Concepts of Working with Trauma

* Pain Management *  PTSD * Compulsive Behaviors Fears and Anxiety *

"PTSD was a waking nightmare.  I was so out of control.  It was like watching someone else, someone I hated.  I'm back to being me again.  I'm functional again.  I'm ME again."    - Mike

There are ways to approach healing trauma.  Trauma can be mitigated.  There is hope. 

These are the ways we approach trauma:

  • Create a safe place 

  • Support Control, Choice, and Autonomy

  • Collaborate and Include

  • Promote Resilience

  • Foster Trauma Resistance Skill Building

  • Focus on Hope

Create a safe place

This is where you get to be yourself.  You get to feel things, say things that you may not feel safe enough to share anywhere else.  Nothing gets shared without consulting you.  You are free to talk about whatever you need to.  You get to share your perspective.  You get to share your experience.

Support Control, Choice, and Autonomy

Your choices matter.  We help define what choices are realistic and helpful.  Sometimes we feel as if we do not have options.  We support you in recognizing there is always something we can control.  Sometimes there are things we control such as our living space, our environment or relationships or work situations or family.  Sometimes the only thing in our control is the way we react.  We help come to grips with and explore these choices.  We assist in creatively approaching your life to see what is possible.

Collaborate and Include

We work with you.  You are not alone.  This is working with you, at your pace, for goals you want.  We define your success through your lens.  We work on the things you want worked on.  Just as important- we leave the topics alone you want left alone.  This is your space.  

Promote Resilience

Fostering individual strengths is a key step in prevention when working with people who have been exposed to trauma. It is also an essential intervention strategy—one that builds on the individual’s existing resources and views him or her as a resourceful, resilient survivor. Individuals who have experienced trauma develop many strategies and/or behaviors to adapt to its emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and physical consequences. Some behaviors may be effective across time, whereas others may eventually produce difficulties and disrupt the healing process. Traditionally, behavioral health services have tended to focus on presenting problems, risk factors, and symptoms in an attempt to prevent negative outcomes, provide relief, increase clients’ level of functioning, and facilitate healing. However, focusing too much on these areas can undermine clients’ sense of competence and hope. Targeting only presenting problems and symptoms does not provide individuals with an opportunity to see their own resourcefulness in managing very stressful and difficult experiences. It is important for providers to engage in interventions using a balanced approach that targets the strengths clients have developed to survive their experiences and to thrive in recovery. A strengths-based, resilience-minded approach lets trauma survivors begin to acknowledge and appreciate their fortitude and the behaviors that help them survive.

Foster Trauma Resistance Skill Building

We learn how trauma can affect your life. We focus on developing self-care skills, coping strategies, supportive networks, and a sense of competence. Building trauma-resistant skills begins with normalizing the symptoms of traumatic stress and helping people who have experienced trauma connect the dots between current problems and past trauma when appropriate. We acknowledge individual strengths, creativity in adapting to trauma, and inherent attributes and tools you possesses to combat the effects of trauma.

We honor your adaptations and acquired skills, and help you explore how these may not be working as well as they had in the past and how your current tool set of responses may not be as effective as other strategies.

Focus on Hope

Providing hope involves knowing recovery is possible. This attitude also involves viewing you as competent to make changes that will allow you to deal with trauma-related challenges, providing opportunities for you to practice dealing with difficult situations, and normalizing discomfort or difficult emotions and framing these as manageable rather than dangerous. With consistency, you will begin to understand that discomfort is not a signal to avoid, but a sign to engage—and that behavioral, cognitive, and emotional responses to cues associated with previous traumas are a normal part of the recovery process. It’s not the absence of responses to such triggers that mark recovery, but rather, how you experience and manage those responses.

For further information on how Hypnosis works with PTSD, please follow this link for one of the best written articles I have read:  Hypnosis and PTSD by Chris Lemig