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The human capacity for burden is like bamboo - far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance. 

~Jodi Picoult

What is Trauma?


Psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions, in which the individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed, or the individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity. Thus, a traumatic event or situation creates psychological trauma when it overwhelms the individual’s ability to cope, and leaves that person fearing death, annihilation, mutilation, or psychosis. The individual may feel emotionally, cognitively, and physically overwhelmed. The circumstances of the event commonly include abuse of power, betrayal of trust, entrapment, helplessness, pain, confusion, and/or loss.


Trauma includes responses to powerful one-time incidents like accidents, natural disasters, crimes, surgeries, deaths, and other violent events. It also includes responses to chronic or repetitive experiences such as child abuse, neglect, combat, urban violence, concentration camps, battering relationships, and enduring deprivation. Individuals who have witnessed or have been in a violent situation often have lingering symptoms that can impact their well being. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Individuals with this disorder have directly experienced, witnessed

or heard about a frightening traumatic event. Not everyone who has

these experiences develops the disorder. Those who have the disorder

also experience symptoms that may include upsetting vivid memories,

nightmares, and/or flashbacks of the trauma, avoidance of reminders

of the trauma, negative impact on their thoughts and mood (e.g.

depression,fear of life being cut short), and changes in their reactivity

(e.g. more easily startled).


What does psychotherapeutic treatment for Post Traumatic Stress


The treatment of PTSD typically involves two components: exposure

therapy and cognitive therapy. Exposure therapy includes both imaginal

exposure and in vivo exposure to safe situations that have been avoided

because they elicit traumatic reminders. Cognitive Therapy focuses on

challenging and modifying the client’s maladaptive beliefs related to the

trauma. This is all done in a safe and supportive environment and within

a well-established therapeutic relationship.

What are the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Below is a link for an at-home symptomology check list that can help you identify whether you are suffering from PTSD. It is important to note, however, that this checklist is not a replacement for a mental health professional. Rather, it is to be used as a tool to provide potential information to help individuals take the appropriate first step in seeking therapeutic support.

Helping Individuals, Couples and Families Feel and Be Their Best
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