Providing Healing, Recovery and Growth

Trauma Recovery

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Trauma can be defined as any event that creates a significant threat to our lives or sense of who we are. It can be an immediate threat like a car accident or robbery. Abandonment or betrayal caused by profound loss or physical, sexual or emotional abuse can also be traumatic. The fear of injury and loss created by domestic violence is another source of trauma. Frequently, traumatic injury to the mind and spirit is not manifested in one specific life-threatening moment, but over time, through damaging actions or words in toxic relationships.

When exposed to threat or danger, many powerful brain and body systems are activated to protect us by increasing our arousal and sensitizing us to any signs of further danger. Serious problems arise, though, when our brains and bodies become ‘stuck’ in this aroused state, reacting as if the threat were present in the here and now. We can think of the returning soldier who is incapable of driving on a highway overpass, the child who is hyperactive and hypersensitive to sharp noises and movements, or the woman or man who demonstrates a tragic pattern of repeatedly entering unhealthy relationships in an effort to heal past wounds. Another pattern is to deaden arousal through denial or ‘splitting off’ one’s self from painful feelings and memories. Some try to block the pain through intense activity, ‘numbing out’ in front of the TV, overeating, self-medication, addiction or overwork. Angry acting out, low self-esteem, perfectionism and shame are often present. These attempts to cope with deep fears and feelings left by trauma can be unhealthy, damaging and dangerous.

Recovery is possible. Focused trauma work in therapy reduces fear, anxiety, depression and compulsive behaviors. Trauma survivors are empowered to live in the here and now and make good decisions. You can be restored to a healthy trust in yourself and others. You no longer have to live or feel like you are separate from yourself.

David and Donna have extensive experience working with those who are struggling with the lasting effects of trauma, particularly victims of abuse. Donna is certified as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing practioner, and experienced in the use of Emotional Freedom Therapy techniques.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects These include psychodynamic, cognive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. Francine Shapiro