Trauma is experienced in a variety of ways. Individuals can have major traumatic events, or struggle with troublesome, stressful, daily issues trauma that can be paired with past painful event. Both experiences can create intrusive thoughts which may become pervasive and cause one to feel “stuck” or frozen in thought and feeling. Often these thoughts can become so pervasive one may feel helpless to change their patterns of thinking. Our team can help clients walk through these challenges and equip you with tools that help lead to post trauma growth and healthy management skills. The team helps clients deal with a vast array of psychological stressors including, but not limited to, past trauma, all levels of abuse including sexual, issues related to deployment and redeployment, relational stress, and other common and unique stressors related to life.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a diagnosis (according to the DSM-5), which describes the behaviors or thoughts an individual who has experienced death, threatened with death; actual or threatened serious injury, and actual or threatened sexual violence. These symptoms may manifest in the following way(s):
Direct exposure, Witnessing the trauma, Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma, Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties.
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced, in the following way(s):
Intrusive thoughts, Nightmares, Flashbacks, Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders, Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):
Inability to recall key features of the trauma, Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world, Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma, Negative affect, Decreased interest in activities, Feeling isolated, Difficulty experiencing positive affect.
Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s): Irritability or aggression, Risky or destructive behavior, Hypervigilance, Heightened startle reaction, Difficulty concentrating, Difficulty sleeping.
As disturbing as PTSD may seem, it is important to realize that there are ways to treat trauma and reasons to be hopeful that one’s life does not have to be trapped in the horrors that may be causing such troublesome thoughts and behaviors. A significant dimension of treating trauma is the development of one’s ability to self-regulate their emotions. Key to emotional-regulation is the ability to step out of the “experience” of the feelings or thoughts and become an “inner-witness” or observer of what one is thinking and feeling. EMDR, Equine Assisted Mental Health interventions, mindfulness techniques, and cognitive behavioral techniques are approaches that can help individuals develop the “inner-witness” skill and give them the ability to choose a more helpful way to respond to their situation.