In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week's term: Stockholm syndrome Stockholm syndrome is a type of psychological bond that forms between a captor and a hostage. The hostage develops positive feelings toward the captor and their cause, and negative feelings toward law enforcement. While it masquerades … Continue reading What is… Stockholm syndrome?
I Walk With a Limp: My Personal Journey as a Trauma Survivor by Barbara A. Lawrence describes the impact of the physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological abuse she first experienced as a child at the hands of her family. She writes about the PTSD she developed as a result, along with a myriad of other … Continue reading Book review: I Walk With a Limp
In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week's term: trauma vs. PTSD I wanted to take a look at the difference between experiencing trauma and having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Part of this is that I believe that I have experienced trauma, but while it still impacts me … Continue reading What is… trauma vs. PTSD
In Shattered: A Memoir, Patricia J Grace tells her story of the lasting impact of childhood sexual abuse. This abuse occurred at the hands of multiple brothers, as well as others, after the death of her father. While her mother was aware of the abuse, she did not intervene to try to stop it. Disturbingly, when … Continue reading Book review: Shattered
In Living with Vaginismus: Dealing with the World's Most Painful Pleasure, Victoria Johnston provides a comprehensive overview of this pelvic pain condition. She opens up about her own personal experience in order to try to raise awareness about an issue that most people either don't know about and/or aren't comfortable talking about. Vaginismus involves the … Continue reading Book review: Living With Vaginismus
So, what is it to be trauma-informed? Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, and involves an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they have disclosed it or not. Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety. The individual client's safety, … Continue reading How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care
While many sources of trauma are time-limited, some occur repeatedly over prolonged periods of time. The term complex PTSD is used to capture the profound psychological harm these people exposed to the latter have experienced, including changes in self-concept, problems with emotional regulation, distorted perceptions of the perpetrator, and impaired relationships with others. There are … Continue reading Why isn’t Complex PTSD in the DSM-5?
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study was a landmark research trial conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The study examined the correlation between adverse experiences in childhood and health outcomes in adulthood, and clearly showed just how profound that connection is. The ACEs study participants were asked to report whether … Continue reading What we can learn about trauma from the ACEs study
In Untangled: A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph, Alexis Rose offers raw, forthright descriptions of the repeated abuse she experienced in childhood and into adulthood. I would caution anyone who has experienced abuse themselves to carefully evaluate whether they are far enough along in their own healing to feel safe while reading this kind … Continue reading Book review: Untangled
Some studies have shown that the quality of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is a stronger predictor of therapeutic outcomes than the type of therapy used. However, it seems logical that the type of therapy should at least to some extent match up with how you tend to conceptualize the problems you're experiencing. … Continue reading Psychotherapy alphabet soup
Sometimes avoidance is adaptive. If we see a mama bear and her cubs, we know we need to steer clear. This is when our caveman brain is programmed to kick into fight or flight mode, and we probably never would have moved far beyond the caves without it. But a lot of avoidance is maladaptive, … Continue reading To avoid or not to avoid, that is the question
If I Could Tell You How It Feels: My Life Journey With PTSD captures Alexis Rose's journey toward healing from PTSD. The book consists of narratives interspersed with poetry, along with beautiful art by Janet Rosauer. The chapters are short, which I always appreciate since it makes it easier for readers with concentration problems, and they … Continue reading Book review: If I Could Tell You How It Feels
This week's TED Talk picks are focused on trauma and come from a diverse range of experiences. Nadine Burke Harris: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime https://embed.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime In this talk, Nadine Burke Harris passionately addresses the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study. This study found a significant correlation between number of … Continue reading TED Talks on Trauma
We've all got things in our lives, past or present, that cause us pain. And we've also got triggers that bring that pain back up to the surface. This has been on my mind lately because I've been getting triggered by something that's seemingly innocuous. In my last job I became quite close to a … Continue reading Managing Triggers
Recently I did a post Constructing a Trauma Account about creating a written narrative account of traumatic events as a tool to aid in processing the trauma. I chose to follow part of the cognitive processing therapy (CPT) approach laid out by the US Veterans Affairs Center for Deployment Psychology and the Medical University of South … Continue reading Creating a trauma account: An update