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Understanding Trauma

Contrary to what most generally people think, trauma is NOT an experience. Trauma is the body’s reaction to an experience – the emotional and behavioral symptoms that occur. Trauma is the body failing – at a cellular level – to regulate. Look through the tabs below to learn more!

When you are calm – when your blood pressure and heard rate are at your normal, you are able to think logically and make purposeful decisions, and your muscles are relaxed – your parasympathetic nervous system is dominant.

When your mind and body are feeling threatened, whether or not it is real – your blood pressure and heart rate elevate, your muscles tighten, you don’t think as clearly, you have an urge to flee – your sympathetic nervous system is dominant.

The sympathetic nervous system is vital to survival when you are in a threatening situation, but when you are not in a threatening situation and the sympathetic nervous system stays dominant and active, it causes many physical and emotional symptoms (depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart problems, etc) and behavioral symptoms (anger outbursts, crying, difficulty with relationships, trust problems, etc). When the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, (in other words, your body is in fight/flight mode), these symptoms are NORMAL.

Self-regulation is using techniques such as breathing, meditation, relaxation, imagery, using your senses, and more to regulate the body and bring it from sympathetic dominance (fight/flight) to parasympathetic dominance (calm).

When we can get our bodies out of a constant sympathetic dominance, we can lead the lives we want, free of the behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms of trauma.

– Addiction and Trauma Recovery Integration Model (ATRIUM)
– Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women
– Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
– Prolonged Exposure (PE)
– Seeking Safety
– Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Treatment (TARGET)
– Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM)
– Trauma Resiliancy Model (TRM)
– Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
– Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)