or Traumatic Death of a Loved One by Courtney Armstrong
What to Do When the Police Leave : A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss by Bill Jenkins
When Crisis Strikes...What To Do, What To Say, How to Help by Allidah Poole Hicks and Bonnie Knuti 

Specific Topics

Deadly Car Accident Takes Two Daughters

Death Notification in Traumatic Loss: Information for Doctors and Nurses
Death Notification: Tips from Survivors

Finding a Good Lawyer for Your Traumatized Client (Article by Frank Ochberg, M.D.)
Following Sister's Murder, Questions Abound (Article by Shirley Wiles-Dickinson)

Getting Back in Gear: Suggestions for Dealing with Trauma of an Auto Accident Access to Legal Information and Resources
Grief and the Homicide Survivor

Grief After Accidents, Suicide, and Other Sudden Losses
Grief Support After An Overdose Death 

Guided Imagery: Our Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Helping Children Cope after a School Shooting
Hurricane Katrina: Letters to Survivors

Managing Anxiety in the Age of School Shootings
Next of Kin Notification Steps
Preparing a Victim Impact Statement
Sexual Assault: Legal Tools for Survivors
Substance Abuse Resources for Veterans
Survival Manual: Resources for Survivors of Abuse and Those Who Love Them
Surviving the Crash: Stress Reactions of Motor Vehicle Accident Victims
Talking to Your Child About Sexual Abuse
The Door: A Woman's Journey from Domestic Violence Victim to Survivor
The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 1
The Grief of an Overdose Death: Part 2

Tools for Healing Trauma in Kids and First Responders in Broward County
Trauma and Mental Health Report
Trauma Information Pages

Trauma-Focused Therapies

AForm of 'Ecstasy' [MDMA] Could Be A New Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress

Dream Work with Jeremy Taylor, Expert in Dream Therapy
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Energy Psychology and Energy Psychotherapy
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
Finding a Therapist for PTSD: Comments from Support Pals
In Grief: Using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

N.O.W. Tone Therapy System
Somatic Experiencing®
Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT)
Trauma Incident Reduction (TIR)
Trauma Release and Repatterning: Nervous System Energy Work (NSEW)
Trauma to Art: Turning Grief Into Creative Expression
Yoga for Seniors, with Carol Dickman


Living with PTSD: Lessons for Partners, Friends and Supporters (Video)
Surviving Trauma and Tragedy: Lessons for Mental Health Professionals

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