What is Trauma?
What is a traumatic event? What does feeling "triggered" mean? These questions are unique to each one of us and depend on several factors, including our genetics, our upbringing, and the support network we currently have. There is also the question of the event itself, and how much it impacts our lives.
How I Address Trauma
Treatment has been categorized in three “avenues.” Many require a combination of them:
- Top-Down: Talking, connecting with others, allowing ourselves and others to know what is going on while we process memories of the trauma.
- Medications/biological technologies: that shut down inappropriate alarm-reactions and change the way the body organizes information
- Bottom-Up: Allowing the body to have experiences that deeply contradict the helplessness, rage, and collapse that resulted from the trauma.
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What is PTSD?
During long-term traumas, the victim is generally held in a state of captivity, physically or emotionally, according to Dr. J Herman. In these situations the victim is under the control of the perpetrator and unable to get away from the danger.
Herman, J. L. (2015). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence--from domestic abuse to political terror.
How I Address PTSD
Remember that all trauma is not PTSD, and there are many ways to categorize what is traumatic. This can lead to confusion about what the right treatment is for each person. I use an “evidence-based treatment” that has met a high standard of testing and have shown some reliable and valid results.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a highly researched and tested therapy for PTSD, complex traumas, and has been shown to be effective for a wide range of issues including addiction, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, psychosis, complicated grief, sexual abuse, and performance anxiety.