Post Traumatic Stress and Complex Trauma
“Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation.”Judith Lewis Herman
“Whenever we’re working with trauma, we have to remember that we’re never working with the actual event – we’re working with patterns of response.”Pat Ogden
Any event outside the usual realm of human experience that evokes intense fear, helplessness, terror, or pain can cause trauma. Often these events are marked by an actual or perceived threat of death or a perceived threat to one’s physical, emotional and/or psychological integrity. Trauma can also be induced by witnessing others being physically, emotionally, or psychologically abused. When trauma occurs in childhood the effects can be devastating to a developing mind and body. Children affected by trauma adopt many ways to cope with these overwhelming events, including dissociation, negative core beliefs, numbing behaviors, and addictions. Untreated in childhood, these coping strategies can cause a myriad of difficulties in adult life such as the inability to maintain healthy and safe relationships, sleep disorders, eating disorders, difficulty maintaining consistent work, chronic pain, medically undiagnosed symptoms, the inability to manage stress, the inability to be an effective parent, addiction, and other self-harming behaviors.
Post-traumatic stress and complex trauma can be effectively treated through therapy that assists in:
- Stabilization: being able to stay grounded in one’s body and in the present moment.
- The maintenance of daily routines: being able to stay engaged in life and activities.
- The development and use of resources: having multiple skills, supports and resources to help manage the emotional, psychological and physical challenges of healing from trauma.
- Stress management: recognizing what a healthy level of stress is and how to respond when stress becomes too high.
- Trauma management: learning skills to contain the traumatic experience(s) so that one can maintain their daily activities and maintain hope for the future.
- Trauma reprocessing: working through the traumatic experiences in a safe and integrative way.
- Trauma resolution: the trauma is no longer in the present but becomes part of the past, allowing your body to find its wholeness, peace and health in the present.
I utilize all of my training and experience to provide multi-phased trauma treatment which incorporates other models of therapy with EMDR. Through therapy, individuals who have experienced trauma can gain or regain a healthy sense of self and a sense of control over their lives.