Counseling and Hypnotherapy

Healing Trauma

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Emotional Rebuilding After Katrina:
Healing Trauma, Loss and PTSD  

Coping With Trauma


Most of us conduct our lives around the belief that we will be relatively safe. Catastrophic events such as what happened on the gulf coast of the United States of America as hurricane Katrina unleashed powerful winds, and a high storm surge, for many people, that belief was shaken. This natural disaster has destroyed property, taken hundreds of lives, altered the lives of millions, and for very many people across the nation, undermined feelings of safety.


Events such as this are outside the realm of people’s ordinary experience. Catastrophic experiences are not limited to war and natural disasters (tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc.) but also include rape, physical or sexual abuse, fires, auto accidents, school shootings, plane crashes, hostage situations, and exposure to other violence such as car-jacking, mugging, and military combat. It is not only the victims of these events, but also witnesses, families of victims and helping professionals who can develop severe symptoms of stress, which can potentially become long-lasting.

The anxiety experienced during or immediately after a catastrophic event is identified as traumatic stress. When symptoms endure several months after the incident, it is classified as post-traumatic stress. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the term used by mental health professionals to characterize people who have endured highly stressful and frightening experiences and who are having severe distress caused by memories of that event.


Getting Help For PTSD


It is important to remember that traumatic stress is a normal reaction to very abnormal circumstances, and PTSD is just an extension of that reaction. There is no shame in experiencing symptoms, nor is having symptoms viewed as a sign of weakness.


PTSD is very treatable, especially when it is caught early. The idea behind the treatment is to process the traumatic event, as well as manage the symptoms. A qualified Therapist can help the person with PTSD to find the words to talk about the incident and to understand the feelings that accompany the experience, rather than to avoid things associated with the trauma. Though it might seem natural to want to avoid painful memories, it is important to acknowledge the memories, feel the emotions and work at processing them. When this happens, the trauma no longer controls the person. The person is now in control of the memory of the trauma to the extent that she or he can approach it with flexibility and objectivity.

Hypnotherapy In The Treatment Of PTSD


A clinician skilled in the therapeutic use of hypnotism can use hypnosis to facilitate the processing of the traumatic memories, and facilitate alternate perspectives and consequently different responses to the memories of trauma.  Hypnosis as a management tool can be used to develop skills in relaxation, and teaching individuals to use self-hypnosis as a self-help tool can have an empowering effect for the individual who used it to manage their symptoms, and enhance the process of healing..


Statistics About PTSD

  • The majority of people who are exposed to extreme stress are able to process their way through their reactions and never develop PTSD.
  • An estimated 70 percent of people will be exposed to a traumatic event in their lifetime.
  • Of those people, 20 percent will go on to develop PTSD.
  • Women are about twice as likely to develop PTSD as men, because women are more likely to experience interpersonal violence, including rape and physical beatings.
  • Rape is a leading cause of PTSD.
  • Victims of domestic violence and childhood abuse are at high risk for PTSD.
  • Approximately 8 percent of the population will develop PTSD during their lifetime.

Help For The Helpers


People working in the helping professions, including firefighters, police, first responders and health professionals are at risk for symptoms of the trauma experience.  Through helping others in need, the helpers also experience trauma and loss.  Giving careful attention to self-care, and processing traumatic experiences can enable the helper to prevent burnout.  Seeking help when it is needed is a sign of strength, and shows good judgement.  

Advanced Hypnotherapy
And Counseling Office
1000 Main Street
Port Jefferson, NY 11777

(631) 473-0405

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