Darrell Brooks trial 'might be triggering,' psychologists say

The Darrell Brooks trial, like the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy itself, will impact hundreds of people in Waukesha. The trial, which began with jury selection Monday, Oct. 3, is expected to last several weeks.

For people who were there, the trial is a reminder of what happened that day. 

Psychologists say it can be triggering.

Darrell Brooks

A Marquette University professor who specializes in trauma and resilience and a psychologist with Rogers Behavioral Health had similar advice. 

They said tuning in for every detail may not be the best thing to do. They suggest maybe picking a set time each day to get updates. Maybe for you, it's only once a week. They also said you should listen to what your body needs.

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"Some of the little things that we take for granted like hygiene, making sure you have a good sleep schedule, paying attention to those symptoms that may come up," said Rae Anne Ho Fung, Rogers Behavioral Health. 

Darrell Brooks

"Really connect to how you are thinking as an individual, how you are feeling as an individual and really listen to yourself," said Emily Mazzulla. "Do what makes the most sense for you in terms of your own self-care."

The fact that Brooks is defending himself adds another layer to all of this.

As for the hundreds of people on the state's witness list who may be questioned by Brooks himself, the psychologists had this advice.


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"I would say really understanding as an individual what helps your central nervous system, your body, remain calm and remain grounded," said Mazzulla. "Try and engage in some of those coping techniques in the moment, and also do something for yourself afterwards."

"Anything that they can do to prep themselves emotionally for what that experience might be like in court is really important," said Ho Fung.