Traumatic events can occur at any time in any number of ways, including war, physical assault, sexual abuse, the unexpected death of someone you love, or witnessing something horrifying. Sometimes it only takes one of these events or it can be the result of multiple traumatic events over a period of time to change the way you see and respond to the world. The perceptual part of the brain becomes fear-driven making the world seem no longer safe. The impact of traumatic experiences can be powerful and devastating, and fill you with feelings of helplessness, guilt or shame, shock, or anger and a number of problems including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dissociative Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Obsessions and Compulsion, Eating Disorders, and Drug Abuse or Addiction. Symptoms can include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol or drug abuse or addiction
- Low self-esteem
While the brain is organized to survive even under the worst conditions and defend us against threats to our safety and well-being, traumatic experiences. However, the stress and impact of these experiences can extremely tax that protective brain. Van der Kolk writes in The Body Keeps the Score that “Trauma affects the entire human organism— body, mind, and brain.” “In PTSD the body continues to defend against a threat that belongs to the past. Healing from PTSD means being able to terminate this continued stress mobilization and restoring the entire organism to safety.”
If you suffer from symptoms like those above, trauma therapy can help you by providing a safe place to work through your memories, fears, anger, or other reactions. It can also help you connect to your core self to find peace, comfort, and self-acceptance.