Most people will experience trauma/stressors in their lifetime whether it’s a small single incident (small t’s) like a minor car accident, or big traumas (big T’s) such as abuse or neglect, sexual violence, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster. It is not the objective facts that determine an event as “traumatic”; rather, it is one’s interpretation of the event and its impact on the individuals life: the more persistent anxiety, panic, depression a person feels, the more likely that the person has been traumatized.
Not everyone who experiences trauma need counseling; while many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People with PTSD often experience intense thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experiences. These can last for a long time after the initial event. Many ( not all )people with PTSD also relive the event through flashbacks and nightmares.
People with PTSD often feel intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and a detachment from friends, family and community members. They often avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents such as a door banging or accidental touch in a crowd may cause a strong and uncontrollable reaction.
How Can Treatment Help?
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat PTSD. However, there are two specific techniques that are consistently gaining research-based evidence of their effectiveness in successfully treating PTSD. Although talking is immensely important in validating what happened and how an individual is affected, talk therapy alone does not resolve PTSD symptoms that are in the “survival brain”. In addition, in some cases, talking “over and over again” about the traumatic incident(s) can actually make the symptoms worse leaving the individual to “relive”the traumatic event(s)
- EMDR – EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This technique uses bilateral sensory input such as side-to-side eye movements to stimulate the brain to process difficult thoughts, memories and emotions. For more info, please visit my EMDR page.
- Somatic Experience Approach: Trauma(s) can leave you stuck in fight,flight,freeze responses; SEA provides tools to resolve these states that one may get stuck in. This approach is gentle in addressing the root causes of the trauma(s). The focus is not uncovering memories; rather it is looking at the score the body keeps.
If you or a loved one suffer with PTSD and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I have personally seen amazing transformation through therapy and want to offer the help you need to enjoy life again.