As counseling professionals we are not strangers to tending to traumatic life events while providing support to others. Rivka Edery, LCSW, has been active in the treatment and recovery field for more than sixteen years and since 2009 has specialized in assisting clients who are recovering from trauma-related disorders. She is the author of Trauma And Transformation: A 12-Step Guide, and shares insights about her journey towards writing her book with Urban Therapists readers.
RE: I’ve treated numerous clients and have talked with hundreds of recovering addicts. These experiences led me to wonder if the ancient spiritual principles of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can be applied to the healing of trauma. The Twelve Steps saved my life and so I become inspired by the idea of the possibility of combining these principles with the effort of surviving traumatic experiences. The result, Trauma And Transformation: A 12-Step Guide, is a unique approach for trauma survivors who are seeking a combined spiritual and clinical approach to their personal effects of surviving trauma.
DM: What do you think is important for mental health providers to consider regarding our type of work or about this specialization?
RE: For me, the most rewarding part of the journey is definitely in bearing witness to my client’s own process of discovery and transformation. Perhaps the most important reminder for helping professionals is in the importance of managing their own personal trauma and that personal self-care should be at the top of their priority list. We abide by the principle of First, do no harm and we must apply this principle and extend it to ourselves in the form of self-care and wellness. My routine involves a healthy diet, regular exercise, prayer and meditation, and maintaining good relationships family and close friends. It really makes all the difference!
Rivka Edery, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., is a native of Montreal, Canada and Brooklyn resident. She is a graduate of Fordham University and the author of Trauma And Transformation: A 12-Step Guide.