VISTAS Trauma, Grief, Disaster, and Crisis Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

When Treatment Becomes Trauma Defining, Preventing,

Michelle Flaum Hall and Scott E. Hall


Medical trauma, while not a common term in the lexicon of the health professions, is a phenomenon that deserves the attention of mental and physical healthcare providers. Trauma experienced as a result of medical procedures, illnesses, and hospital stays can have lasting effects. Those who experience medical trauma can develop clinically significant reactions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, complicated grief, and somatic complaints. In addition to clinical disorders, secondary crises—including developmental, physical, existential, relational, occupational, spiritual, and of self—can lead people to seek counseling for ongoing support, growth, and healing. While counselors are central in treating the aftereffects of medical trauma and helping clients experience posttraumatic growth, the authors suggest the importance of mental health practitioners in the prevention and assessment of medical trauma within an integrated health paradigm.

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