Trauma is defined as overwhelming demands placed upon the physiological system that result in a profound felt sense of loss of control (International Center for Disaster Resilience). Some basic reactions that begin as a normal reaction to a traumatic event may end up supporting maladaptive coping strategies and lead to anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. Many will feel as though they are experiencing the event currently even though the actual trauma has passed. Hyperarousal and a heightened startle response may occur frequently after the initial incident. Often times a person going through a traumatic incident will attempt to avoid places and people that remind them of the event and may even become numb and/or depressed. A client may not be able to make internal meaning or sense of thier lives any longer and feel as though they are not in control.
The good news is that there is hope after a traumatic event. One modality I frequently use with clients is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). This process is an innovative clinical treatment using bilateral stimulation (either back and forth eye movement or tapping of the hands) and cognitive restructuring to reduce the symptoms of trauma and negative self-thoughts. EMDR is noted to be twice as effective in treating trauma in half the amount of time as standard talk-therapy (Kaiser-Permanente).
Another modality I implement is Clinical Hypnosis which uses the client’s ability to achieve deep relaxation and intent focus in order to resolve, understand, and change behaviors or symptoms. I have over 50 hours of specialized and documented training to use Clinical Hypnosis.
Additionally, talk-therapy using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques is extremely effective. It is key to psychoeducate a client about different types of abuse and trauma; work on affect regulation and feeling identification; learn to practice controlled breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and safe place imagery; help a client understand the relationship among thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and gradually expose a client to upsetting aspects of their trauma as a way of integrating thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event into a meaningful experience; and for the client to strengthen safety and problem solving skills.