Trauma can be a one-time distressing event, a prolonged stressful situation or a series of events that cause an individual’s nervous system to become stuck in flight, fight, freeze or fawn mode.
As a result, individuals may experience chronic anxiety, depression, extreme reactions and dysregulated emotions. Traumatic injury shocks and changes all systems and makes us feel disconnected, like we don’t belong and that we are not safe; whether physically or psychologically. Research shows that significant trauma actually rewires the brain and causes adverse physiological changes.
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Aside from an obvious causes such as a life threatening experience or witnessing a distressing event, some less obvious and more cumulative reasons that underlying trauma may develop include:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a set of alarm responses that occur when a survivor’s nervous system remains on high alert after trauma in order to protect against further harm. PTSD can occur after being involved in or witnessing a distressing event. This is why it is common in military veterans and emergency services. It can also occur in people involved in natural disasters, a traumatic labor & birth of a baby, or any event that is severely distressing to an individual.
People experiencing PTSD are stuck in viewing their life and experiences through a trauma lens of a video replay from the past. The body reacts to the stored trauma with a physiological stress response that results in irrational thinking and responses to any perceived threats. This is a physiological response and often can’t be controlled and is not intentional. People suffering from PTSD can often be misunderstood and unfairly judged due to their outbursts, withdrawal or emotional dysregulation that is perceived by others to be their chosen behaviour, and not the involuntary response to trauma triggers that are playing out in their body and mind.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is similar to general PTSD and occurs when someone has experienced severe, repetitive trauma over a long period of time, rather than a one-time event or short period of time. The symptoms are the same as core symptoms of PTSD but may also include changes in self-perception & beliefs and difficulty with personal relationships. Some causes of C-PTSD include long term domestic violence, living in a war-torn country, childhood abuse or neglect and growing up in a dysfunctional family.
If, you answer yes to any of the below, your underlying trauma has likely resulted in the development of PTSD/CPTSD.
Research has showed the brain is actually rewired from excessive stress and trauma.
The middle of the brain, a sensor called the amygdala, is responsible for detecting if there is danger to your life. In PTSD, the amygdala is often enlarged or overactive as a result of the physiological effects of trauma. Once this sensor gets activated, it sends a signal down to your adrenal glands that are on the top of your kidneys. When the adrenal glands get the message, they send out a chemical called adrenaline that then activates your “fight/flight/freeze/fawn” response in your Limbic System, which controls your Autonomic Nervous System. This is the system that controls your heart rate, breathing, bowels, your bladder, pupils open and closing, gastric juice, and saliva in your mouth. When your Limbic System is activated, you feel an intense sense of dread. All you know is that your life feels in danger and you want to fight, flee or freeze or faun. During this experience, your ability to rationally think things through has been hijacked. All you know is that you feel an intense sense of activation, be it rage, anger, upset or just a need to escape from the situation. This is an automatic survival response to a percieved threat. When there is a situation that resembles the original trauma, it triggers the amygdala and the fight/flight/freeze/faun takes over as if the original event is reoccurring again in present time, causing intense reactions and inability to cope. This is PTSD/CPTSD.
Other parts of the brain affected by trauma are the Hippocamus and Prefrontal Cortex. The Hippocampus actually becomes damaged from ongoing high levels of stress and shrinks in size making it less effective to perform its function of creating new memories, store old memories & events in the past and effectively regulate emotions.
The rational part of our brain is the Prefrontal Cortex. This is the front part of our brain, where consciousness lives, processing and reasoning occur, and we make meaning of language. When trauma occurs, people enter into a fight, flight, freeze or fawn state, which can result in the Prefrontal Cortex shutting down. The brain becomes somewhat disorganized and overwhelmed because of the trauma, while the body goes into a survival mode and shuts down the higher reasoning and language structures of the brain. The result of the metabolic shutdown is a profound imprinted stress response that reoccurs at any perceived threat.
The good news is there is a way to recover from your trauma, release your pain and to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Our Trauma and PTSD Program combines Kinesiology and The Richard’s Trauma Process (TRTP) to deliver a holistic, effective program with fast and permanent results. If you are suffering stress, anxiety, PTSD symptoms, fear, phobias, from past events in your life and you want to break free and start living again then this program will assist you to overcome any of these challenges quickly, painlessly and successfully. Specifically tailored to suit your needs & past history, ensuring every individual is valued and treated with care based on their own unique differences and situation.
The Trauma and PTSD Program directly addresses and deals with the underlying cause, releasing the emotions and stress from the subconscious and areas of the brain responsible for past memories, allowing the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation to reset to healthy functioning. Negative unconscious core beliefs are cleared allowing you to reconnect you with the truth of who you really are and placing you in an empowered position of self-knowing and confidence. The Limbic System will be reverted from its stuck fight/flight/freeze/fawn mode to a state of calm. Although the incident or circumstance may be recalled at some point in the future, it won’t hold the same traumatic significance and emotional charge, because the subconscious mind has resolved and released the emotional concern, and replaced traumatic memories with a new and positive story. With your past traumas released, your nervous system reset, and vital parts of your brain rewired, you are able to create a beautiful future vision of the reality you are now free and clear to create.
The Odyssey Health & Wellbeing “Trauma & PTSD Program” runs over a 4 week period and requires a commitment of 4 sessions at 1 week intervals, available face-to-face or remotely via skype/zoom.
TRTP is an elegantly simple, yet comprehensive, step-by-step process which resolves extreme trauma and trauma-related issues – anxiety, depression, fears and phobias. It achieves results quickly, effectively and safely.
It is a truly eclectic therapy. It is a very structured, yet dynamic process. It includes components of Gestalt, Mindfulness, Ego-state Therapy, Choice Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Parts Therapy, Emotion-focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dream Rehearsal Therapy and others.
It is a dynamic, rich and sequenced series of steps, which, if separated would not be anywhere near as powerful. It is unique. It allows space for the individual client’s needs to be met.
For trauma to be resolved –
TRTP does not merely address the symptoms of trauma. It deals with the underlying cause of the problem, removing the emotional charge from the past and returning the person to a state of empowerment, returning the sympathetic nervous system to calm.