Patricia Wood
Psychotherapy and Counseling

Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Trauma can result from many sources. Responses to war, death, accidents, or abuse can create the symptoms associated with trauma. Trauma need not be an obvious event. What is traumatic to children may not seem noteworthy to an adult.

Trauma refers to perceived threat to life, limb and integrity. With perceived threat, survival mechanisms kick in for fight, flight, or freeze responses without involving the thinking brain, no matter the age of the victim.

In PTSD, these survival mechanisms can be activated months and years later by any stimulus that was present during the original trauma. You may think you are going crazy when this happens because the thinking brain never processed the original threat. In therapy, these two parts of the brain can be encouraged to communicate.

EMDR is a therapy that stimulates both the survival protion of the brain and the thinking part of the brain to work together to evaluate triggers. If no danger is currently active, the information can be desensitized and reprocessed and the anxiety, numbing and fear can be relieved.