PTSD And Trauma Treatment Category

Keeping your inner calm

Many times it is challenging to keep calm when life keeps throwing you curve balls. You make some plans and everything that could go wrong does. Your car doesn’t start, your boss yells at you for a late report, your kid is sick, you have to work overtime on a Friday, and so on. At times these small crises seem to happen all at once and it can be overwhelming. How do you stop and find your way back to a state of calm?

It is essential to remember that regardless of any outside circumstances, drama or family issues we may experience we all have a part of us that is a center of calm. It might be clouded by all the turmoil that is happening in our lives but it is always there, waiting for us to tap into it. It is waiting for us to come back to this state of peacefulness. On days like this, we need to stop and take a quiet moment alone if possible. This could be in the car, bathroom, your office wherever you can get a moment’s peace.

Close your eyes and for every inhalation tel...

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When Talk Therapy is not enough - Depression, Anxiety and Trauma

Is it possible that depression and anxiety as well as PTSD and other emotional problems have their origins in trauma?  Most often we think of trauma as blatant trauma - accidents, war, abuse, and other horrifying things that we witness and experience.  Equally signficant is developmental trauma - the kind of trauma we experience when we are little, alone and vulnerable and our parents are not present enough, loving enough, or are critical and demanding.  When this happens we experience breaches of attachment and this can occur as early as when we are in the womb.  We can suspect this if we frequently feel not good enough, not loveable, like we don't exist or would prefer not to be here.

For a long time it was thought we responded to trauma only through flight or fight.  The freeze response was unrecognized.  One freezes when powerless to take flight or fight.  When this happens, adrenaline and cortisol, mixed with anger, helplessness, panic, and hop...

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Do I have PTSD and how can I get Help?

Join Dr. Pamela Brewer and I in a timely conversation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - there is a path towards health.

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sleeping Soundly

I am probably not that different than many people that are my age. I often have difficulty sleeping through the night. Maybe it is aches and pains. Maybe it is something on my mind. Or maybe some combination of the two. The last two nights have been different. I slept through the night on both occasions. So what was different ? Well I went to bed at about the same time each night. I read a self hypnosis script and then a novel for a short time. I made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of liquid I drank before 8PM. While these were all good and important physical steps, I think one thing I did made the most difference. I merely decided that I would sleep well-that's right-I convinced myself that everything would be all right (my mantra) and by God it was. Of all the habits that I have formed before I sleep, maybe that is the one that needs to be adhered to more than any!!

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Enhancing Therapy with - Energy Psychology

I wrote the folowing article for the National Psychologist,

In my 27 years of practice as a clinical psychologist, I have been guided by a continuous curiosity to study and implement the most effective tools for helping my clients experience relief and healing. Whether the techniques are firmly rooted in the psychotherapeutic establishment or newly emerging, the main question for me has always been, “Do they work?” And like most scientist clinicians, I start off in a skeptical, yet open place. My toolkit at this stage is rather expansive – including hypnosis, solution-oriented therapy and systems approaches to name a few.

Central to my work in the past decade, however, is the practice of Energy Psychology (EP), a psychotherapeutic strat- egy that integrates established clinical principles with methods derived from various healing traditions of Eastern cultures (acupuncture, yoga, etc.). The most prominent EP modalities being practiced today (Emotional Freedom Techni...

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Energy Psychology: Correcting the views of the uninformed

In January, I wrote an article for the publication in the national psychologist about Energy Psychology.  In a subsequent issue there was a scathing letter to the editor by Dr. Chambers that was full of errors and misinformation. In his letter, among other things, he asserted that:

“The fundamental concept of this modality, that manipulations such as tapping or eye movements can alter dysfunctional cognitions or emotional responses, has been repeatedly discredited in controlled peer-reviewed studies”

“Its [EP’s] current use in clinical practice may strain ethical boundaries.”

Chambers, M. (2012). Evidence lacking for Energy Psychology [Letter to the editor]. National Psychologist, 21(3), 

Here was my response in the July issue:
Dr. Chambers’ letter, in the last issue, opens by saying he is “dismayed and concerned” that The National Psychologist would decide to publish a piece that advocates an energy psychology approach. He j...

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Understanding the Nature of Trauma and PTSD

By Randy Brazzel MA, LPC, LMFT

Unfortunately, traumatic experiences are a relatively common event. Current estimates are that as many as 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes. Given the number of veterans who have experienced combat, the frequency and intensity of recent natural disasters, and the tragedies associated with the recent events in Boston and Newtown, these numbers are not surprising.

While anyone can experience trauma, not all people perceive traumatic events in the same way. Some are able to manage these events relatively well, while others experience significant distress as the result of traumatic events. It is currently estimated that as many as 20% of people that experience a traumatic event will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some estimates are even higher (between 30 and 60%) for those who have experienced a disaster, such as a hurricane, industrial accident, or a terror attack. In addition, betwe...

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What Do People Mean By "Resilience" in Therapy?

(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Feel free to visit for new content.)


It’s becoming a bit of a pop star in the academic and scientific world, the word “resilience”. But what does it mean when it’s used (say, like “empathy”) within the context of psychotherapy?

Let me give you a scenario…

You suffer from a general (though intermittent) anxiety revolving around things in your environment that are not within your control (think: a hornet buzzing around you on a patio, an untended tea kettle whistling in your neighbour’s kitchen). You find a therapist you feel comfortable with and for the next while you begin to explore what happens to you under these circumstances. You follow emotional threads which lead to your past. You are eventually able to delve into unresolved disturbances in your history, and perhaps how those events reverberated up to the present.

Throughout this process, the theme of “control” happens to re...

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Art-Therapie de la Pleine Conscience

La pleine conscience est un état d’esprit dans lequel l’individu focalise son attention sur les sensations corporelles. Une personne pleinement consciente a connaissance des manières dont son corps réagit aux sources de stress, qui provoquent des pensées et des symptômes physiques d’anxiété.

Par la pratique de l’art-thérapie de la pleine conscience, la personne s’entraîne à être « présente » dans sa propre vie et à le demeurer pour faire face aux pensées négatives, à l’angoisse du futur, aux peurs ou encore aux attentes des autres... Pour en savior plus, svp visitez

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Where Were You When The Boston Marathon Bombs Exploded?

Breaking news, yet again of another major national crisis. Two brothers have been allegedly identified for planting two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon this past week.

It is difficult, if not impossible to avoid the barrage of information cast out across our nation like a giant sand storm. The media coverage was nearly as impressive and swift as the police and military response to this crisis. Information is presented to us in every known form from newspapers to internet, to tablets, even through text messages.

This decade brought the advent of “embedded reporters” who broadcasted live, graphic coverage from the Middle East. Our nation, and indeed the world can experience tragedies that occur on the other side of the world just as visceral as if we were there in person.

Generations ago, people would ask one another, “where were you when Kennedy was shot?” This generation remembers “where were you when 9/11 happened?”...

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