“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
— Carl Jung
Trauma describes the emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral reactions to adverse life events. A traumatic event may be followed by a surge in stress and changes in the brain and body. When trauma is ongoing, rather than a single event, it is referred to as complex trauma. Trauma can have a devastating impact on your quality of life as it affects your entire system – brain, body, and mind.
“I am a psychiatrist who specializes in trauma, I also have a case of complex PTSD (trauma dating back to childhood) with dissociation (a maladaptive alteration in consciousness that makes PTSD more difficult to treat). The trauma has affected every system of my body. I had been in Cognitive Therapy for years but it didn't cure the trauma which contributed to me losing several jobs. Two months into the pandemic, due to some idiosyncratic personal circumstances, a lot of traumas came gushing out. I had to take a long leave of absence & eventually lost my job, although I have a good job now. After EMDR with Dr. Delli Colli, I have recovered from severe trauma and PTSD, I feel much better & very empowered.”
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur in people who have experienced, witnessed, or learned about a traumatic event. PTSD affects approximately 3.5% of U.S adults, with a lifetime prevalence rate of 8.7%, and women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. People with PTSD experience symptoms related to trauma for more than one month and experience significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or life functioning.
Our integrative trauma and PTSD therapy help to restore healthy brain function while also addressing your body and mind for a holistic approach.
Following a traumatic experience, the brain can become overly alert, looking for potential danger. This mechanism is meant to keep us safe. Still, when our brains are constantly on guard and our fight-or-flight nervous system is over-activated, they cause physical symptoms, behavioral issues, and emotional disturbance. In addition, the thalamus, the relay station for incoming information, may overreact to stimuli and leave us in a hyper-aroused state. Our memories may be stored inappropriately, with the events maladaptive processing, causing symptoms from the past to be triggered in the present.
Brain maps of some people with trauma history or PTSD reveal increased cortical excitation and/or decreased alpha frequency, which means they may be stuck in a hyper-aroused, alert state of mind and struggle to remain calm. Research using alpha-theta neurofeedback training with Vietnam veterans showed significantly decreased PTSD symptoms, physical complaints, depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Contact us to schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation to learn more and see if our integrative psychology services are right for you.