Trauma & The Pelvic Floor

Trauma & The Pelvic Floor


This course includes

6:57:22 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase

The instructors

Pelvic Health Solutions (View bio)

Course Description

This online 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.

Lisa AldworthMSW, RSW

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.  

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.



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


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


Physical Signs

Self Soothing & Self Harm


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


Section 4

Grounding Techniques

Coping with Anxiety

Canadian Birth Statistics, Part 1

Canadian Birth Statistics, Part 2

Trauma as a Subjective Experience


Section 5

Post Natal PTSD

Fear & Birthing

Post Partum Depression and PTSD Symptoms

Birth Trauma & Characteristics

Clinical Implications

Causes of Birth Trauma: Group Discussion


Section 6

Physical Harm

Psychological Harm

Recognizing Birth Trauma

Trauma & Loved Ones

Understanding People with PTSD

Disclosure of Birth Trauma

Fear of Recurrence


Part 7

Healing & Therapy

Compassion Stress & Trauma

Triggered by your Client

Supporting Your Staff



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