Trauma Reminder Cards- Assist for youth in using the trauma reminder cards to identify their unique trauma triggers. After identifying each trigger (sights, sounds, smells, feelings, sensations, tastes, and change reminders) ask the youth, “Why is it a reminder?" Use their answers to tailor treatment to their unique trauma triggers in future interventions.
Cope Cards- Explain to the youth that following trauma kids find many ways to cope with the resulting triggers and trauma reactions to survive. Help the youth review the Cope Cards to endorse their current post-trauma coping strategies. Use this as an opportunity for validation and further discussion. The cards are organized into seven categories of coping strategies (both adaptive and maladaptive): Avoidance/Denial, Distraction, Numbing/ Escaping, Sensory/Adrenaline-Seeking, Emotional/Physical Release and/or processing, Re-Enacting, and Support Seeking/Self-Care.
Rating Scale Cards- For each identified strategy ask, “How effective is this at helping you cope with what happened?" “Is this coping strategy harmful?" The effectiveness rating can be pointed to or verbalized. Also include “Does anyone have a problem with you using his coping strategy?” and “Does it get you into trouble?" Answers to this can also be pointed to on the rating scale.
Checklist-Once all cards have been reviewed, mark down the endorsed cards and ratings on the downloadable checklist to see how coping practices change over time throughout treatment (www.bethricheycounseling.com/freedownloads).
When used in conjunction with the Trauma Reaction Cards these tools can help provide a comprehensive picture of the client's post trauma experience.