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Trauma – “Understanding Why You Feel this Way”

DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
Feburary, 2011

Counselling, Counsellor, Niagara Region, St. Catharines, Therapist, Thorold, Welland, Niagara Falls, Beamsville, Lincoln, Grimsby, Stoney Creek, Port Colborne, Psychotherapy, Psychologist, addictions, chronic pain, hypno therapy, marriage, divorce
Visit our Website for more information and locations

At some point in your life you have probably cut your finger with a knife.  Depending on the sharpness of that knife and the force behind it you either bled a little or a lot.  Even if you had extremely tough skin, you would bleed.  There are events in life that can make you bleed all over on a psychological level.  It is these events that make people susceptible to developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

You should talk to a counsellor if you have re-experienced the trauma in the form of dreams, flashbacks or intrusive memories, if you experience a numbing of emotions and reduced interest in others and your surrounding.  Also if you are experiencing insomnia, agitation, irritability or outbursts of rage that persist for at least one month.

Secondary Traumatization

Professions such as doctors, nursing staff, fire workers, police and search and rescue are at risk for secondary traumatization, which is known also as compassion fatigue, secondary or vicarious traumatization, and “burn-out”.  The symptoms are usually less severe than PTSD but can still affect the livelihoods of these professionals.  There are 3 risk factors for secondary traumatization, the first is exposure to the stories (or images) of multiple disaster victims.  Secondly your empathic sensitivity to their suffering and lastly your unresolved emotional issues that relate to the suffering seen.

Critical incident stress

Critical Incident Stress is the natural reactions of a person to an extreme situation.  They may occur immediately or in days, weeks or even months.  People that have experienced an extreme  situation often benefit from a critical incident debriefing,  which is a meeting held for those individuals that were directly affected by the event.

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Panic Attacks – “I Never Want to Feel Like That Again!”

DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
Topic Chess Series
October 27, 2010

Panic Attacks – “I Never Want to Feel Like That Again!”

Anyone who has ever had a full-fledged panic attack knows that it is one of the most intensely uncomfortable states human beings are capable of experiencing.  Your very first panic attack can have a traumatic impact, leaving you feeling terrified and helpless, with strong anticipatory anxiety about the possible recurrence of your panic symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases, panic does come back and occurs repeatedly. Why some people have a panic attack only once—or perhaps once every few years—while others develop a chronic condition with several attacks a week, is still not understood by researchers in the field.

A panic attack can be a very frightening and uncomfortable experience, but it is absolutely not dangerous. You may be surprised to learn that panic is an entirely natural bodily reaction that simply occurs out of context. Suppose, for example, that your car stalled on the railway tracks while a train approached you from about 200 meters away. You would experience a sudden surge of adrenaline, accompanied by feelings of panic, and a very strong and sensible urge to flee your predicament. In fact, you body would undergo a whole range of reactions, including:

• an increase in your heart rate
• an increase in your respiratory rate
• a tensing of your muscles
• constriction of your arteries and reduced blood flow to your hands and feet
• increased blood flow to your large muscles
• release of stored sugar from your liver into your blood stream
• increased production of sweat

In a spontaneous panic attack, your body goes through exactly the same physiological flight reaction that it does in a truly life-threatening situation. The panic attack that wakes you up at night or occurs out of the blue is physiologically indistinguishable from your response to such experiences as your car stalling on the railway tracks or waking to hear a robber going through your house.

What makes a panic attack unique and difficult to cope with is that these intense bodily reactions occur in the absence of any immediate or apparent danger. Or, in the case of agoraphobia, they occur in response to situations that have no apparent life-threatening potential (such as standing in line at the grocery store or being at home alone). In either case, you don’t know why the reaction is happening. And not knowing why—not being able to make any sense out of the fact that your body is going through such an intense response—only serves to make the entire experience even more frightening. Your tendency is to react to sensations that are intense and inexplicable with even more fear and a heightened sense of danger.

Here at David James and Associates, we believe that treatment emphasizing a three-pronged approach is most effective in helping people overcome this disorder; education, psychotherapy, and medication.

Education is usually the first factor in psychotherapy treatment of this disorder. Our clients can be instructed about the body’s “fight or flight” response and associated physiological sensations.  Learning to recognize and identify such sensations is usually an important initial step toward treatment of panic disorder.

Individual  psychotherapy is usually the preferred modality, and its length is generally short- term under 12 sessions. An emphasis on education, support, and the teaching of more effective coping strategies is usually the primary focus of therapy. We believe that Family Therapy is usually unnecessary and inappropriate.

We also teach relaxation and imagery techniques. These can be used during a panic attack to decrease immediate physiological distress and the accompanying emotional fears. We also provide Hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Technique.  Discussion of our client’s irrational fears (usually of dying), passing out, becoming embarrassed) during an attack is always helpful and often beneficial in the context of a supportive, therapeutic relationship.

We believe a cognitive or rational-emotive approach in this area is best. Our Counsellors are very knowledgeable regarding RET.

A consultation with us will no doubt be the first major step on the way to recovering from anxiety and panic

To schedule a consultation contact:  David James & Associates at: 
Call: 1866 775 4991
Email: david@davidjamesandassociates.com
Web: www.davidjamesandassociates.com

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