Many of the wounds people sustain in developmental trauma occur when the right brain is developing, which is tied to the autonomic nervous system and the polyvagal nervous system. While talk therapy can be helpful in recovery from trauma and addiction, many of the therapies we employ as practitioners can be improved upon by using techniques that access the right side of the brain, where the original traumas occurred.
DSM V DEFINITION OF PTSD
Criterion A (one required): The person was exposed to: death, threatened
death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual
violence, in the following way(s):
• Direct exposure
• Witnessing the trauma
• Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
• Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course
of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)
Criterion B (one required): The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced,
in the following way(s):
• Unwanted upsetting memories
• Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
• Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS
Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing
dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid
that people feel they are re-living the traumatic experience or seeing it
before their eyes.
Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people,
places, activities, objects and situations that bring on distressing memories.
People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic
event. They may resist talking about what happened or how they feel about
Negative thoughts and feelings may include ongoing and distorted beliefs
about oneself or others (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted”); ongoing
fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame; much less interest in activities previously
enjoyed; or feeling detached or estranged from others.
Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having
angry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being
easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
RESPONSES TO TRAUMA
• Drinking/using drugs
• Use of pornography
• Sex, affairs
• Suicidal thoughts
Time does not exist on its
own. You have to give it
meaning. You have to shape
WAS IT TRAUMA?
• It was trauma
• You have every right to your
• You have a right to your pain and your
• Your history is not your destiny
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