Anxiety & Trauma
Do you feel like you are in your own way?
Are you ready to change unhealthy beliefs?
Do you experience invasive thoughts that you can't stop?
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to try and block out the past. Maybe you have “effectively” faked feeling normal for years. Maybe you’ve poured yourself into work, or incessant doing, or distracted yourself in perfection, being controlling, or numbing activities like consuming substances, shopping, gambling, or using pornography.
Over time, you to feel so disconnected from yourself, there is no longer joy or energy to keep up.
Our brain registers traumatic information and adjusts our alarm system to make it more sensitive. To be efficient, our brain notices just the information that supports our current beliefs about how the world isn’t safe, or you can’t trust anyone, or you’re going to be found out as not good enough and people will leave, or you’ll lose your job.
This can be so overwhelming that you shut it off and then miss out on
warning signs and become even more vulnerable to the very situations you fear.
Other times, you might draw yourself to similar toxic environments or people in an attempt to resolve the past, or have a different experience this time. This just might feel normal to you.
Your brain can also filtering out any positive information. So you perpetuate your worst case scenario.
Even when the rational brain is able to see how capable, or how safe you actually are, it’s not enough to override the emotional brain’s defenses to protect you. This is how your past perceptions are stored in your mind and cause reactions or beliefs that shape your everyday experiences.
This is exhausting!
In a study of 18 people with chronic PTSD, fMRI showed that patients had learned how to shut down the brain areas that transmit visceral feeling and emotions that accompany terror. These are the same areas of the brain that through self-awareness give us a sense of who we are.
“In an effort to shut off terrifying sensations, they also deadened their capacity to feel fully alive,” writes Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD.
There is hope!
Thanks to neuroscience, there are methods that use your brain’s neuroplasticity to restore a sense of safety by helping the brain organize information, and use tools to instill a sense of homeostasis.
You can learn to take charge of your life, to be connected with yourself to know what you need, and be able to articulate that to yourself and others. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, panic, dissociation, alexithymia, or PTSD, you can change your brain.
Couples and PTSD
Do you find yourself getting frustrated about how your partner treats you?
Feeling run down and afraid you are out of options?
Is your relationship with your partner not what it used to be?
Perhaps you feel more like you are cohabitating than in an intimate relationship.
Research has shown that individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have 1.6 times greater risk of divorce, 4 times more physical aggression in relationship, and 3.8 times greater risk for marital distress than individuals without a mental health condition.
Symptoms of PTSD put relationships at risk because of the impact of emotional numbing and avoidance, along with less cohesion and intimacy. The good news is that PTSD is one of the most treatable conditions and partners can help.
PTSD treatment alone does not necessarily improve intimate relationships but desensitizing the symptoms, along with improving communication skills, emotional expression, and quality time together does improve intimate relationships.
In person Couples Therapy sessions can combine Cognitive Behavioral, Dialactical Behavioral, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotionally Focused Therapies to address your unique needs.
If you are ready to clearly communicate
to bring more joy into your life,
contact me to get started