My partner is ex-military. I still don't what happened when they were in the field, clearly oh there is tremendous. My partner has been seeking a way out of their trauma for decades. Recently a new approach to helping someone quickly get past trauma has been built based on scientific evidence. It is called Havening. When I searched for Havening practitioners near me I didn't find any, they are still very rare people. However fortunately I found a Havening practitioner who is willing to work over conference calls with my partner and help them dramatically in just a few sessions.
When someone is trying to get past trauma it is not unusual for them to be fighting about the trauma and having flashbacks and nightmares. We talk about them being in a state of post traumatic stress disorder. You can think of it as a heightened state of arousal. You are very afraid. You can hear loud noises outside the house and in the house. You can hear voices, and have night terrors. You are terrified of even going outside the house. Your are so afraid that you can't move about in the world. The reason is that your brain has switched off your conscious level.
You may not be able to talk about what you are feeling. There are a lot of reasons for this. The first is that the person's conscience isn't working. It is at its lowest level. They may not have the ability to express their experience. This creates a state of helplessness. It is as though they are a "dummy." When you get to this point in life it is very hard for your conscious mind to operate.
If someone is fighting about a trauma it is difficult to get them to do it. We can talk them through this process. One of the main reasons is that they are not in control of their body. Their body switches off, the body enters into a suspended animation state and they go into a state of post traumatic stress disorder. They are not able to move. They can't perform everyday tasks like sitting still, walking, or talking. They may not be able to speak at all. They are stuck, and they feel as though they are being held prisoner.
The body and the inner organs seem to be frozen. The muscles are stiff. The skin may be rigid and the eyes may be so numb that they can't focus the image in front of them. If someone has no interest in engaging in activities that require their full attention it becomes impossible to get them to go to bed. For some this becomes impossible to get them to speak. If they don't understand this too they may become terrified that they are dangerous, abnormal, or dangerous. They may be scared that they are going to wake up in a new body with a new personality, a new set of beliefs, a new set of memories.
We can use the body language, the gestures, to help bring people back to the present. We can speak in gentle, reassuring language. We can talk slowly, with gestures that are calming and soothing to the nervous system. The person will become more calm and more aware. They will regain control of their body and their mind.
As soon as they feel soothed and secure they can start to do things. They can relax and breathe. As soon as they have done that they can feel better and their energy levels will rise. They feel better, they are more able to deal with the day. They have restored their sense of self. Their sense of self has been shattered because they were not in control of their mind. Our job is to help them feel better and work through the trauma with them.
One of the hardest parts for them to do is to eat and talk and sleep. That can be a very lonely task. Their mind has been racing all night. They have been reliving the trauma. They are not ready for that task.
It is also very important to talk to them frequently, at least once a day. Let them know that you are there to listen and support them and help them move forward. It is not an empty message if they do not call you. They may need it desperately. Let them know you are thinking of them and try to use the past as a guide to help guide them through the day.
I recommend that friends and family members attend one or more therapy sessions with the person who has PTSD. Having this knowledge of PTSD can be critical to the healing process. If the person who has PTSD cannot access the therapy it will not heal them. The more they are able to access therapy the more likely they can access the other modalities such as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.
It is also very important to work with the person who has PTSD and work on building their self esteem. Don't let them self identify as a person who has PTSD. It is a huge risk to take. It will only lead to the escalation of their symptoms. Work with them to identify strengths that they have and build those strengths out so that they are stronger when they face challenges.
There are many ways that the people who have PTSD can learn to access these therapies and modalities that can help them heal. I have outlined three that I personally recommend and I can provide links for more information and references if people are interested in finding out more about these modalities. You can also go directly to the clinician or site if that is your preference. However, you may want to contact me directly if you are interested in working directly with me and I will provide you with contact information for the appropriate clinician or specialist.
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