Do you have flashbacks or nightmares about an event in your past?
Do you want to avoidm, at all costs, any reminder of your experience?
Does it seem like the experience just happened yesterday?
Do people just want you to "let it go"?
If you answer "yes" to any of the questions above, chances are that you have experienced some sort of trauma -- a bad accident, a horrific wartime experience, poverty, abuse, sudden death or loss,a senseless act of violence, or other trauma-producing event.
Trauma can cause you to be visibly shaken, to have flashbacks or nightmares, to feel anger and sadness. While almost everyone at some point experiences a traumatic event, how we deal with such an event can make the difference between success and failure in all areas of our life -- throughout our entire lifetime. Years later, out of the blue, something can "trigger" a response linked to an earlier incident that awakes troublesome feelings, even interfering with everyday life.
You've probably heard of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as experienced by military veterans. This is a very real disorder, affecting many people, not just associated with wartime events. It can develop following any type of trauma, including abuse.
I've worked with both children and adults who have experienced abuse or molest.Abuse knows no income, age, racial, religious or gender boundaries. It is common for children (and even adults) not to deal with abuse at the time it occurs. But if it is not dealt with, undermining effects can remain for years to come, or even be "triggered" decades later.
I've also worked with people experiencing trauma due to a spouse's affair, a home invasion, a car or other accident, a robbery at work, and being attacked by a dog. These events literally "shift" your view of the world as being a safe place. Sometimes it even causes a crisis of faith.
Counseling can help trauma and abuse survivors focus on their healing process. I use traditional therapy and am trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a technique developed at Palo Alto Veteran's Administration (see www.EMDR.com), which can be very effective in helping a trauma survivor regain control of their life -- even if the event was in the distant past.
Counseling can provide the necessary tools to help individuals recover and lead full and productive lives.
Some useful sites include www.sidran.org, and www.ptsd.va.gov.
Remember even in the darkest nights
that the sun will still rise
and the shadows of the night will dispel like the mists of morning
under the gaze of the sun,
bringing with it the light of day and the quiet of dawn.
Live not in the time of night but in the time of dawn
where the light rises
and even the deepest shadows dispel. (unknown)