Trauma is one of the most avoided, ignored, denied, misunderstood, and untreated causes of human suffering; trauma counseling can offer significant relief. When it comes to trauma, no two people are exactly alike. What proves harmful over the long run to one person may be exhilarating to another. There are many factors involved in the wide range of responses to threat. These responses depend upon genetic make-up, an individual’s history of trauma, even his or her family dynamics. In treatment, it is vital that we appreciate these differences.
Trauma does not have to stem from a major catastrophe. We are traumatized when our ability to respond to a perceived threat is in some way overwhelmed. This inability to adequately respond can impact us in obvious ways, as well as ways that are subtle. Trauma sometimes affects us in ways that don’t show up for years. Traumatic experiences vary; war, child abuse, crimes, medical procedures, humiliation, physical injury, embarrassment, and the list is truly endless.
It is my professional observation that not only is trauma curable, but the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening-a gateway to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation. EMDR is often an effective trauma treatment, addressing the brain-mind-body continuum. For more information about EMDR, please see the web pages included on the Home Page. Researchers have shown that survivors of accidents, disaster, and childhood trauma often endure lifelong symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to unexplained physical pain, fatigue, illness, and harmful behaviors. Traumais a fact of life, but it’s effects may be treated and healing is the realistic hope.
Symptoms of Trauma and Traumatic Stress may include:
- Rapid heart beat
- Moist hands
- Re-experiencing original trauma
- Avoidance of situations similar to traumatic event
- Startle response
- Perceiving threats in situations when none exist
Resources Related to Trauma Treatment
Briere, J. (1992). Child abuse trauma: Theory and treatment of the lasting effects. New York: Sage.
Shapiro, F., & Forrest, M.S. (1997). EMDR: The breakthrough therapy for overcoming anxiety, stress, and trauma. New York: Basic.
Scaer, R. (2005). The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency. New York: Norton & Co., Inc.
Van der Kolk, B. A. (1994). The body keeps the score: Memory and the evolving psychobiology of PTSD. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 1, 253-265.
Van der Kolk, B. A., & Mc Farlane, A. C. (1996). Traumatic Stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York: Guilford.