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Medical Trauma: Clinical Tools for Treating PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression Following a Health Crisis

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Sacha McBain, PhD
6 Hours 22 Minutes
May 20, 2022
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Digital Recordings - Also available: DVD


Your clients with medical trauma know that a health crisis can upend life at any moment.

And they know that crisis doesn’t end when the physical body is stabilized.

The impacts of medical trauma are as broad as they are misunderstood. Many mental health problems can arise from experiences like heart attack, stroke, intubation and mechanical ventilation, emergency Caesarean section, allergic reaction, seizure, accidentrelated amputation, cancer diagnosis, and more.

While some clients may have entered your practice with the unique presentation of PTSD that results from medical trauma, many more have likely come to you for help with other clinical issues that could be fueled by a past health crisis. Think of the client with depression who also has a history of heart failure. Or the client with social anxiety whose irritable bowel disease is listed on your intake form but never gets discussed. Or the client with dependency issues in their relationships who harbours a deeply entrenched sense of fragility related to a congenital illness.

Watch medical trauma expert Dr. Sacha McBain for this one-day training that will help you understand the interconnectedness of the mind and body. You will learn to:

  • conduct assessments that elucidate the mental health impacts of your clients’ health histories
  • develop trauma-informed case formulations that integrate health and rehabilitation psychology principles into evidence-based treatments
  • support your clients’ mental and physical health by giving them the skills they need to maintain treatment adherence and engage in effective medical self-advocacy

Your clients with medical trauma have associated treatment with danger. Purchase today to provide them with a trauma-informed approach to promote physical and psychological recovery!



This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Sacha McBain, PhD's Profile

Sacha McBain, PhD Related seminars and products

Sacha McBain, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, AR. Dr. McBain received her master’s in psychology and doctorate in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at UAMS with a specialization in integrated care and trauma, and her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology and implementation science at the Department of Veterans Affairs South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in North Little Rock, AR. She serves as the Associate Director of UAMS’ Center for Trauma prevention, Recovery and Innovation and leads the Trauma Psychology Consult Service on UAMS’ Trauma Surgery service to address the psychosocial needs of patients who have experienced a serious injury or illness. She also provides training and consultation to medical services regarding implementation of trauma-informed care practices and health care worker wellness initiatives designed to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder.

Dr. McBain’s expertise includes increasing access to care for people with a recent trauma and improving prevention of PTSD with a specific focus on trauma related to medical events. She has completed training in community health and prevention research and implementation science in order to identify and put into place organizational practices within healthcare systems designed to increase access to mental health care following a traumatic event. She currently serves as an expert panel member on the American College of Surgeons Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Best Practice Guidelines Work Group and is an active member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sacha McBain has an employment relationship with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sacha McBain has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Employ evidence-based assessments to identify mental health symptoms stemming from traumatic medical events to inform clinical treatment interventions.
  2. Utilize the ecological model of medical trauma to develop a trauma-informed case formulation.
  3. Practice at least two strategies for communicating effectively with clients about the mind-body connection.
  4. Utilize cognitive restructuring on clients’ unhelpful core beliefs and automatic thoughts centred on worth, ability, or control.
  5. Construct behavioural experiments designed to assist clients with decreasing reactivity to medical-trauma related cues.
  6. Integrate concurrent treatment for PTSD and health concerns.


Assess Medical Traumatic Stress:
How medical trauma differs from other types of trauma

  • How to get the full story:
    • trauma interview
    • health-related anxiety
    • distress thermometer
    • comprehensive health history
  • Recognize clinical disorders and biopsychospiritual crises

The Layered Narrative of Medical Trauma:
Case conceptualization and treatment preparation

  • Experience with initial injury/illness treatment experiences
  • Issues in short- and long-term recovery
  • “Disenfranchised” nature of medical trauma: how to have conversations with clients about the mind-body connection
  • Recalibrate relationships: naming stigma, ableism, and toxic positivity
  • Ecological model of medical trauma

Treatment of Medical Trauma:
Integrative approach to treat clients’ unique needs

  • Identify medical trauma-related core beliefs and cognitions
  • Engage behavioural strategies
  • Address social constraints and systemic invalidation
  • Integrate health and rehabilitation psychology principles
    • Illness/injury psychoeducation
    • Meaning making
    • Coping with somatic trauma cues
    • Strategies for managing insomnia and chronic pain
    • Adjustment to illness or injury
    • Expectation management
    • Cognitive rehabilitation
    • Support medical advocacy and avoiding retraumatization
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Case Studies:

  • PTSD and COVID-19: 36-year-old woman
  • Social anxiety and irritable bowel disease: 20-year-old man
  • Dependent personality disorder and congenital heart condition: 45-year-old woman

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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