Patti Bee, M.S. - Psychotherapy & Counseling, Madison, WI
PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Stress, relates to how our brain and nervous system respond to a traumatic event or distressing situation. It is called "post" because the symptoms are not necessarily apparent right after the stress or event. They show up later.
Traumatic Stress includes a sense of overwhelm that the person feels at the time. This overwhelm happens because they can not escape the situation or, the most instinctual part of their brain interprets the event that way.
The instinctual part of our brain is much faster than our "thinking" part of the brain. The survival instinct kicks in to deal with the situation by putting the whole system on alert. The instinctual brain does that without the permission of the thinking brain. This actually is why we survive. If we had to think about it ahead of time, we maybe would not respond fast enough to save ourselves from danger.
This instinctual alert is the "fight or flight" response that the brain sends to the whole nervous system to get us to act fast. It happens in the amygdale, the part of the brain that tells us if a person, place, or thing, is a life threat or not. When something is a life threat the amygdale floods the system with hyper-arousal anxiety, which is why we feel the "fight or flight" response.
The symptoms of PTSD, many times are due to the hyper-arousal anxiety still being activated in the person, even after the traumatic event is over. The person's amygdale part of the brain keeps interpreting people, places, and things as a life threat when it ordinarily would not. That is why so many things can trigger a person with PTSD. The instinctual response in their nervous system is stuck on "overdrive" and they feel survival terror as a symptom of the stuck trauma. In many ways it is like the person keeps being Hi-jacked by their own brain.
A person's psychological responses are based on that instinctual response of survival terror. This is why they can't seem to change their behavior even though their thinking brain knows better. This is also why it is hard for others to understand. In our culture we so much want to believe that if we can reason something out, using our brain, then we can "beat it."
Even when a person has gone to regular "talk therapy" they can still have the experience of not being able to get at the issue and it may confuse them and even their counsellor. Patti has some extra insight to the issue as it is happening in the deep brain and not the usual place in the brain where "talk therapy" happen.
But with PTSD the person can not use their reasoning and thinking brain when hyper-arousal anxiety has flooded their system. So it can be such a stigma for the person with PTSD because their behavior is judged and gauged by others, many times from that place of reason. Others may not understanding how the instinctual brain really hi-jacks the person with hyper-arousal anxiety.
So where is the hope. Is the person just hi-jacked the rest of their life. Well, they can be if they do not seek effective treatment that can reset the amygdale part of the brain.* And to do that the therapy has to be able to go to the place in the body and the brain where the hyper-arousal anxiety lives. And that place is in the nervous system.*
Brainspotting is a body-based psychotherapy method that uses body mindfulness and a spot in the field of vision to access the nervous system.* It can calm the hyper-arousal anxiety enough so that the traumatic material can be processed out and healed.* Clients quite literally are calm and peaceful as they bring up difficult emotional trauma in the Brainspotting session. This is why it works. Without being flooded with the hyper-arousal anxiety of the "fight or flight" response, the brain is able to rewire where the traumatic memories live in the brain. Once this happens the person can then respond to life in a much more healthy and adaptive way, as they used to, before the trauma.
More Questions? I am glad to help! Email Patti Bee
Brainspotting Psychotherapy & Counseling, in Madison, Wisconsin, is the private psychotherapy practice of Patti Bee, M.S., LPC, NCC. In her psychotherapy, practice Patti uses Brainspotting in her mental health counseling of trauma issues. Counseling trauma is assisted on a brain level in the Brainspotting modality. Patti Bee also integrates psychic self-clearing exercises with Internal Family systems work to treat trauma and Post Traumatic Stress. If you are looking for a therapist to treat trauma, Brainspotting Psychotherapy & Counseling is an effective option. For those with post traumatic stress, body-based therapies are crucial in finding the right mix of what might work. Patti Bee welcomes you to Brainspotting Psychotherapy & Counseling.
Additionallly, if you are looking for dream work and have not found it here in Madison WI, IFS Therapy, Patti's other specialization, is much like that and can incorporate your dream states into the therapy process. IFS work, or inner parts work, is very much like creating a visualization that is like a lucid dream and is quite effective in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress.
Students who have had a crisis,a sexual assault, rape, or assault can use their Student Heatlh insurance plan, SHIP, to pay for Brainspotting. Rape can be a crisis. If you are raped and need rape counseling, Brainspotting can be effective treatment for rape.
Another specialty of Patti's is that of being a Holistic Counselor who delivers effective Mind Body Counseling. Her Holistic Counseling integrates IFS & Brainspotting in Madison WI. She is a mind body counselor using holistic therapy, and mind body therapy for a holistic approach to psychotherapy.
* The first Brain Scan Research on the effectiveness of Brainspotting is in progress in a few select places around the world. The case-based reports provided in this article are not intended to promise nor imply any guarantee of results when using Brainspotting. They are given to provide the minimal evidence that is available thus far on Brainspotting, as this amazing method brings about much curiosity, due in large part to the remarkable stories of clients and Therapists using it. Counseling and/or Psychotherapy varies greatly between individuals. Claims made in this article are those of what has been noticed and reported by individuals in individual cases.