Hey there. It’s Tamara, the therapist that’s been there, and I just want to talk to you about a couple of things that can make you feel like you’re not healing from your complex PTSD, when you actually are. One of them is those larger trauma responses that feel like they’re part of who we are, when they’re actually not. The other is those little trauma triggers; those discreet events that make us feel triggered.
The first one is a trauma trigger that really impacts the patterns in our life. This is where you may work too fast, work too much, work with too much intensity, or engage in people-pleasing. Another one that’s a lifestyle kind of trigger, where it feels like who you are that person when you’re actually just responding to trauma in a particular way is if you identify as an A-type personality. Another is when you find yourself constantly doing things that are compulsive. A compulsive cleaner, for example.
Those things feel like they are lifestyle choices, but they can be trauma responses. And those kinds of trauma responses respond well to things like EMDR. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy that I provide online that can help you change the global patterns in your life that are connected to trauma responses, and it works by helping you find the root cause (early experiences) where that thing first happened and then became a survival strategy for you. EMDR helps you get perspective on that, so that the strategy stops being a survival strategy.
The second kind of trauma is the trauma response that happens as a result of specific traumas that (usually) don’t continue over a long time. I was attacked by a dog. So, for a long time, I was afraid of dogs. Fear of dogs is a specific trauma response. Doing things like picking at your cuticles, that could be a specific trauma response. Overeating can be response to specific traumas. One of the ways you will know you’re dealing with the second type of trauma is that you find you’re being afraid of something in particular and you can tie it back to a specific traumatic experience.
For example, years ago I was in a car accident where my car was totaled. I wasn’t driving. Then, every time a car drove past me quickly, and I was a passenger, I was triggered. I felt as if the accident was going to happen again.
Those kinds of responses can be healed. They’re the discreet triggers, not the life-pattern triggers. The discreet responses can be healed by things like the Trauma Erase Method and the six steps to heal a trigger that you can find on my YouTube channel or by working with me in therapy.
I want to differentiate between those two kinds of trauma responses because you can heal one kind of trigger or trauma response, and when another kind of trauma response shows up, you could feel like you’re not healing or you’re not doing the work right. That’s actually a common experience as you heal from childhood trauma.
But, it’s not true. That’s why it’s called complex trauma, because we do have responses to global things and to specific triggers. You have to work on both of them for them to heal.
Don’t give up. Healing has to happen on several different layers. There are two different kinds of trauma responses, and I want you to know that if you know about one and not the other, or if you’re healing one and not the other, it might make you feel like you’re stuck and you’re not healing when it’s not true.
When you’re ready to work through the traumas with information that helps you avoid discouragement in the process reach out to me. I provide online therapy in California and I work with Alma to cover your sessions when you are insured by Optum or Aetna. If you have a PPO other than these, I work with a company called Advekit who will bill insurance for you, so you never have to worry about sending out-of-network invoices for reimbursement – all you pay is your co-insurance once your deductible is met!
If you are outside of California and would like my help to heal Childhood Trauma, visit my other site: www.centerforhealingtrauma.com