Rachel Archambault M.A. CCC-SLP, She/her/hers My name is Rachel Archambault, also known as "The PTSD SLP" (@ptsd.slp) on Instagram. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist in South Florida; however, I specialize in trauma-informed care.
I didn't start out wanting to focus on trauma. In 2018, I experienced a traumatic event while working as an SLP in a high school in Parkland, Florida. I had no training on how to work with students who had undergone trauma and found trauma-informed care online. I realized it wasn't just about working with students who had trauma, but also had to apply these concepts to myself first. I always think of the phrase "you can't pour from an empty cup". I had to self-reflect on a lot of my own emotional regulation before I could model those behaviors and help my students. I am extremely passionate about TIC because as an SLP, we are service providers working with children, adults, and families who have experienced trauma. Some possibly stem from a child's disability. We need to be mindful as providers that we do not cause additional trauma or retraumatize. The goal of trauma-informed care is reducing the harm that we may cause, often unintentionally. My biggest strength is patience. As a new SLP, I was quick to judge children's behavior. Now, I take a step back and acknowledge the child may not have control over this behavior. Oprah and Dr. Bruce Perry have a great intro to TIC book called "What Happened to You". This is really the pivotal question of TIC. It changes your mindset from "what's wrong with you?" to "what happened to you". In the future of speech pathology, I'd like to see more training on trauma-informed care, counseling skills, and more research into trauma-informed care in this field specifically.
I am so happy to support The Apraxia Foundation because trauma-informed care needs to be used with this population. Apraxia itself can cause a lot of trauma to the child or adult, just navigating through a neurotypical world. I imagine children not being able to communicate their wants and needs, which is really scary for them and the family. The bullying that may or may not occur. And even providers like SLPs causing unintentional harm by not providing a safe space in therapy. There's a lot of possibilities of potential trauma but our goal should be to support our clients and families.