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Medical Trauma: Emotional Implications and Crisis Intervention

Date: March 12, 2020

Presented by: Alison Kulick, M.S., LAC, NCC, CVT

Program Description

Traumatic medical events such as a medical illness, diagnostic, or therapeutic procedure can have a myriad of emotional consequences which include, but are not limited to, PTSD, chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and an avoidance of having necessary medical procedures done. Medical crises can take on many forms, and the topic of medical trauma is not something that is frequently addressed despite the repercussions and negative mood states associated with the events. One example of a medical crisis that is not often brought to the forefront is the need to live with a colostomy or ileostomy, whether it be as a result of cancer or refractory intestinal disease. The stigma and embarrassment associated with having to wear a bag can greatly add to the challenges already being faced and can result in a negative body image, isolation, or even self-harm. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some of the physical and psychological challenges associated with medical traumas in addition to therapeutic interventions which may help mitigate the emotional suffering associated with these profoundly distressing scenarios. The presenter, with willingness to be explicitly honest about her own personal ostomy experiences, will recast thought patterns and consequently allow for ostomies to be portrayed in a more positive, less stigmatized light. 

Learning Objectives

Following this presentation, participants will have learned and/or be able to:

  1. Emotional manifestations and therapeutic interventions associated with medical trauma;
  2. An understanding of what an ostomy is in addition to the emotional challenges associated with it which include dealing with its stigma;
  3. Insight on how to counsel an individual facing medical trauma or ostomy surgery.

Presenter Information

Alison Kulick, M.S., LAC, NCC, CVT, is a Licensed Associate Counselor and a Certified Veterinary Technician. She graduated with her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Monmouth in 2019. Alison’s diverse work experience includes 10 years in numerous veterinary practices, as well as 21 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the years, Alison has had to endure numerous medical burdens, and wishes to turn these challenges into something positive by educating and encouraging others who are going through similar difficulties. Outside of her work endeavors, Alison’s favorite thing to do is to spend time with her four-legged best friend, Sativa, a rescue dog.