Trauma & PTSD

Emotional and physical trauma is the response to a distressing experience.

Those diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and stress related or traumatic symptoms often feel that something in them is broken, severely impaired or beyond help. Flashbacks, nightmares, keeping others at bay, or being constantly on edge are just a few symptoms experienced by trauma victims.

Dealing with trauma is a cycle of reliving the past that leads to hopelessness, suicidality or even treatment avoidance. Know this...your body is doing it’s job protecting you. It just needs to be re-calibrated so you're not constantly fighting back.

It can happen to anyone. Not just those on the front line.

Some examples of trauma and disturbing events that can disrupt healthy behaviors and create mood disturbance include:

  • any type of abuse, assault, rape, or neglect
  • witnessing or receiving verbal and/or physical violence
  • natural or man-made disasters
  • excessive or cruel teasing (bullying)
  • major or unresolved grief issues
  • feeling inferior or defective
  • having a life-threatening illness
  • being in or witnessing a severe accident
  • being on the receiving end of a significant betrayal of some sort

Depression is the most common illness in the US.
As a victim of multiple traumas herself, Dr. Kathy Shafer understands, first-hand, what it's like to battle and come back from traumatic experiences and triggers. Read more: Choosing Life: A Journey from Victim to Victor.

Treatment Techniques

EMDR Helps with Trauma Victims and PTSD

Healing is accomplished when the traumatic event no longer triggers reactions that interfere with daily functioning. Dr. Kathy Shafer, a certified EMDR Therapist and Consultant in Training, specializes in evidence-based treatment for self-regulation, mindfulness, and mood management.

  • EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that alleviates distress associated with traumatic memories. These events seem to get locked and dysfunctionally stored in the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, and feelings. Scattered memories need safety and containment. EMDR unlocks the nervous system. During EMDR treatments, the targeted event or trauma episode, along with the beliefs attached to it, are relieved and reversed to generate healing, relief, and promote recovery.
  • Mental Imagery: Mental imagery, sometimes called visualization, is the language used by the mind to communicate with the body. Think of it as the mind speaking to us in pictures. Different from hypnosis, instead of being placed in trance, mental imagery enlivens you and opens the doors to the inner expert that already exists inside of you, enabling you to become happy, healthy, and whole…on your own.
  • Yoga Therapy: Yoga is not all about "striking a pose", downward facing dog, or mastering a head stead. Focused breath work, mental imagery, gentle movements, and just laying down can be powerful portable self care tools for anybody to do anywhere. These practices are integrated into therapy session to teach you how to self-regulate to manage moods and mindfully reduce reactive responses (fight or flight).

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Have Questions?

If you are having difficulty coping or recovering from a traumatic episode, reach out to Dr. Shafer. She is just a phone call away.