• Quote of the Day
    "Behind the cloud the sun is still shining."
    Abraham Lincoln, posted by desiderata

Daniel

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Daniel

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“To make sense of the pain of their lives, they often become spiritual seekers trying to convince themselves that someone loves them; if people do not, then God must. These individuals are often extremely sensitive in both positive and negative ways. Having never embodied, they have access to energetic levels of information to which less traumatized people are not as sensitive; they can be quite psychic and energetically attuned to people, animals, and the environment and can feel confluent and invaded by other people’s emotions.”

― Laurence Heller, Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship
 

Daniel

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"I don't think I understood the full extent of the trauma experienced by people who churn through America's prisons until I began taking the time to listen to their stories."

~ Michelle Alexander
 

Daniel

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Trauma can change the way you think about yourself and the world. You may believe you are to blame for what happened or that the world is a dangerous place. These kinds of thoughts keep you stuck in your PTSD and cause you to miss out on things you used to enjoy. CPT [Cognitive Processing Therapy] teaches you a new way to handle these upsetting thoughts. In CPT, you will learn skills that can help you decide whether there are more helpful ways to think about your trauma. You will learn how to examine whether the facts support your thought or do not support your thought. And ultimately, you can decide whether or not it makes sense to take a new perspective...

CPT Coach is a mobile app that you can use with a provider during CPT. CPT Coach can help you to learn more about CPT and PTSD symptoms and helps you stay organized with worksheets as you complete CPT. CPT Coach is free and can be downloaded on most mobile devices.
 
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Daniel

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"Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word--they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult if not impossible to function normally under these circumstances.”

― Peter A. Levine
 

Daniel

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“Eighty two percent of the traumatized children seen in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network do not meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Because they often are shut down, suspicious, or aggressive they now receive pseudoscientific diagnoses such as “oppositional defiant disorder,” meaning “This kid hates my guts and won’t do anything I tell him to do,” or “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,” meaning he has temper tantrums. Having as many problems as they do, these kids accumulate numerous diagnoses over time. Before they reach their twenties, many patients have been given four, five, six, or more of these impressive but meaningless labels. If they receive treatment at all, they get whatever is being promulgated as the method of management du jour: medications, behavioral modification, or exposure therapy. These rarely work and often cause more damage.”

― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
 

Daniel

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“Not until the women's liberation movement of the 1970s was it recognized that the most common post-traumatic disorders are not those of men in war but of women in civilian life.”

"Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.… They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.”

"The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure."

― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence -- From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
 
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Daniel

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“We all want to be normal. Life, even normal life, is arduous, demanding, and ultimately threatening. We all have to deal with it, and none of us really knows how. We are all traumatized by life, by its unpredictability, its randomness, its lack of regard for our feelings and the losses it brings. Each in our own way, we suffer.”

― Mark Epstein, The Trauma of Everyday Life
 

Daniel

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From the self-compassion scale by Dr. Kristen Neff:

StatementsScoring
1(Rarely)2345
  1. I’m disapproving and judgmental about my flaws and inadequacies.
  2. When I feel low, I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that is wrong.
  3. When things are tough, I see the difficulties as part of life that everyone goes through.
  4. When I think about my inadequacies, it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world.
  5. I try to be loving towards myself when I’m feeling emotional pain.
  6. When I fail, I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy.
  7. When I’m down and out, I remind myself that there are lots of other people in the world feeling like I am.
  8. When times are rough, I tend to be tough on myself.
  9. When something upsets me, I try to keep my emotions in balance.
  10. When I feel inadequate, I remind myself that most people share feelings of inadequacy.
  11. I’m intolerant and impatient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.
  12. When I’m going through a tough time, I give myself the caring and tenderness I need.
  13. When I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than I am.
  14. When something painful happens, I try to take a balanced view of the situation.
  15. I try to see my failings as part of the human condition.
  16. When I see aspects of myself that I don’t like, I get down on myself.
  17. When I fail at something important to me, I try to keep things in perspective.
  18. When I’m struggling, I tend to feel like other people must be having an easier time of it.
  19. I’m kind to myself when I’m experiencing suffering.
  20. When something upsets me, I get carried away with my feelings.
  21. I can be a bit cold-hearted towards myself when I’m experiencing suffering.
  22. When I’m feeling down, I try to approach my feelings with curiosity and openness.
  23. I’m tolerant of my flaws and inadequacies.
  24. When something painful happens, I tend to blow the incident out of proportion.
  25. When I fail at something important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure.
  26. I try to be understanding and patient towards those aspects of my personality I don’t like.
 

Daniel

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“Life is managed, not cured.”

~ Dr. Phil
 

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There are clinical strategies to help people heal from emotional trauma. One critical factor is the sense of safety. Retrieval of traumatic memories under safe conditions when levels of stress are relatively low and under control enables the individual to update or reorganize the trauma experience. It’s possible to link the trauma to other experiences and diminish its destructive impact. Psychologists call this post-traumatic growth.
 

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"When I think of 9/11, instead of being overcome by the trauma and the horror and the tragedy, I'm actually overcome by hope. That the best of who we are was demonstrated on that day. So, in some ways, living my life as normally as possible is the biggest way that we can say that the terrorists did not win."

~ Heather Penney
 

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Due to the way that trauma memories are processed it is common for survivors of trauma to experience involuntary recollection of their trauma memories. These are often experienced with a ‘happening in the present’ quality and can be extremely distressing.

Stimulus discrimination is a component of cognitive behavioral treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Clients are guided to deliberately attend to differences between then (danger at the time of the trauma) and now (safety in the present).
 
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Daniel

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“If we trust that our inner world knows what is needed next, one outcome isn't preferable to another."

“It makes sense for us to want a symptom, an 'it' to go away. If we begin to sense that we are made up of many selves ... then we might instead say, 'the anxious part of me is really suffering. I wonder how we might help her'."

“The practice of nonjudgmental, agendaless presence [is] the foundation for safety and co-regulation.”

― Bonnie Badenoch, The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships
 
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