Three Ways Trauma Can Change the Brain

The treatment of trauma can be some of the most complex work practitioners face. And for years, this challenge was complicated by not having a clear picture of the impact that trauma has on the brain. But scientific advances within just the past few years have opened the eyes of practitioners to what actually happens in the brain of someone who has experienced trauma. And according to Bessel van der Kolk, MD, there are three major ways that the brain changes in response to trauma. To find out what they are (and their impact on the body), take a look…

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PTSD, the Hippocampus, and the Amygdala – How Trauma Changes the Brain

Emotional neurocircuitry . . . . . . it’s how the brain is wired for emotions. But in the brain of a person with PTSD, emotional distress could physically (and perhaps even visibly) change the neurocircuitry. In a normal brain, the interaction between the hippocampus and the amygdala is important for processing emotional memory. It’s suspected that they both change in response to experience as well. But when someone experiences trauma, do these parts of the brain change together, or are they completely independent of one another? In a recent study led by Quan Zhang, MD at China’s Tianjin Medical…

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Neurofeedback Training for Trauma Treatment

Yesterday in the Rethinking Trauma webinar series, I had a conversation with Sebern Fisher, MA. Sebern is an expert in the use of neurofeedback and has seen tremendous success in implementing this revolutionary technology with patients. Some of the questions that have come up repeatedly are, “How do I get trained on using neurofeedback with patients? What equipment do I need?” Because I’m a bit of a techno-phobe myself, I asked Sebern about the training that’s involved and the kind of equipment she uses. And, since so many have asked, I wanted to share what she had to say –…

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Healing a Traumatized Brain with Neurofeedback

Pioneers in the field of brain science and the treatment of trauma are continually researching new ways to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . . . . . . and it looks like they’ve found something that works with the plasticity of the brain to help people gain control over a restless mind. R.C. Kluetsch, MSc and a team of researchers wanted to find out if neurofeedback training can change the plasticity of brain networks linked to PTSD. The research team investigated whether a single session of electroencephalographic (EEG) neurofeedback training would affect the state of anxiety and arousal…

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One Powerful Trauma Intervention for Working with a “Fear-Driven” Brain

When we treat patients who have experienced trauma, we’re often working with a brain that’s driven by fear. So for practitioners, it can be essential to know just what part of the brain to focus in on, and more importantly, what you can do once you know where to look. According to Sebern Fisher, MA, there’s one powerful intervention that can help . . . . . . and it can be a resource for patients who are trying to calm a frightened brain after trauma. Check out the video clip (below) for more – it’s just 3 minutes. Click…

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Rethinking Trauma – Stephen Porges and the Polyvagal Theory

Following trauma, the body’s warning system often gets stuck on high alert . . . . . . but in Wednesday’s webinar with Stephen Porges, PhD, we got into some effective ways for “speaking” directly to a trauma survivor’s nervous system. Stephen revealed how things like tone of voice, certain gestures, and even the use of music can help someone reestablish a sense of safety after a traumatic experience. We also spent a lot of time delving deeper with Stephen into his groundbreaking Polyvagal Theory and how to apply it with patients who are recovering from trauma. 6,490 people across…

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