I’m Dealing with Trauma

The brain tends to process information coming in according to the level of danger perceived.  The region of the brain known as the amygdala is responsible for constantly scanning your environment for danger and when it senses there is danger it short circuits the rational decision making part of the brain and tells the limbic system to trigger your fight or flight response.  This results in such body reactions as increased heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, perspirations and an increase in the anxiety producing drug, cortisol.  These are fantastic reactions to have if you are being chased by a bear, but in the library can be quite unhelpful and even frightening because you are in a safe environment and suddenly feel as if you are under attack.  Often this is because something has triggered this response in you.  It may be something you are completely unaware of on a conscious level like a sound or a smell, but your brain has linked that input to a trauma that it could not deal with in a prior time and so it stored simply the sights and sounds that were associated with that trauma and any time they are repeated the amygdala triggers that emergency response.  The limbic region of your brain (see the emotional brain map below) is responsible for storing memory and handling emotion, so when memory of trauma is triggered so are the emotions that got stored with that memory and often we are left feeling like we are reliving the event again in every real and horrible way.  Mindfulness practice can reduce levels of cortisol in the brain, help slow our process of reactivity and retrain the brain so that our frontal lobe (the area that we think logically with) can begin making rational decisions for us again.  In addition, mindfulness can help to increase the rate of growth of neural connections in the brain where many of those connections were shut off by the trauma.

My job with patients who have experienced trauma is to create a safe space that we can begin to work through some of those issues and begin repairing some of that faulty wiring.  The client is always in charge of the process and always sets the pace about dealing with these issues.  Trusting comes with difficulty after certain traumas and earning that trust and then honoring it by walking with you is my ultimate goal.  There is hope for healing and there is a road to abundant living beyond trauma. Contact me for a free phone consultation.  If I do not feel we are a good match to work on your trauma I will be able to lead you to someone who will be.

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