how to heal trauma

One of the most basic questions asked by those who suffer from trauma related experience is…

how to heal from trauma?

A lot of research has gone into the study of the effects of trauma since the very first recognition of it, going back several decades, to World War I, when it was referred to as ‘shell shock.’ Some of the typical symptoms of shell shock, now referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are: hyper-vigilance, trouble sleeping, nightmares, irritability, irrational fears, heightened anxieties, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, numbness, obsessiveness, emotional dysregulation, violence, suicide. Fortunately, there are now some very effective, evidence-based, treatments for PTSD. Two of the most commonly used today are Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TFCBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Neurolinquistic Programming (NLP), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Some of the more established approaches include basic behavior modification such as Exposure Therapy and Systematic Desensitization. Of course, medication can play a helpful role in reducing symptoms and thus allowing therapy to proceed more effectively. For information and resources related to PTSD, visit the Treatment of PTSD website.

All of these treatments for trauma do include, to some extent, ‘talk therapy.’ One of the ingredients in healing from trauma, and part of ‘the talking cure’ is referred to as ‘the narrative.’ The narrative is the story, the experience, which, when relived in the telling, in a safe, supportive environment, with a professional, can help diminish the symptoms. Although much is now known about how trauma impacts the brain, the symptoms still follow the basic pattern of ‘stimulus-response’ in which a certain stimulus triggers a particular response. In the case of trauma, the stimulus is often generalized. For example, being bitten by a dog is traumatic. But, being bitten by one dog does not mean every dog is a threat. However, that is what happens in trauma. The single incident is generalized to all possible related incidents. A war veteran may have become highly sensitized to the sound of gun shots and is then also triggered by the sound of a car back firing, or any loud cracking sound.

Part of of healing from trauma is making distinctions between single, or even chronic, events and incidents which happened in the past, and one’s current life experience, which may be devoid of any real danger. Treatment can take some time, ranging from weeks, to months, and sometimes longer. If you are suffering with symptoms of trauma and would like to begin a journey of healing from trauma, doing some research on your own, coming to learn about trauma will be important; and, having a professional with whom to talk, in a safe, supportive environment, can also be very important.

One of the nice features of online counseling, is the privacy and comfort afforded, because you can do it in your own home. Even very direct and personal online counseling through video webcam consultation can be in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Open Mind Counseling has offered online counseling through email, live chat, telephone and video since 2006. For more information, visit the about page, testimonials and other services listed in the menu above. If interested in our services, you are welcome to contact us.


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