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Trauma-Informed Peer Support Across the Lifespan

Developmental Issues

1. The impact of violence is determined in part by the developmental stage at which it occurs, and children who experience trauma at a very young age, when the primary developmental task is to develop trust, may have their sense of safety shattered or develop problems with attachment.

A. True

B. False


2. For some trauma survivors, raising children may be both the biggest challenge and the biggest blessing of their lives, as demonstrated by each of the following EXCEPT:

A. Trauma survivors may not have had good role models for effective parenting and may need to learn the basics of how to support and nurture their children

B. They may be so fearful of losing their children that they avoid reaching out for help, especially if their own childhood included separation or abandonment

C. Women who grew up in families where trauma occurred are generally highly motivated to break that cycle, so they rarely have problems with bonding or discipline with their own children

D. A child’s behavior may bring back memories of long-forgotten or repressed abuse, especially as the child approaches the age at which the abuse happened


Women at Mid-Life

3. As women age, respiratory problems and chronic pain, which are both related to adverse childhood events, may increase and become harder to ignore, and situational and hormonal changes may trigger the emergence of old memories.

A. True

B. False


Strategies for Peer Support

4. Older women are more likely than younger women to talk directly about their trauma histories, probably because their generation was raised without the ability to discuss their issues through social media and they did not learn to communicate regularly through technology.

A. True

B. False


Trauma and Peer Support Relationships

5. The role of the peer supporter is to develop relationships that allow women to use their own voices and to name their own experiences in order to reclaim power and control over their own lives, while emphasizing:

A. Reconnection

B. Compassion

C. Respect

D. Acceptance


6. Which of the following is NOT one of the principles of peer support in action?  

A. Peer supporters recognize relationship factors that keep women in dependent roles, elicit anger and frustration, or bring on the survival responses of fight, flight, and/or freeze

B. The focus should be on helping rather than learning, so that peer supporters and the women they engage will discover a larger, richer context for understanding and appreciating each other

C. Peer support relationships, with their emphasis on mutuality, provide an opportunity to shift the focus from problems and problem-solving to appreciating the experiences that have shaped each other’s lives

D. When peer supporters work as paid staff, they need to be careful not to get stuck in roles that limit growth and exploration


7. In trauma-informed environments, common experiences are emphasized so that people will easily feel connected to others and are able to find the same meaning in similar events.

A. True

B. False


8. The principles of peer support directly influence healing relationships by contradicting many of the destructive messages that women have internalized about who they are.

A. True

B. False


The Language of Peer Support

9. Everyday language supports individuals to move beyond the identity of “mental patient,” “addict,” or “inmate,” and allows us to make meaning out of our experiences and to have that meaning understood by others.

A. True

B. False


Clinical Language

10. Diagnostic and clinical language tends to be problem-focused and ___________, and typically describes what is “wrong” with the person and what needs to happen to solve the problem.  

A. Defect-oriented

B. Fault-targeted

C. Weakness-centered

D. Deficit-based


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