A traumatic event occurs and it may be days, weeks, or even years before the impact is felt. Trauma prevents individuals from fully living in the present moment. Those who have suffered from an emotional or physical trauma may be afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD not only affects veterans, but anyone who has experienced a violent or terrifying event.
What are Psychological Trauma and PTSD?
Psychological trauma refers to a type of mental and emotional damage that occurs as a result of a distressing event or experience that exceeds one’s ability to cope with it. Trauma can be caused by a wide range of events, such as physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, war, accidents, or witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening event. PTSD is a specific mental health disorder that can develop after a traumatic event or ongoing exposure to trauma.
Psychological trauma can interfere with people’s lives in a variety of ways, and the symptoms may vary depending on the individual’s personality, coping mechanisms, support system and the severity of the trauma. Untreated trauma can have long lasting and debilitating effects if left untreated. These are some of the most common problems:
Emotional distress: Trauma can lead to intense feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or guilt, which can make it difficult for people to function in their daily lives.
Relationship difficulties: Trauma can make it challenging for individuals to form and maintain healthy relationships with others. They may struggle with trust, emotional intimacy, and may avoid social situations altogether.
Physical health problems: Psychological trauma can lead to physical health problems such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and chronic pain.
Self-destructive behaviors: Some individuals may cope with trauma by engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, or eating disorders.
Flashbacks and nightmares: Trauma can cause individuals to experience flashbacks or intrusive memories of the traumatic event, which can interfere with their ability to concentrate and perform daily tasks.
Hypervigilance: People who have experienced trauma may be hyper-alert and constantly on guard, making it difficult for them to relax and feel safe.
Avoidance behaviors: Some people may avoid certain situations or activities that remind them of the traumatic event, which can lead to isolation and further emotional distress.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Intrusive memories, including flashbacks, nightmares, or recurrent thoughts of event
- Avoidance of people or activities which may trigger memories
- Changes in thinking and mood, including social isolation, negative feelings, hopelessness, emotional numbing, and inability to recall important aspects of event
- Mood disruptions which may include irritability, anger, changes in sleep, being startled easily, guarding oneself, or self-destructive behaviors like heavy drinking or drug use
Oasis Treatment for Trauma, PTSD, and Complicated Grief
The Oasis Program for Trauma, PTSD and Complicated Grief is the result of many years of research, training and treatment experience. Our professional team desired to create an effective program where individuals could receive excellent treatment in a safe, nurturing and holistic setting. Healing from trauma, PTSD and loss is a process that often involves the use of many different treatment methods employed over a period of time. Our therapists are trained in the most effective evidence-based treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and many others. Often, clients seeking relief from trauma, loss and PTSD related symptoms, have hopes of getting a magical treatment that “erases” the trauma. But there are aspects of trauma work that take TIME, like establishing a safe, trusting, therapeutic relationship. It is important that clients are informed about the nature of treatment and what to expect. We want our clients to feel safe from the start, which can only begin with complete openness, honesty, and transparency on the part of the therapist and the facility.
EMDR for Trauma and PTSD
Trauma responds to many effective treatments, including psychotherapy with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Our Team at Oasis includes several therapists experienced with EMDR. This type of treatment is an effective and well-researched psychotherapy treatment for trauma, phobias, panic disorders, addiction, and other psychological conditions. Some individuals have trouble processing upsetting experiences, becoming “stuck” in a painful memory. EMDR works by helping the brain process information. By using bilateral stimulation while targeting painful memories, individuals are able to process their emotions, helping to remove painful blocks that prevent them from fully living their lives. Several sessions of EMDR may be needed to address an individual’s condition.
It is very common for individuals with a history of childhood trauma or abuse, and individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to have other psychological problems that require treatment. At Therapeutic Oasis, we also have extensive experience working with addictive and compulsive issues, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders.
Overall, treating psychological trauma requires a compassionate and patient approach that acknowledges the individual’s unique experience of trauma and supports them in developing coping skills and processing the traumatic experience at their own pace. It often involves a combination of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions, as well as medication in some cases.
Learn more about EMDR and what happens during an EMDR session: EMDRIA
The Body Keeps the Score : Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.