Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed to the Supreme Court and the questions are, “Where do we go from here?’ and “How do we assist our employees who may have been re-traumatized by the hearings based on past trauma?”
Much of the focus has been on women and the #metoo movement which many feel is driven by and for women. However, we know many of our male employees have a history of trauma.
Here are some suggestions for Human Resources and employees:
(1) Take Time: Allow employees to take time to process the hearings. If the person needs time off and has time, you can grant this if it does not impact the person’s work.
(2) Limit News Coverage: Now that the hearings have concluded, it is easier to limit your consumption of news coverage surrounding the trial. Focusing on work and your daily routine, may limit a focus on the outcome.
(3) Avoid Self Blame
(4) Avoid Debating about the Hearings: If an employee has a history of trauma, arguing about Justice Kavanaugh’s guilt or innocence is not going to help the person who has been re-traumatized.
(5) A Crime was Committed: Acknowledging this can help you to accept what happened and continue to heal. Denial will continue to re-traumatize individuals who are suffering.
(6) Get Support or Counseling: Many survivors have had extensive counseling. If you need additional help, you can attend counseling or increase the support that you already have.
Watching the hearings can be a useful and productive experience for a period of time as they speak to all of us. It also helps us to have empathy and understanding for others.
After the event is over everyone resumes their daily activities and some individuals can move right on. However, for survivors of trauma, their work and home life can be impacted.
Recognizing the ramifications and addressing them appropriately, can help individuals and the culture of a company.
Kay Gimmestad, LCSW-C is a business coach and clinician in New York City with 20 years of experience working in the profit and not for profit sectors of Human Resources, Health and Human Services. She has built a reputation for being highly skilled in facilitating behavior change while working with employees, both individually and in groups, on matters relating to performance management, substance abuse, crisis intervention, and stress/wellness.