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Normative and Non-normative Loses

Instructions: Please read both post and provide a minimum of 2 paragraph response to each one. Please use 2 references in each response. Provide citations at end of response.
Tiffany- Discussion 1
In this week’s discussion we were asked to choose one of the trauma contexts described in Levers chapter 5-26. One of the topics that stood out to me is loss and grief. I recently lost my father on January 23, 2021. So, this topic hit home to me. The reason why I chose this topic is because at one time or another someone has experienced loss and grief.
When reading this week’s discussion on trauma, I noticed that there are different opinions about the connection existing between trauma and loss. It is stated that wherever there is trauma, there tends to be some sort of loss, grief, or destabilization. According to Marich (2020), when a natural disaster or violent accident occurs, the loss of safety and security in the world, a loss of innocence, or loss of hope can manifest. What this means is that the loss of people, ideals, or certain situations can be seen as a traumatic experience. In traumatic events, the person can have feelings, thoughts, and dynamics. Some clients experience high anxiety, overwhelming guilt, shame, depression or suicidality (Briere & Scott, 2015).
Most trauma-informed professionals are able to recognize that if the grief is not experienced appropriately and healed, it will affect people. Bereavement is known as a stage that occurs in the grief process it is also frequently experienced by people who are exposed to war, violence, disaster, accidents, and other traumatic events. Some communities of trauma-exposed bereaved adults with Prolonged Grief Disorder and PTSD, the adults showed similar signs of social isolation, a diminished sense of self, difficulties accepting loss, and a challenge on continuing to move on with life (Djelantik et al., 2019).
Levers describes normative and non-normative loses. However, when a loss is normative, it is still a destabilizing process, because it also promotes self-reflection and grown in the person who although is affected, is still able to be validated and supported. With the recent loss of my father I will say that I am learning to self-reflect and grow as a person through the pain I am experiencing. Although, sudden death, suicide, miscarriages, stillbirths, abortions, Aids and so much more are considered non-normative losses. With these losses it is a requirement that people seek attention from their therapist. Levers (2012) states, “We must allow clients who are mourning to make meaning of their loss and process their injuries and traumas in a personalized manner. John 16:22 states, “So with you: Now is your time to grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. As a Christian counselor, they should be able to provide a safe place for those who are experiencing a time of loss to mourn and process the traumatic experiences.
Grief therapy would be most helpful for those who have experienced a loss. However, the therapist must be willing to engage with the client in a caring and authentic way and show genuine curiosity to learn more about the people’s story. There is a framework for intervention known as the four V’s; validate, verifying, ventilation, and visionary. It is vital to validate the individual’s right to more. You must be able to recognize and discuss the value of who or what the person recently lost. Verifying is the intervention that assist the client in gathering different moments that make their loss real. Ventilation occurs after the person is urged to express their emotions and let it all out (Levers, 2012). During the ventilation stage, a counselor should remain quiet and offer support as the person goes through their thoughts and feelings. The last stage is visionary, during this time, the counselor helps the person recognize future events that will intensify the persons feelings of grief. Therapists must always remain open and reflective of new methods of grief and trauma theories while using the data they collect from each interaction with the person mourning.
Experiencing any type of loss or grief can be detrimental to anyone and has even became more relevant. Trauma practitioners must be prepared to address the issues of loss and grief as they are rising daily. There are so many groups of people who have experienced losses and were affected. We must be ready to offer support and comfort for those in need with the tools we have acquired as therapists and the comfort and confidence we have been blessed with by God.

Briere, J. N., & Scott, C. (2015). Principles of trauma therapy: A guide to symptoms, evaluation, and treatment (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Djelantik, A. A., Robinaugh, D. J., Kleber, R.J., Smid, G.E., & Boelen, P.A. (2019). Symptomatology following loss and trauma: Latent class and network analyses of prolonged grief disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in a treatment seeking trauma-exposed sample. Depression and Anxiety, 37(1), 26-34.
Levers, L.L (2012). Trauma counseling: Theories and interventions. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Marich, J. (2020). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Can grief and loss be traumatic? Gulf Bend MHMR Center. https://www/

Tawnya- Discussion 2
School violence and trauma as defined by Levers (2012) can be lethal or nonlethal “acts of aggression that take place in the school building or on school property at after-hours school sponsored activities or to a student or faculty member coming to or going from school” (p. 336).
Personal Characteristics
The personal characteristics for a practitioner working with students who have experienced school violence or trauma are the core foundations of client-centered therapy: empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014). Levers (2012) discussed the importance of establishing positive interactions with students who have been harmed, including demonstrating warmth and interest, forming trusting relationships, and treating everyone with dignity and respect (p. 337). Those who are in the helping profession adhere to Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (New International Version, 1973/2015).
A practitioner needs to have an understanding of the common reactions to trauma and developmental behavioral responses for children who are 5 years and younger, elementary-aged children (ages 6-11 years old), and adolescents (ages 12-17 years of age) (Levers, 2012, p. 337). Practitioners should be familiar with the DSM-5 differentiations between “normal and aberrant responses in children” (Levers, 2012, p. 340). Additionally, counselors need to be trauma-informed, “All staff members need to understand what trauma is, what it looks like and how it affects students and families” (Cole et al., 2013, as cited in Rumsey & Milsom, 2019, p. 4).
Practitioners who offer long-term counseling for violence-exposed students need to have training in cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused theories. The specific cognitive-behavioral therapies that are used with traumatized children are Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) (Levers, 2012, p. 342). Rumsey and Milson (2019, p. 4) explain that school counselors must understand trauma-informed procedures as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA, 2014) including:
1. Realize what trauma is and its effects on people.
2. Recognize signs and symptoms of trauma.
3. Respond by utilizing trauma-informed policies, procedures, and practices.
4. Resist retraumatization.
School counselors can lead faculty and staff trainings to help them understand the signs and symptoms of trauma (Rumsey & Milson, 2019, p. 4).
My Interest and Experience
I worked as a high school counselor and while I never experienced a lethal school violence event, I was involved in several non-lethal sexual assault events. The specific training that we lacked involved Title IX and its applicability to sexual assault victims. We discovered the lack of understanding about Title IX in the aftermath of a trauma experienced by one of our LGBTQ students. The school intended to do an all-school training this academic year. Cruz (2020) notes that training in Title IX is important because it can aid in the response to survivors in positive ways, including not blaming them for their assaults (p. 4).
Cruz, J. (2020). The constraints of fear and neutrality in title IX administrators’ responses to sexual violence. The Journal of Higher Education, 1-22. DOI:10.1080/00221546.2020.1809268
Holy Bible, New International Version. (2015). (Original work published 1973).
Levers, L. L. (2012). Trauma counseling: Theories and interventions. Springer Publishing Company.
Rumsey, A. D., & Milsom, A. (2019). Supporting school engagement and high school completion through trauma-informed school counseling. Professional School Counseling, 22(1)
Seligman, L., & Reichenberg, L. W. (2014). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: Systems, strategies, and skills, 4th ed. Pearson Education, Inc.