By Sari Terrusa, LMHC
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a debilitating experience. The reaction to a traumatic event can vary from flashbacks, trouble sleeping or nightmares, to feeling alone, negative self-talk or hyper vigilance, angry outbursts and body aches and pains. What most people don’t realize is that it does not have to be a major traumatic event that can trigger a chronic feeling of being unsafe. Phobias such as air travel, claustrophobia, needle phobia, white coat syndrome, etc., often come from unresolved trauma.
The research shows that 7-8 out of every 100 people experience PTSD, with avoidance, reactivity/hyper-arousal, distorted cognition with moodiness and unexplained body pains. As a practicing psychotherapist for 30 years and the co-founder of Transformational Studies Institute, I have successfully utilized a mind/body approach to the treatment of PTSD on any level of trauma, using a combination of mind/body tools such as imagery (exposure therapy), cognitive restructuring, E.M.D.R. (eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing), energy psychology (psycho-kinesiology) and energy work.
The steps to treatment are to isolate traumatic moments that, when remembered, still create a flush of emotion or body reaction. We can feel our body flinch as certain memories are re-called. These are signs of unprocessed events. There is sufficient research that specific mind/body tools can help restore and then reintegrate the old information into usable, adaptively processed information.
With the power of these many experiential tools (especially when utilizing the specialty treatment of E.M.D.R.) a person immediately feels relief in just one (and increasingly over many) session. As the body relaxes its protection, old chronic thoughts are reprocessed and used appropriately as a new sense of personal empowerment and freedom is felt.
The results I have witnessed from clearing trauma are dramatic. This awakening of self-actualization can be the springboard to further self-development. An inner peace can now be obtained as the space where trauma once lived and is now replaced by mindfulness, and a feeling of success, where a person can access their true potential. Addictions and anxiety are lessened, and focused attention restored. These benefits are life-changing as traumas are faced and unraveled with the proper direction, support, and professional guidance.
A client I had who had a severe phobia of needles and blood draws, is now able to give blood again. Another client, who was unable to fly said, “In one session, I was able to accept the 'out of control feeling' and am now able to fly without fear.”
For more information and to contact the Transformational Studies Institute, visit http://www.tsijupiter.com/.