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What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy? 

Trauma-informed therapy involves accounting for clients’ trauma and its impact on their behaviour,mental health, and ability to engage in treatment. Trauma-informed therapists assume that a client could have a trauma history and will take steps to avoid inadvertently triggering or re-traumatizing the client in treatment. You can rest assured at Grey Matter Therapy, Tessa only uses non- traumatizing methods that are gentle, and highly effective.

How are PTSD and Trauma Different?

PTSD and Trauma have similar symptoms and often seem interchangeable however, PTSD and trauma are different. Trauma is an emotional response to an awful event, that can occur once or on multiple occasions, and it’s possible to experience more than one type of trauma.”

PTSD is not a mental health disorder it’s a psychological injury:

It is important to view PTSD symptoms as a mental injury, versus a mental illness or something pathological. This is because PTSD symptoms are a natural reaction to a distressing event where one may have felt overwhelmed, afraid, or helpless.

Historically, mental illness is pathologized as something that is “wrong with the person, versus simply a manifestation of how most people would respond when someone experiences or witnesses a trauma. Typically, individuals suffering from PTSD will relive the event over and over in their head
through flashbacks, dreams, or intrusive thoughts. They tend to actively avoid places that may remind them of the event, and can be easily startled, have trouble sleeping and can be aggressive. Most commonly, PTSD follows a traumatic event, although not all traumatic events that occur will result in PTSD. Following the event, some will develop severe enough symptoms to diagnose PTSD, others will only have some symptoms and others will have none.

Although traumatic events can lead to devastating symptoms, or a PTSD diagnosis, know that it is possible for you or your loved one to recover from these symptoms through trauma-focused therapy, and live a fulfilling life.

Often reminders of the trauma are ignored by either consciously suppressing memories or unconsciously repressing them through compulsive behaviours such as work, food, alcohol, drugs, self-medication, sex, pornography, gambling, computer games etc. Trauma often anchors people in the past without allowing them to understand why they continue to have certain feelings and why they portray unhealthy behaviours, and this negative pattern is what keeps you feeling overwhelmed and unable to move forward.

Obvious vs. Less Obvious Trauma

Forms of trauma can be categorized into obvious and less obvious trauma. Obvious traumas include war, childhood abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, rape, and natural disasters such as hurricanes.
However, there are also less obvious forms of trauma that include:

  • Parental divorce child abandonment, or betrayal. 
  • Toxic relationships with emotional and psychological violence.
  • Narcissistic parent(s) or caregivers with mental health issues.
  • Bullying / cyberbullying
  • Witnessing violence in the home
  • Alcoholism or addiction during childhood.
  • Invasive medical procedures, higher risk if performed on children who may have been restrained or had chronic issues.
  • Falls and accidents, particularly in children or the elderly.
  • Natural disasters like hurricanes, fires, or earthquakes.
  • Being left alone as infants or children.
  • Automobile accidents.

 

How trauma impacts the brain: 


Trauma can change your brain on many levels, from the way you make decisions down to your immediate, subconscious responses to the world around you! Part of the reason it can be so hard to overcome the effects of trauma is that it goes after several areas of your brain at once.


Trauma mainly affects three important parts of your brain:

 
The amygdala, which is your emotional and instinctual center; the hippocampus, which controls memory; and the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating your emotions and impulses.All three parts work together to manage stress.


When you’re reminded of a traumatic experience, your amygdala (emotional and survival center) goes into overdrive, acting just as it would if you were experiencing that trauma for the first time.
Your prefrontal cortex also becomes suppressed, so you’re less capable of controlling your fear–you’re stuck in a purely reactive state.


Meanwhile, trauma also leads to reduced activity in the hippocampus, one of whose functions is to distinguish between past and present. In other words, your brain can’t tell the difference between the actual traumatic event and the memory of it. It perceives things that trigger memories of traumatic events as threats themselves.


Trauma can cause your brain to remain in a state of hypervigilance, suppressing your memory and impulse control and trapping you in a constant state of strong emotional reactivity.


Does Trauma leave irreversible damage to your brain?


It might seem like trauma does irreversible damage to your brain, however that’s not the case. Our brains are extremely adaptable. Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new connections, explains why we can rewire our brains to reverse trauma’s damaging effects.

Grey Matter Therapy Site Logo

Grey Matter Therapy is here to help you understand your history, recognize patterns in your life, resolve your inner conflicts, and live authentically.

Get In Touch

Av. Jose Da Costa Mealha

No. 15 + 17

Loule

8100-500

Grey Matter Therapy Site Logo

Grey Matter Therapy is here to help you understand your history, recognize patterns in your life, resolve your inner conflicts, and live authentically.

Get In Touch

Av. Jose Da Costa Mealha

No. 15 + 17

Loule

8100-500

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