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Trauma & The Pelvic Floor

Trauma & The Pelvic Floor

Trauma & The Pelvic Floor

This course includes
6:57:22 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion



Course Description

This online physiotherapy course by Pelvic Health Solutions (PHS) will be focused on understanding the impact of trauma on physical and emotional health and the barriers trauma may present to patient’s experiences in healthcare, particularly pelvic physiotherapy. Over the course of the workshop, we will explore the two most common types of trauma impacting pelvic health – childhood sexual abuse and birth trauma. We will explore how physiotherapists can apply a trauma-informed lens to their practice resulting in greater awareness, understanding, and sensitivity for patients identifying as survivors of trauma. Through this increased sensitivity physiotherapists will better support their patients and in turn observe higher levels of trust, adherence, and cooperation from their client base.

Course Outline:

  • Defining trauma – Overview
  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Understanding the impact of Trauma: The Shattered Worldview
  • Types of Trauma – Similarities and Differences
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Birth Trauma
  • Defining Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA)
  • Defining Birth Trauma
  • Why is a trauma lens important for pelvic health physiotherapists?
  • Disclosures of Trauma: Appropriate and Inappropriate Responses by Healthcare Workers
  • Trauma & Trust and the healthcare system
  • What does a trauma survivor feel when disclosing?
  • Coping Techniques for patients
  • Chronic pain
  • Vicarious Trauma: Impact of trauma on the healthcare worker
  • What to do if you are triggered about a past personal experience?
  • How to practice self-care for yourself and others
  • How to support colleagues facing vicarious trauma

Resources for CSA


This course is open to all health care professionals – physiotherapists, physiotherapy students, physiotherapy assistants, occupational therapists, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, registered kinesiologists, medical doctors, nurses, and midwives.


The instructors
Pelvic Health Solutions

Pelvic Health Solutions is an evidence-based teaching company that was founded in 2010 by Nelly Faghani and Carolyn Vandyken, out of the need to develop pelvic health resources in Ontario, an under serviced health concern in this province. Since the inception of our teaching company, pelvic health physiotherapy has blossomed from a handful of physiotherapists to well over 300 therapists now rostered with the Ontario College of Physiotherapists. Pelvic Health Solutions provides continuing education courses for a variety of practitioners, including mentoring and clinical resources for therapists to utilize with their patients. Our mission is to provide evidence-based, biopsychosocial resources to patients and health care practitioners for the assessment and treatment of pelvic health problems in our province and abroad.

Lisa Aldworth
Lisa is a social worker and psychotherapist in private practice at Southern Ontario Counselling Centre in Waterloo, Ontario. In her practice she works with clients on a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, post partum mood disorders, coping with chronic pain/illness, relationship issues, and trauma. Within her trauma practice Lisa works with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, survivors of relationship violence, and survivors of birth trauma. As a social worker Lisa has worked in a number of in-patient settings including oncology, labour and delivery, NICU and pediatric cardiology. This front line experience has informed Lisa’s therapeutic practice and brings an acute awareness of the vulnerability of the patient experience as well as the inherent hierarchies patients must face within the healthcare system. Lisa’s experiences and observations within this context have resulted in a deep understanding of the patient experience and an understanding of both the complexity and healing potential of patient/healthcare provider relationship. It is Lisa’s firm belief that with a trauma-focused lens, healthcare providers can excel at supporting even the most vulnerable of populations.
Course Material included in this course
  • Introduction
  • Slides
  • Introduction to Lisa Aldworth
  • Advice on Working with Trauma
  • Criteria for PTSD
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse Definition
  • Canadian Statistics
  • PTSD & The Brain
  • Impact of Childhood Abuse
  • The Effects of Abuse on Personality and Trust
  • Feedback
  • Section 2
  • Survivor Profile: Part 1
  • Survivor Profile: Part 2
  • How to Recognize a Survivor
  • Recognizing Survivors as a Healthcare Professionals
  • Behavioral & Emotional Signs of a Survivor
  • Dissociation
  • Physical Signs
  • Self Soothing & Self Harm
  • Feedback
  • Section 3
  • Trauma Lens
  • Understanding Triggers
  • Reaction to Triggers
  • Creating a Survivor Friendly Office
  • Responding to a Triggered Patient
  • When to Refer to Therapy
  • The Value of Therapy
  • Feedback
  • Section 4
  • Grounding Techniques
  • Coping with Anxiety
  • Canadian Birth Statistics, Part 1
  • Canadian Birth Statistics, Part 2
  • Trauma as a Subjective Experience
  • Feedback
  • Section 5
  • Post Natal PTSD
  • Fear & Birthing
  • Post Partum Depression and PTSD Symptoms
  • Birth Trauma & Characteristics
  • Clinical Implications
  • Causes of Birth Trauma: Group Discussion
  • Feedback
  • Section 6
  • Physical Harm
  • Psychological Harm
  • Recognizing Birth Trauma
  • Trauma & Loved Ones
  • Understanding People with PTSD
  • Disclosure of Birth Trauma
  • Fear of Recurrence
  • Feedback
  • Part 7
  • Healing & Therapy
  • Compassion Stress & Trauma
  • Triggered by your Client
  • Supporting Your Staff
  • Feedback
  • Resources
  • Beck's Depression Inventory
  • Alpha Self Report for Women
  • Trauma Screening Questionnaire
  • Birth Trauma Questionnaire
  • Self-Assessment of Maternal Distress After a Difficult Birth
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) Trauma Checklist
  • Article: Mothering as a Rape Survivor
  • The Therapeutic Relationship As The Foundation for Treatment with Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse