Understanding the Patient: Trauma & Mental Health

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In the course of practice, a manual therapist will likely encounter a patient who has experienced some type of trauma. Trauma can appear in various forms and impact individuals differently. Explore the history and prevalence of trauma, understand signs and symptoms, and learn how trauma can affect various aspects of life. This course is designed to assist the manual therapist in becoming trauma-informed and provide guidance on how to create a trauma-informed practice.

In this course, you will learn:

  • The history of trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • The prevalence of trauma and diagnostic criteria used to evaluate different types of trauma
  • How to recognize the symptoms and triggers of trauma
  • To relate trauma to memory, substance abuse, self-harm, anger, depression, sleep, and chronic pain
  • The relationship between talk therapy and trauma
  • How to become trauma-informed and create a trauma-informed practice
  • The characteristics of traditional therapies and how they benefit trauma

Dexterity Professional Development submits courses for approval to regulatory colleges and associations across Canada. Timelines vary and courses are submitted on a rolling basis. As approvals are granted, this section is updated. Remember to check back often!

Certified Registered Massage Therapist Association (CRMTA) 3 Secondary Credits
Canadian Massage & Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA) 1.5 CECs
Massage Therapist Association of Alberta (MTAA) 3 Primary Credits
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) 3 Core Competency/Primary Credits
Massage Therapist & Wholistic Practitioners of the Maritimes (MTWPAM) 1.5 credit hours Secondary / Category B
College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB) 1.5 Category B Credits
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland & Labrador (CMTNL) 1.5 Category B
Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia (MTANS) 1.5 Primary CEU
PEI Massage Therapy Association (PEIMTA) 1.5 Category B Credits
L'Association des Naturopathes Professionnels du Québec (ANPQ) / L’Association des Naturothérapeutes du Québec (ANQ) / Regroupement des Massothérapeutes du Québec (RMQ) 3 Credits
Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS) 3 Primary Credits
Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) 5 CCP Credits

Under the CMTO’s new Quality Assurance Program (STRiVE), courses are no longer granted approval by the CMTO. It is up to the learner to demonstrate that a course is relevant to their learning goals and the STRiVE competencies. We have provided the description below to help the learner link the course to the STRiVE competencies. A course is often related to more STRiVE competencies than those listed.

The competencies below are established in the CMTO continuing education guidelines. This course addresses the competencies in many ways, including those described below.

Communicate effectively. This course provides the RMT with an in-depth understanding of the signs and symptoms of trauma and its relation to the body. This allows the RMT to have awareness of non-verbal signals that suggest discomfort or lack of understanding. The course provides the tools the RMT needs to address this possible lack of direct communication to create a comfortable space for the patient.

Function in a client-centred manner. This course provides the RMT with knowledge to identify how patients may physically express trauma and how to focus on the patient’s individual needs. It identifies how to become trauma-informed and create a trauma-informed practice to ensure the individual patient feels comfortable and safe at all times.

Apply the principles of sensitive practice. This course provides the tools needed to create a trauma-informed practice. It educates the RMT on how to respond to a patient’s reaction during treatment and gives the therapist an understanding of various signs and symptoms that can relate to various forms of trauma.

Treat others respectfully. This course allows the RMT to recognize trauma in a practice setting and treat all patients with respect and fairness, and avoid acting in a discriminatory fashion. It provides the RMT with the detailed education on types of trauma and associated symptoms  to enable the identification of patient behaviour and act in a respectful way.

Use an evidence-informed approach in your work. This course provides the RMT with detailed information and knowledge regarding trauma and its health impacts from a detailed and comprehensive reference list. The Dexterity PD promise is to evaluate every course on a biannual basis to ensure any developments or changes in the profession are reflected in course content. Thus, RMTs who take this course and adopt its recommendations can be assured that they are practicing in a manner consistent with current developments. A resource list is included in the downloadable guide to every course so that RMTs can conduct further research and/or confirm course findings. Any treatment recommendations are based on this research and the opinion and experience of the instructor who developed the course. All course content and recommendations have been evaluated by two additional RMTs to affirm the accuracy of the content. For more details, please see Our Quality Control Process.






Karen Gnat

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