The Second Ring, the Disenfranchised…Who Are Taking Care of Other Family and the Caregivers?

Duane Bowers, Donna R. Gore,Shattered Lives

Duane T. Bowers looks at the whole picture of life…  As a licensed professional counselor, educator/training consultant and expert, he travels the U.S. and beyond, seeking to help the grief stricken, forging a better understanding and recommending practical measures to improve one’s quality of life …when life looks like a battlefield following war.

Duane can answer many of the why questions (as they are based in physiology); and he is cognizant of the impact of traumatic death, PTSD, grief, suicide and those gone missing. He knows the landscape and the human toll up close and personal through his work with many organizations.  Among them are:  the Office for Victims of Crime, Project Jason, the Cue Center for Missing Persons,  Team Hope, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Association of Missing and Exploited Children and the Canadian Center for Child Protection.

Duane spent an hour with “Ladyjustice” and Delilah focusing on the disenfranchised – those family members and caretakers whose needs are often overlooked when someone is victimized by violent death, loss or life threatening illness. How do you “get off the daily merry-go-round” that never seemto slow down? 

Listen to the latest interview with Duane Bowers: CLICK HERE

  • Ø What is a disenfranchised victim?
  • Ø First ring of survivor… forgetting the second ring; Examples;
  • Ø Reasons for attending only to the victims in the first ring; Levels of disenfranchised –people and pets;
  • Ø The Traumatic Response –  Physiological response followed by behaviors;
  • Ø Keeping Alive…. If stress is prolonged….
  • Ø Immune System , pain,  and immune system importance;
  • Ø Short term memory and remembering under stress;
  • Ø The “pictures in my head”… PTSD…;
  • Ø Introducing counseling  versus  cortisol level  via exercise;
  • Ø Options – “Feeling good about yourself;” Laughing and pretending, Singing, dancing, natural sugars;
  • Ø Delilah asks, Why aren’t MD’s attuned to educating about caretaking the caregiver?
  • Ø Selected Caregiver classes… including hospices;
  • Ø Bodily response with those who are caregivers and “in the second ring;”
  • Ø New DSM category to be introduced in 2013 re PTSD;
  • Ø Services for the second ring?
  • Ø Hospice services including respite;
  • Ø Setting up respite services in an extended family. How to get this training?
  • Ø Chat room question- Where is the respite for other victims who give back to future victims?  Project Jason Retreat as an example. Retreat organizers need respite too! ;
  • Ø Massage, stress management and acupuncture  to decrease stress;
  • Ø Recommended role of extended family members; Lack of recognition and becoming disenfranchised.  Need to  focus on the caregivers;
  • Ø Look at the family unit – the second or third ring… to know, how much am I allowed to be a part of it?
  • Ø Tap into  good friends,  clergy, to assist that second ring;
  • Ø Just being there… and talking, having coffee, venting;
  • Ø  Duane believes victims do not get enough mental health counseling when they need it – Recommends  4 to 8 weeks post trauma;
  • Ø Little things … crying and new research…. When a person’s perspective shifts…..   “Oh don’t cry…everything will be okay…”  Naught!
  • Ø Talk about it with – a good clergymen, a well trained person;
  • Ø Historical perspective -Washington DC  clergy and counseling;
  • Ø Clergy and liability;
  • Ø Doing shows like “Shattered Lives” – a vital part of what we do at Imagine Publicity;
  • Ø Delilah on getting out the resources, education and awareness and “running at high speed;”
  • Ø Duane asking what is the hardest part for caretaker Delilah? – Delilah says… the time to do the things you know you have to do…. Needing 40 hours per day;
  • Ø “Your mental state goes to unfamiliar places…..”
  • Ø Duane on  24 hour crisis lines – Crisis link – highly reputable and trained;
  • Ø;
  • Ø How to read the signs…seeing the red flags and stopping the self-destruction of the second ring and caretakers we love.  Rely on friends versus family members  and “just be there, “pick up the pieces   (do the laundry) or whatever needs  done ; “Drag the person out“ for an hour of fun and relaxation;
  • Ø When those who care are in another state…
  • Ø Long term illness versus a trauma and how it is diagnosed (in name) versus how you feel it;
  • Ø  Scenario – Traumatic event of a violent nature: The first, second and third ring…. Where is the family to support grandma who also needs assistance?  Additional stress and lack of resources… Grandma becomes disenfranchised;
  • Ø Mental health professions need to intercede and set up structure for services and support;
  • Ø High stress; decreased immunity and developing cancer;
  • Ø Medical profession – “Treat everything with a pill”
  • Ø  Trauma, Death and Caregivers- Sleep medication:  Did you know that we MUST dream in order to release stress?  Prescription meds do not allow this… you wake up more exhausted… 
  • Ø  Your retina controls sleep… releasing melatonin to assist with sleep.  Make your environment darker and relax your body…in a habitual way…
  • Ø It takes 21 days to form a habit…..  Good or bad…
  • Ø  “Homework assignments” and closing….




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