The Cumulative Trauma of Drought, Bushfires and a Pandemic
A Community Approach to Recovery
In this week’s episode, join our co-host Julianne Whyte (social worker) and Matthew Povey (social worker and psychotherapist) as they discuss their experiences of supporting both individuals and local communities of the Snowy Valley Region experiencing cumulative trauma - initially brought on by a ten-year long drought and the 2019 bushfires and further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Well positioned in their dual roles as local community members and local health providers, Julianne and Matthew take a ‘drone position’ and share insights and practical tips to mitigate the negative impact of cumulative and compounding trauma on individuals and communities.
Matthew explains his use of Mentalisation Based Therapy in the context of trauma recovery and the ongoing anticipatory trauma in these communities – the threat of another fire to their homes, or another lock down to their livelihoods – and how, although we need vigilance to survive, ongoing and heightened anxiety significantly hinders recovery.
Julianne and Matthew also reflect on the importance of integrative networking and social connectivity, both for practitioners and for patients in trauma recovery; as well as the barriers to these due to COVID-19 restrictions. They promote the need to ‘download self-care’, create ‘memory markers’ and to ‘think about thinking’ as important elements that can bolster individual and collective approaches to recovering from trauma.
Next week, co-host Dr Monica Moore is joined by Dr Martina Gleeson and together they discuss important considerations for practitioners in the context of supporting individuals through transitions in their gender identities.
Access the self-directed CPD form for this episode here.
Our hosts share their perspectives with the hope that you share yours. We’d love to hear from you - follow the link below to leave your comments, questions and feedback.