Category: Trauma

Trauma Defined

Trauma. Not many conversations go by these days without mention of this buzz word. I have heard trauma defined in many different ways. Is it certain types of events? If so, why do some people walk away with post-traumatic symptoms and other do not? Can we put it into categories along a continuum? If so, why do these experiences affect some people and not others? I first heard trauma defined this way — by categories. I’ll explain these categories and then I’ll answer clearly what many are asking: what is trauma, really? Categories of Trauma I learned that there are

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Attachment Trauma

If you struggle with relationships, you are not alone. There are some dominant cultural narratives that assumes there is something wrong with us, but science and research offers us a more expansive view. Our relationship challenges may be rooted in what is known as “attachment trauma”. Attachment Theory We need to first understand attachment to understand attachment trauma. Attachment theory argues humans are born with a need to form a close emotional bond with a caregiver and that attachment is critical to a young child’s development. Both the presence and quality of attachment matter. If our bonding is strong, we

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Parenting A Child With Trauma

            As a parent it can be really difficult figuring out how to help your child or teen who has experienced some type of trauma.  We can’t take their pain away.  Or make them forget their pain.  We can’t ignore that it happened.  So how do we help them?  What do we do to make it better?  How do we fix it??? How to Support Their Journey to Healing            HA, that’s the golden question!  And the simple answer is…we can’t.  I think when we finally come to that realization, it makes helping our kiddos and teens navigate through their trauma

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Over Perceiving Threat, Under Perceiving Safety 

I walked through the grocery store jumping around from side to side sure that something was about to happen. When I turned the corner, I put my arms up ready to fight, as an 80-year-old woman who was no threat turned the corner and almost collided with me. Having just returned home from Afghanistan it was understandable that I was on guard, but what I didn’t know then was WHY?  Why was I walking around as if someone or something was about to harm me? Another time, a friend made a comment that made me feel insecure and BAM! There

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How Our Bodies Store Trauma

We now have more scientific evidence than ever showing the relationship between the mind and body. Most of us understand how diet can influence mental health (example: giving a child a sugary snack before bedtime). However, we also need to understand the very real physical effects of psychological stress and trauma on the body, particularly with trauma that hasn’t been fully processed or even acknowledged by the person who experienced it. Unprocessed trauma may get “stored” or “stuck” –not just in our subconscious mind and memory–but throughout our physical being. Trauma is Trauma: Big or Small Most of us will experience some

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Healing Trauma- Part 2

If you recall, in my last blog I talked through the definition of trauma and how trauma can get stored in the body.  Trauma leaves an impact long after it’s over.  Chronically freezing, trying to escape, fighting, or collapsing.  But why? Why do our bodies get caught like this? How We Get Stuck Well, there are few explanations for this: Time Stamping: Our central nervous system (made up of our brain stem and spinal cord) is terrible at time stamping.  A lot of people ask me to define “time stamping,” which makes sense.  It’s not a common term.  Time stamping

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Healing Trauma- Part 1

Trauma.  This is such a buzz word right now.  I’m grateful in some ways that more people and leaders are recognizing the impact of trauma and doing something about it.  As with many buzz words, though, the word can become confusing. What is trauma? How do I know if it applies to me? No one ever hit me growing up, this isn’t something I went through. Let’s start from square one.  First, in the past we have tried to define trauma in two categories: -Big T trauma -Little T trauma Big T trauma includes what comes to mind for most

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How Trauma Can Impact You as a Couple

You get into a relationship, you’re getting to know each other, starting to trust and rely on each other, and then BAM! Something happens that throws you or your partner off. Something makes you infuriated, terribly sad and hurt, or extremely nervous and worried. But what could that “something” be? This blog is about how our past traumas can continue to affect our relationships as a couple. How Trauma Enters Relationships The very nature of relationships is connection. It’s getting to know, trust, rely, and commit to someone over time. Our past wounds, hurts, or traumatic experiences enter a relationship

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The Fight Against Human Trafficking in Arizona

The facts of human trafficking in Arizona. In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I wanted to mention a few facts about this topic to bring awareness to it. The average age of a victim is between 12 and 14 years old.  The abuse that happens to these young people makes it extremely difficult to leave or get help. Arizona is part of what is called The Circuit.  We are in close proximity to two other major cities (Las Angeles and Las Vegas), which have a rotation of major events that come through all three cities.  This provides an easy

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