Trauma and PTSD
Emotional and physical trauma is the response to a distressing experience. Flashbacks, nightmares, keeping others at bay, or being constantly on edge are just a few symptoms experienced by trauma victims. It can happen to anyone. Not just those on the front line.
Those diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and stress related or traumatic symptoms often feel that something in them is broken, severely impaired or beyond help.
Dealing with trauma is a cycle of reliving the past that leads to hopelessness, suicidality or even treatment avoidance. Know this…your body is doing it’s job protecting you. It just needs to be re-calibrated so you’re not constantly fighting back.
Some examples of trauma and disturbing events that can disrupt healthy behaviors and create mood disturbance include:
- any type of abuse, assault, rape, or neglect
- witnessing or receiving verbal and/or physical violence
- natural or man-made disasters
- excessive or cruel teasing (bullying)
- major or unresolved grief issues
- feeling inferior or defective
- having a life-threatening illness
- being in or witnessing a severe accident
- being on the receiving end of a significant betrayal of some sort
Treatments and techniques
Brainspotting: Brainspotting is a powerful, focused treatment method that works by identifying, processing and releasing core neurophysiological sources of emotional/body pain, trauma, dissociation and a variety of other challenging symptoms. Brainspotting makes use of the natural phenomenon of “where you look affects how you feel” through its use of relevant eye positions.
Together the therapist and client pair a fixed eye position and body sensation to an unresolved issue. This rapid, highly effective mind/body centered therapy technique appears to go beyond the cognitive awareness and connects one to their body’s innate wisdom to heal itself.
- Mental imagery: Mental imagery, sometimes called visualization, is the language used by the mind to communicate with the body. Think of it as the mind speaking to us in pictures. Different from hypnosis, instead of being placed in trance, mental imagery enlivens you and opens the doors to the inner expert that already exists inside of you, enabling you to become happy, healthy, and whole…on your own.
EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that alleviates distress associated with traumatic memories. These events seem to get locked and dysfunctionally stored in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, and feelings.
Scattered memories need safety and containment.
EMDR unlocks the nervous system. During EMDR treatments, the targeted event or trauma episode, along with the beliefs attached to it, are relieved and reversed to generate healing, relief, and promote recovery.
- YogaFun™ Therapy: Yoga is not all about “striking a pose”, downward facing dog, or mastering a head stand. Focused breath work, mental imagery, gentle movements, and just laying down can be powerful, portable self-care tools for any body to do anywhere. These practices are integrated into the therapy session to teach you how to self-regulate to manage moods and mindfully reduce reactive responses (fight or flight).
Dr Shafer is an excellent therapist!
“I liked that we set goals for treatment, and work toward them! I always want the “bottom line truth” which she provides. I have made many positive changes in my life with her help!”