Psychological effects of traumatic events and how to assess traumatized individuals and communities
Traumatic events, which are rather common in life, are not directly linked to clinically significant psychological disorders. They are rather understood as an important risk factors for the development of psychological disorders. Some of the most common psychological disorders which can evolve after traumatic events are posttraumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, substance abuse, suicidality, etc. Traumatic events are especially critical for children. The consequences of traumatic events caused by people, especially by close ones, are especially critical. Traumatic events do have negative secondary consequences like impact on health, personal relations, professional life, material aspects, etc. The impact of traumatic events are not limited to individuals but also to communities and societies. But, on the other side, there is also a potential for more positive outcomes, like posttraumatic growth which is characterized by a more positive attitude and acceptance of life. It is important to take into account protective factors. Especially if it is possible to control them and consequentially to prevent or to minimize negative outcomes of traumatic events. Examples of protective factors are related especially to social support in the time of impact of traumatic events and immediately after it.
It will also describe how to recognize signs of traumatic effects on the psyche and especially how to treat and how not to treat traumatized persons. The main intervention is psychological support and if possible professional support of traumatized individuals.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Robert Masten is associate professor of clinical psychology at Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana and Head of the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. He is a member of Committee for Ethics at Faculty of Arts. He was employed also in Slovenian Army for ten years in different positions. He was a member of the Standing committee for crisis and disaster psychology at European Federation of Psychologist Associations. He is a psychotherapist and specialist of psychological counselling.
As a researcher he is mostly active in the field of psychotherapy, rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, stress etc.
He is active member of Slovenian Psychological Association, at European Association of Integrative Therapy and Supervision and in in European Association of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment (EACLIPT). He is member of Ombudsman Human Rights Council, member of a Commission for Expertise in Family Psychology at Slovenian Psychological Society and a Member of Examination Board for candidates for expertise in the field of family psychology.
He is also active in aviation psychology as an independent psychological counselor in the Civil Aviation Agency and a member of the European Association of Aviation Psychology EAAP). Within the EIRENE project, he is a member of the Advisory board and his function is of an Ethical Consultant.