A Holistic Approach to Treating Trauma and PTSD

Carmen Littlejohn discusses PTSD and how trauma effects the brain. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

I think trauma is really misunderstood in the medical world. People that often are experiencing trauma or symptoms of PTSD, often don’t even know what exactly is going on for them. Often, when people come to Helix it may be the first time that they’re being told that their symptoms are related to trauma or the symptoms may be symptoms of PTSD.

Trauma is actually the experience of the brain being overwhelmed by fear. The brain can’t handle intense fear for very long, so what the brain does is it goes into a way to protect itself and it splits the experience up and often dissociates from the feelings of the experience, this is the moment of trauma.

What I often see in psychotherapy is people that come in are having trouble thinking, they’re having trouble in their normal functioning of life, they may be having symptoms of anxiety, symptoms of depression, they may be having relationship issues that don’t make sense to them.

[““I think trauma is really misunderstood in the medical world.“”]

We often think oh my childhood wasn’t that bad or there wasn’t anything bad that happened, but we always look through the lens of the child’s experience, which is, maybe there was a moment, very scary to the child and in that moment the brain needed to protect itself.

PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you may see people experiencing acute anxiety, they may have anxiety in social situations, they will start avoiding different things in their life that may trigger the anxiety. These are all symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Usually what happens with PTSD is that there’s a current episode that triggered something from the past.

What happens with trauma is that the brain actually mal-adaptively stores the memories, which means they get stored in pathways that don’t connect to each other. Often, if there’s a trauma in the brain people will have bad memories or hyper vigilance or always be looking for danger.

[““Trauma is actually the experience of the brain being overwhelmed by fear.“”]

As we process the trauma through the nervous system in the brain, as the trauma starts leaving, people actually have this experience of having good memories come back. They will often say I haven’t had a good memory of childhood in years, all of a sudden I just remembered something that was really wonderful. This is what happens to the brain as we process through the drama.

Here at Helix Healthcare, we treat trauma through a variety of ways. We work with psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and body-centered wellness all at the same time. We also use EMDR, which is an eye movement technique that is 90% effective in treating PTSD and trauma. Our goal at Helix Healthcare Group is to get the person back into their life functioning as quickly as possible.


To book a complimentary consultation or to learn more about PTSD, please call 416.921.CARE (2273) or send us a message.

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