Dr. Jamie D. Kirkpatrick, PsyD, LMFT
"Helping you to discover your light"

Trauma

If you’ve experienced an extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatized. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Not all trauma symptoms are born out of severe traumatic experiences (big “T” traumas), however. Multiple small, bad experiences (little “t” traumas) can build up and create trauma symptoms, as well.

When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But with a few self-help strategies
and support, you can find recovery. Whether the trauma happened years ago or yesterday, you can make healing changes
and move on with your life.
Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD)
PTSD is a common reaction to traumatic or stressful events. Studies indicate 3.5% of the U.S. population
will experience PTSD in any given year. Almost 37% of these cases can be classified as “severe.”

Someone with PTSD may relive a traumatic experience through memories and dreams. They may avoid reminders (e.g., thoughts, environmental triggers) of the trauma to prevent emotional distress. PTSD can also involve memory issues and a heightened reactivity to one’s surroundings.

PTSD takes many forms. It may happen due to abuse, a natural disaster, war, first response, or any personal tragedy. It may arise immediately after an experience or years later. People of any gender, ethnicity, and background can experience it. 

Be assured, Posttraumatic stress is a treatable condition. Therapy can help people to process distressing thoughts, emotions and memories. Seeking understanding of one’s symptoms is often the first step to reducing them.

Hypnosis

EMDR

Many people view hypnosis in therapy with suspicion and mistrust which is why I thoroughly explain the process first and build a rapport with my clients prior to using this adjunctive technique. However, with some individuals and in some situations, it can be very helpful.

       Guided hypnosis is a trance-like state of focus and  
       concentration which is similar to being completely
       absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own
       thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn
       their attention completely from the conscious mind
       to the unconscious, going inward to find and utilize
       the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain better control in certain areas of their life.
Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing (EMDR) is a way to
reprocess many types of damaging and
traumatic life events through bilateral
stimulation of the brain. This technique
can help these past events to no longer
negatively influence your thoughts, feelings, decisions, and ultimately, your behaviors, in a limiting and destructive way.

I build a rapport with my clients and make sure I understand their history before utilizing EMDR in order to help ensure it's suitability for each individual client.