BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS12) — As the one year mark of the Parkland shooting approaches, local therapists are preparing for what’s to come.
Pain, grief and memories that are still haunting survivors to this day.
On Friday, a group called Professionals United for Parkland held a communal workshop for local therapists working with survivors.
“I believe it is an ethically and moral imperative for therapist to be as highly trained as possible when working with this population in particular,” said Brain Gong, a licensed mental health counselor, EMDR therapist and Addiction and Trauma therapist.
Gong has spent the last 11 months working with teachers, students and family members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Some people witnessing death, some of the survivors who have been shot themselves and it’s impossible not to affected by that as you hear the stories and experience their intense levels of emotionality,” Gong said.
With the one year mark only 41 days away, Gong attended a communal trauma at Florida Atlantic University.
“We want to make sure everyone we can touch is ready for what’s coming and they have the tools to use that we can offer them so they can get the support they need,” said Luna Medina -Wolfe, owner of Helping Moon Counseling, P.A. and Vice President of Professionals United for Parkland.
“I think that it is inevitable for people to experience some increase in symptoms and disturbance when the anniversary comes regardless of how much treatment you got,” Gong said.
Gong said those who have not received treatment will most likely experience trauma in a greater degree.
While Gong is learning how to better treat others, he’s also realized the importance of self-care.
“I don’t want to be traumatized in a vicarious fashion myself," he said. "I have gone to therapy myself and it’s an important thing. they say the best therapists have therapists."
Gong said there is a local trauma recovery network that offers survivors five free 90 minute sessions.
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