Many people experience trauma in their lives. Strong reactions to trauma, such as PTSD, happen not only to those who witness atrocities such as in war, but also to those were exposed to sexual abuse, brutality, or physical or emotional abuse in relationships. This is not just because of what happened to us, but how we make sense of what happened to us and the negative emotions that result. These negative emotions seep into our lives in a variety of ways. We may find ourselves withdrawing from or not engaging in relationships, eating in ways that are harmful to us, struggling with addictions, and suffering from depression, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and low self-worth.
One of the most difficult aspects of trauma is that the impact of trauma can affect a person’s life months and years after the event occurred and that the difficulties that arise manifest and interfere with everyday life. Consequently, people do not realize that negative emotions, problems in relationships, and low self esteem are directly related to previous traumatic experiences. Additionally, when people experience these negative symptoms, they push away the memories or fight against these feelings; yet paradoxically, it is the avoidance of these symptoms and memories that creep into daily activities, daydreams, thoughts, and nightmares. In essence, the longer and harder people ignore traumatic events, the longer traumatic memories will control and affect their lives in more negative ways.
Dr. Samantha Gaies, Ph.D, Dr. Sacha Zilkha, Ph.D and Dr. Sara Glazer, Psy.D use a combination of hypnosis, mindfulness, and exposure therapy techniques to help people suffering from psychological trauma caused by a distressing events. Their approach focuses on helping people reduce the impact and the symptoms associated with trauma. Their practice incorporates techniques that help clients gently confront and work through difficult memories and experiences, while also learning to live more fully in the present moment in order to regain control over their lives. This approach utilizes hypnosis to help clients explore their unconscious to finally understand the relationship between their past trauma and current psychological distress, which ultimately allows them to free themselves from these painful memories. This does not mean using hypnosis to re-experience memories, as is often portrayed in the media, but instead, using the calming properties of hypnosis to help a person diminish the anxiety associated with the trauma while using therapy to move forward with their lives.
Dr. Gaies, Dr. Zilkha and Dr. Glazer have taken their advanced, researched-based training in trauma to create their own, new method of treating trauma, which combines the latest hypnotic techniques, exposure therapy, and mindfulness to address clients’ past experiences and help them reclaim their lives. This technique helps individuals better understand the negative feedback loop between the biological changes that began after the trauma and their current emotional state and responses. Through the use of hypnosis, our therapists help clients alleviate anxiety, stay more present, reduce flashbacks and nightmares, and find a way to once again feel like the person they were before the trauma.
Research shows that facing the memories of the event in a safe and controlled therapeutic environment can drastically reduce individuals’ symptoms and allow them to begin living their life and feeling like themselves again. Our therapists have years of experience working with trauma in private and hospital settings helping people to decrease their suffering due to several different types of trauma, including sexual harassment and assault, physical and sexual abuse in relationships, and sexual and emotional trauma in childhood. They utilize the most advanced techniques for treating trauma, such as Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy, to help relieve people’s trauma-related symptoms.
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