The Vicious Cycle of Trauma and PTSD

As a Good Therapy Topic Expert, it is important to me to share information about the impact PTSD. In particular, with June the month of PTSD awareness, it is crucial to help provide accurate information about the struggles with this challenging experience.

Posttraumatic stress is characterized by intrusion, arousal, avoidance, and cognitive shifts—a cyclical experience that impedes the natural recovery process. You can read more about these experiences in my Good Therapy article here.

What did you learn in reading this? I’d love to hear your reactions and realizations – hit reply and let me know!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

A Closer Look at Reiki, Part 2

Last week, we looked a bit more thoroughly at understanding Reiki on the heels of my recent interview regarding how Reiki can impact our healing from compassion fatigue. Today, I wanted to further explore some questions about the impact of Reiki on our mental health.

Let’s begin with looking a bit at navigating overwhelming, stressful, and traumatic situations. An experience of trauma really takes a toll on us, particularly when there might be a greater sense of powerlessness and horror. In addition to the ways that Reiki can help to contribute to a greater sense of relief from the sadness and pain in secondary trauma and the stress and anxiety that accompany it, Reiki can help us stay more resilient when we are met with difficult situations and to also bounce back from them more readily and quickly. Another way that Reiki can help is that it can help us remain focused and think clearly which can help to navigate a difficult situation with more ease and set into motion factors that can bring on a better outcome. That on its own helps to cultivate a sense of empowerment and control which can really aid in combatting trauma.

We can also explore the ways that Reiki impacts depression. According to a study published in Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine, patients who received regular Reiki treatments showed a significant reduction in the symptoms of psychological distress and depression. This symptom reduction continued for one year after the treatment regimen was complete.

The way that this works is that Reiki helps restore a person’s overall sense of balance, both in the mind and the body. This may help to improve the person’s mood and help him or her to overcome feelings of guilt and/or sadness that typically accompany depression.

We mentioned a few minutes ago that Reiki helped to slow down a person’s sympathetic autonomic system. This is the system that is activated when we experience anxiety and stress. It’s the primary mechanism in the fight or flight response. While the fight or flight response is valuable for us in the instant of a major stressor, over time, it begins to weaken us emotionally and physically. This then makes us more vulnerable to the negative impact of stress and anxiety. With this mechanism slowed down, our physiological responses to stress and anxiety begin to subside as well and provide us relief. In the Reiki mindset, there is a mind-body component to any kind of ailment whether it is physical or emotional and, in this case, there is an element of both present. Reiki works to restore the balance and harmony in both the emotional and physical body which can help us get back on track. Sessions provide a relaxing, soothing healing environment that ensures comfort and peace during the healing process. It’s this relaxed, peaceful state that helps to contribute to our emotional, physical, and mental well being.

Often, insomnia and fatigue come about as a result of something else going on – for some it’s stress, others anxiety, and we also often see it with depression and PTSD for example. In most cases, fatigue and insomnia tend to have an underpinning that indicates some kind of disharmony. Because Reiki works to restore balance by clearing away energetic or electrical blockages that get in the way of this harmony, it works to address the root cause of insomnia and fatigue.

I hope the last two weeks have given you a greater understanding of how Reiki can contribute to enhancing your life. You may still have questions or just be curious what it can offer you – just hit reply and let me know what you’re wondering!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more valuable content weekly here!

A Closer Look at Reiki, Part 1

Recently, I shared some thoughts on how Reiki can impact our healing from compassion fatigueReiki can impact our healing from compassion fatigue. I wanted to spend some time exploring some of the questions that were raised during that interview. Let’s look at some of the important points regarding Reiki healing:

Reiki therapy is a holistic, gentle energy work process that assists in physical, mental and emotional healing. It’s a simple and safe energy balancing technique that benefits everyone who receives it because when your energy is balanced and flowing, self-healing and positive transformation happens naturally. It works at the physical, emotional, and mental levels to release the energy blockages that create dis-ease. A Reiki session can help ease tension and stress and can help support the body to facilitate an environment for healing on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional.

I often describe Reiki treatment as analogous to radio or wifi waves. Our bodies are created by many things and each of those things has an electrical frequency, much like radio and wifi waves. The waves are always around us yet we need to be tuned in to the right station or network in order for the radio station or internet work. Reiki is much the same – the energy is always around but accessing it requires the specific training attunements of a practitioner.

While the Reiki energy that is crucial in Reiki session is one and the same, there are different branches or lineages of Reiki practice for treatment sessions. To put it simply, because Reiki teachings were disseminated then spread throughout the world, a variety of methods for delivery were cultivated. Much like the game of telephone, certain details and elements were modified or omitted as it was handed down. One reason for this is that teaching Reiki in different ways within different cultures made sense. Because of that, there are now about 10 different styles of mainstream Reiki, generally referred to as Western Reiki, and other smaller offshoots as well. The most common one of these is the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho.

With that said, there is also a lineage of Reiki that kept the original teachings intact called Jikiden Reiki. Jikiden Reiki is less commonly known and is often thought of as more true to the original style of practice for Reiki. I offer both styles in my practice as I work with a variety of clients with different preferences.

In general, this balancing technique is a wonderful addition to any health program and can be used alongside other complementary therapies and conventional medicine, including psychotherapy. It’s important to note that Reiki is not a replacement for appropriate medical care. Instead, it supports medical care by accelerating self-healing, reducing pain or discomfort, and stimulating your body’s healing process.

That said, if all we are looking for is stress reduction, relaxation, and preventative wellness, Reiki can be a beautiful self-care practice on its own.

The International Association for Reiki Practitioners, or IARP, offers a directory for practitioners and has a code of ethics that all practitioners listed in the directory must abide by. People can check the directory for local Reiki practitioners and masters in their area or, since Reiki can be provided remotely, someone they feel most comfortable with. In selecting a practitioner, it’s important to make sure that he or she has adequate credentials. Make sure that the practitioner you select is certified at Level 2 or Okuden levels or higher which means they have been trained to provide Reiki treatment sessions to the public. Another thing for people to look for is someone who is willing to answer their questions, explain the format and structure of a session, and who takes the time to speak with them about their specific goals in seeking Reiki treatment.

In our second segment exploring a more in-depth perspective on Reiki, I will more thoroughly look at the mental health benefits of Reiki.

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more valuable content weekly here!

An Introduction to CPT for PTSD

Last week, I shared an overview of PTSD with a brief video. In the coming weeks, I will be exploring a bit more specific information about each cluster of what comprises PTSD. As we move forward in the next several weeks with this examination, I wanted to share an article I recently wrote for Natural Awakenings magazine wherein I take a closer look at one of the gold standard treatments for PTSD, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). 

This short-term approach for PTSD issues has been documented to provide long-standing relief in a number of scientifically robust studies. I have also seen it transform the lives of many people grappling with the challenges brought on by living with haunting trauma symptoms. It has been meaningful for me to be one of the few in NY state to offer this highly effective programs.

What areas of PTSD do you or a loved one struggle with?? Send me a quick email to let me know – that way, I can support you with information that can be helpful.

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!  

Connect with me to see what support I can offer!

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more valuable content weekly here!

Understanding PTSD

For many  people, PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder, is a daily struggle. In fact, this is true for one out of every nine women. For others, it might be something that a loved one struggles with. Still, a great deal of people have a bit of unclarity as to what PTSD entails. The video above gives an overview of the common features we see in PTSD.

What did you learn in watching this video? Share your thoughts and reactions in our Facebook and Twitter communities!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!  

Connect with me to see what support I can offer!

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more valuable content weekly here!

“Beyond the Couch” Explores the Benefits of Group Therapy!

The newest episode of the “Beyond the Couch” podcast is here!

Today, we look at the benefits of group therapy, different formats of group therapy, and how we can gain the most benefit from group therapy. You can listen to the episode here!

Don’t forget: If you missed the first few episodes, they are always available via iTunes, on my website, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and YouTube.

If you’ve found these episodes helpful in some way, please be sure to read a rating and review so that 1.) I know what helps you and 2.) so that others in the same boat can find what they need.

Enjoy these first few episodes before the next one on Thursday – we’ll be focusing on Mindfulness!

10 Benefits of PMR

We looked at a great way of reducing tension and getting your body and mind relaxed with an introduction to Progressive muscle relaxation.  Now, let’s extend those great benefits with some additional ones!

Here are 10 additional benefits of PMR:

  • A decrease in your heart rate
  • A lowering of your blood pressure
  • A decrease in your rate of breathing
  • Your shoulders and chest will have relaxed, and so your breath will be deeper and not so shallow and high up in the chest.
  • Better oxygen levels in your bloodstream
  • Your brain wave activity will shift from beta waves to an increase in alpha waves, resulting in a more relaxed mental state with less mental chatter
  • Less muscle tension throughout your body
  • Decreased anxiety and panic
  • Lowers insomnia by relaxing restlessness and racing thoughts
  • Reduce nausea

How have you been enjoying PMR in your life? Share it to inspire others at the Chrysalis Psychological Services community.   Don’t forget to get your PMR script along with a complimentary audio guided exercise. Grab yours here!

Subscribe to my mailing list to get more valuable content weekly here!

Do I Need Treatment for PTSD? Part 2

A basic overview of PTSD was covered in Part 1 of this series. Today, I’ll give you some more guidelines in considering your options for treatment. It can be hard to ask for help, but it can be harder if we don’t get the help we need when we need it.

After a traumatic event, it’s normal to think, act, and feel differently than usual — but most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.Talk to a professional (your doctor or a therapist) if your symptoms last longer than a few weeks, keep you from your day to day life, or are overwhelming you.

It’s also very common for people with PTSD to also have another mental health problem — like depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse. Often, people who have PTSD also have problems at work, in relationships, or with their physical health. Sometimes, these problems happen because of your PTSD symptoms. Getting treatment for PTSD can help with these other problems, too. After treatment, most people feel they have a better quality of life.

It’s common to think that your PTSD symptoms will just go away over time. But this is very unlikely, especially if you’ve had symptoms for longer than a year. Even if you feel like you can handle your symptoms now, they may get worse over time. Treatment can help even if your trauma happened years ago. And treatment for PTSD has gotten much better over the years. If you tried treatment before and you’re still having symptoms, it can be helpful to try again.

You and your therapist or doctor will work closely together, so it’s important that you feel comfortable asking questions and talking about your life. It’s always okay to look for a different therapist or doctor if you’re not happy or comfortable with the person you’re seeing.

There are many treatment options for PTSD. If you’re still unsure which treatment is the right step for you, contact us to set up a free consultation by phone. We can help you consider your options so you don’t have to shoulder your pain on your own.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Do I Need Treatment for PTSD? Part 1

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. You may find it hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about.

For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time. For some, treatment can get rid of PTSD altogether. For others, it can make symptoms less intense. Treatment gives you the tools to manage symptoms so they don’t keep you from living a fulfilling life.

Any experience that threatens your life, safety, or someone else’s can cause PTSD. These events are sometimes called trauma. A traumatic event could be something that happened to you or something you saw happen to someone else. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what’s happening may feel very afraid, helpless, or powerless. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.

Going through a traumatic event is not rare. At least half of Americans have had a traumatic event in their lives. Of people who have had trauma, about 1 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women will develop PTSD.

Part 2 will cover some additional guidelines in considering whether you need treatment for traumatic symptoms.

Subscribe to our mailing list

 

Is CPT for PTSD Right for You?

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD is one of our favorite approaches in trauma recovery. And we’re not alone! Multiple research studies show the significant benefits and improvements in people working to transform their lives after a traumatic event, leading it to be considered a gold standard treatment for trauma recovery. As one of a handful of therapists in NY offering CPT to the community, we can help you get your life back on track with 12 weekly session modules.

In CPT, we work to help you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Our goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma bring on stress and make your symptoms worse.

You will learn how your thoughts about the world and yourself are making you feel afraid or upset. Together, we will help you will learn to replace these thoughts with more accurate and less upsetting ones that can help you feel safer, calmer, and more in control of your life. You will also learn ways to cope with the difficult feelings such as anger, guilt, and fear. CPT also helps you understand that what happened was not your fault.

Not everyone entering therapy for PTSD will have the same goals. Part of our initial sessions will include figuring out specifically what your life would look like once you’ve work through the trauma symptoms.

Be sure to contact us for information on how you can get started living the fulfilling life you deserve and share with any loved ones who might benefit from this empowering therapy model!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqj5zDbkPxY

Subscribe to our mailing list