Coping with trauma: Overcoming the strategy that could be worsening symptoms

Why is it that 33% to 53% of HIV-infected people have histories of childhood sexual abuse? Just take a look at the symptoms of childhood sexual abuse – helplessness, low self-esteem, dissociation, denial, self-destructiveness . . . these psychological difficulties that can result from childhood sexual abuse are often related to HIV risk behavior. Studies…

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The Polyvagal Theory: Looking at Trauma through a New Lens

Can trauma haunt the body the same way it haunts memories? According to Stephen Porges, PhD, not only does the body remember a traumatic experience, but it can actually get stuck in the trauma response mode. So even when life becomes safe, the body still perceives danger and its defenses stay engaged. Why does this…

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If I were brave . . .

I was reminiscing recently about our December conference in Hilton Head. We don’t host it anymore, but one moment made a lasting impact on me, and certainly touched many of the practitioners attending, too. It’s a song called If I Were Brave, by Jana Stanfield. Jana, a talented singer/songwriter, performed this inspiring song at a…

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A Trauma Therapy Program for Children in Conflict Zones

If a single traumatic experience can change a person’s life for years to come, what must an average day be like for someone who faces traumatic events on a routine basis? For people affected by war or natural disaster, where entire populations from infants to the elderly have been exposed to so much suffering, what…

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Treating PTSD with Mindfulness-based Trauma Therapy

Soldiers in a war zone experience more trauma in a week than many others experience in their lives . . . . . . but it still feels like our tools for treating trauma aren’t quite sufficient. Mindfulness meditation could be a powerful healing intervention – but does it work with soldiers? The early research…

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How to Recognize Childhood Trauma

When kids have trouble paying attention in school, when they’re too emotional, or reactionary, or downright aggressive, what can we do to help them turn it around? Perhaps too often, these behaviors are addressed with medication for ADHD or bipolar disorder. But according to Bessel van der Kolk, MD, the problem (and the solution) may…

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