S66: When Hospital Becomes Home: Working with trauma and transference to enable healing during hospital admissions.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Louisa Dent Pearce

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Trauma-informed care,Lived Experience, Recovery,Clinical Issues

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Using the artwork from her many hospital admissions combined with her knowledge as a peer specialist in a private hospital, the author provides a unique, dualistic lens to explore the issues of transference and counter-transference that can arise for people with trauma histories.
The need for human connection, love and security may be met in the hospital environment when a person encounters caring professionals who are attentive, kindly and concerned, thus igniting the longings from childhood and setting the stage for the re-enactment of trauma, even if entirely unconscious.

As the person attempts to communicate their pain and get their core needs met, inadvertently clinicians may become “foster parents” of traumatised “children”. Depending on their ability to interpret and work with this dynamic, clinicians can either enable growth or compound the trauma via their own frustration and helplessness.
Using Dr Stephen Karpman’s “drama triangle” and Dr Sandra Bloom’s Sanctuary Model of inpatient care, the author explores how we can work with, not against, the tendency for people to use “hospital as home”, becoming conscious of the therapeutic power of the relationships that develop in this environment and using them to foster healing.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Clinicians will gain insight into the perspective of inpatients with trauma histories, and how they can better work with behaviours that stem from the re-enactment of these traumas, promoting growth and healing. Consumers will gain insight into their own needs and how they can best utilise their hospital admissions for growth and healing.

Learning Objective 2: Repeated and/or long-term hospital admissions in the private mental health sector frequently cause frustration and a sense of helplessness on the part of both clinicians and consumers; however, when viewed through a trauma-informed lens, the tendencies can be utilised for the benefit of healing.

Karpman, S. (2014). A game free life: The definitive book on the drama triangle and the compassion triangle by the originator and author. Self-published.
Bloom, S. L. (2013). Creating sanctuary: Toward the evolution of sane societies. Routledge.

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