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Digital Recording

When Treatment Becomes Trauma: Medical Trauma Skills for Mental Health Professionals

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Dr. Michelle Flaum, EDD, LPCC-S, DCMHS
3 Hours 07 Minutes
Apr 11, 2023
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Digital Recording
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The list of medical experiences that have the potential to be terrifying, disorienting, and life-altering goes on and on... 
As a mental health professional, you are uniquely positioned to meet the complex needs of clients suffering the devastating effects of medical trauma - from PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, and more.

  • Join leading expert in medical trauma, Michelle Flaum, EdD, LPCC-S, DCMHS, for this dynamic training in which she’ll walk you step-by-step through what you need to know to confidently: 
  • Comprehensively assess your clients for medical trauma and related symptoms and impacts 
  • Engage narrative techniques and other interventions to help clients make meaning of their experiences  
  • Re-engage clients with the medical system they’ve begun avoiding and promote self-advocacy to decrease medical gaslighting  

Register now to ensure compassionate care for the whole client – body, mind, and spirit. 


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 3.25 hours CPD.



  1. Evaluate three impacts of medical trauma on mental health and their clinical implications. 
  2. Assess clients’ experiences of medical trauma to inform clinical treatment interventions. 
  3. Devise a treatment plan to alleviate mental health symptoms related to medical trauma. 


Perfect storm: contagious illness, collective anxiety, and the healthcare landscape 
  • The complexity of medical trauma 
  • Double-bind of the provider-patient relationship 
  • Contextual factors: medical environment and communications 
  • Patient risk factors and vulnerabilities 
Assessing the mental health impacts of medical trauma 
  • PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance use disorders: nuance and prevalence 
  • Secondary crises: ripple effects on relationships, work, finances, etc. 
  • Intake questions about health history to identify medical trauma and its impacts 
  • Practice Tool: The Secondary 7 Lifestyle Effects Inventory  
Clinical techniques for working with medical trauma  
  • Modify existing treatments for clients with medical trauma 
  • Mind-body interventions to prepare clients for subsequent medical interventions  
  • Identify and manage medical avoidance: promote client advocacy for trauma-sensitive medical care 
  • Build protective factors and resiliency  
  • Practice Tool: Medical Mental Health Screening 
Clinical Considerations 
  • Management of compassion fatigue and burnout 
  • Engaging medical providers and the client’s caregivers in the healing process 
  • Limitations of the research  

Target Audience

  • Counselors 
  • Social Workers 
  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Marriage & Family Therapists 
  • Addiction Counselors 
  • Other Mental Health Professionals 
  • Physicians 
  • Physician Assistants 
  • Nurse Practitioners 
  • Nurses 


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