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Neurophysiology and Overcoming Trauma: Understanding Individual Challenges
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 4:45:00 PM UTC - 6:30:00 PM UTC
Duration: 1 hour(s) 45 minute(s)
This webinar explores how personal experiences and unique traumas create commonly felt physical symptoms and investigates how the brain functions reflect a reaction to danger, an action to promote survival, and later, an interpretation of the event.
Is it nature or nurture? This webinar explores the neurophysiology of a stress response and the impact of a person’s support system throughout their life. Gaining an understanding of the needs of humans as social beings begins with an in-depth look at how brain development and mastering skills occurs in stages. The brain provides us with a personality, intelligence, and physical capacity, while at the same time, communicating through pathways to body systems. Evidence supports that when we are traumatized, our health is affected…but so is the health of our children and grandchildren. The presenter will explore current research about stress (nature) and environment (nurture) by introducing epidemiological long-term studies about populations exposed to trauma. The webinar will highlight additional research that identifies the process of healing, first as a victim, then as a survivor, and finally as a thriving individual! This process is called adversarial growth and has the building blocks of trauma informed care and patient-centered response, cognitive behavioral therapy, social support, good nutrition, and exercise. 

To assist victims on this journey, it is important for care providers to first recognize those in the most need as those individuals are the most vulnerable, and we are the first responders. As first responders, through understanding our own frailties, it is possible to help victims through their fears and experiences, when they are without the skills necessary to survive, much less thrive. We have the ability and responsibility to respond therapeutically with a safety net of services until the person can gather their support systems and begin the process of healing.  

Detailed Learning Objectives:

1.	Explore neurophysiology and the way the brain works, including the pathways between the brain and the thought processes.

2.	Understand the epidemiological evidence related to trauma, including traumatic events such as Hongerwinter, Hurricane Katrina, and World War II including the impact these on the children of survivors.

3.	Examine the evidence that supports overcoming traumas, e.g. adversarial growth, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support systems, to identify and support the most vulnerable rape victim desiring to thrive again. 

4.	Reflect about your personal journey, traumas of your parents and grandparents, childhood traumas, and personal capacity to overcome minor traumas. Through this understanding, one can realize a common human bond with persons unable to overcome including those with chronic anxiety and personality disorders that did not have the nature or nurture you experienced. 

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.


Dr. Patricia Speck
Graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing in 1982 (BSN), 1985 (MSN), and 2005 (DNSc). After retiring from UTHSC College of Nursing as the DNP Public Health Nursing and DNP Forensic Nursing Concentration Coordinator, she joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing (SON) in the Department of Community Health, Outcomes, and Systems....