Healing From Trauma

Sometimes, things happen that overwhelm our own ability to continue feeling safe in this world.

Sometimes, they are specific events that have occurred in our lives that you may well have thought that you had dealt with.

Sometimes, the events are hard to pin point – but there is a feeling of deep, underlying fear that seems to constantly be knocking at the door of your consciousness.

Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal event. Or, as Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl put it, “an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior." But this normal response can be painful. It can interrupt our sleep, create a pervasive sense of worry, and make concentration on daily tasks impossible.

Therapy can help. Talking to someone in a trusted and safe environment can lead to not just healing, but to post-traumatic growth.

Here are some of the tools that I use:

Talk therapy

Counseling for trauma, in a safe and trusting environment, can be a place to learn coping strategies (relaxation training, and stress reduction exercises) to support problem-solving, behavior change and tools for emotional regulation.

 Hypnosis and guided meditations in session are tools that I will often use to help bypass the “stuckness” around the event that many trauma survivors experience.

Talk therapy can help ease feelings of overwhelm, helping you organize your thoughts, your feelings, and your world.

 Lifestyle

In the treatment of trauma, supporting the body supports the mind. In the Buddhist tradition, it is said that the body is the throne of the mind. As we move forward with healing the mind, any work we can do to strengthen and support the body will strengthen and support the mind.

Nutrition: The mood/food connection is very real. Feeding your body in a way that strengthens it and learning about foods that can lead to anxiety and depression is a form of self-care that can aid in the healing from trauma.

Exercise is very effective in the treatment of both anxiety, depression – two key symptoms of trauma. Finding a way to move that supports your body can enhance feeling safe.

Trauma informed mindfulness meditation helps with easing distress, regulating difficult emotions, and supports post-traumatic growth.

GeneSNP

Genetics plays a crucial role in how our bodies grow and age, especially when it comes to our hormones, neurotransmitters and diet.  In combination, they have an impact on our stress, sleep response, and mood.

The GeneSNP evaluates 48 genes and 61 SNPs spanning several different areas of health, and evaluates diet, lifestyle, exercise, cardiovascular and mental emotional markers of health.

How your body expresses genes such as BDNF, COMT, and MTHFR and others can give us a lot of information about how to treat trauma in a way that fits your genetic code.  Are you predisposed towards depression? Are you a worrier, or a warrior? Can your body get the necessary folate to create healthy neurotransmitters?

 

"The traumatized person is often relieved simply to learn the true name of her condition. No longer imprisoned in the wordlessness of the trauma, she discovers that there is a language for her experience. She discovers that she is not alone; others have suffered in similar ways. She discovers further that she is not crazy; the traumatic syndromes are normal human responses to extreme circumstances. And she discovers, finally, that she is not doomed to suffer this condition indefinitely; she can expect to recover, as others have recovered..." 

Dr. Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery

"Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.

Fred Rogers

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  • © 2017 Jonathan Kirkendall MA LPC
  • 1633 Q Street NW Suite 200 Washington DC 20009
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