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Laura Giles, LCSW

causes of trauma

Overlooked Causes of Trauma

Most people understand that child abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and serving in combat can lead to trauma. Unfortunately, there are many other things causes of trauma that are overlooked. Because they aren’t generally associated with trauma, people can try to live with it. Without treatment, they can cause unnecessary pain for a long time. Let’s take a look at what they are. Medical Treatment We think of doctor’s offices, dentist visits, and hospitals as places we go to for help. However, a common element with traumatic incidents is feeling a loss of control. When health care workers treat us like bodies, aren’t compassionate, don’t tell us what’s going on, take on the expert role, and we can’t do anything about it, this can result in trauma. Fear + the unknown +...

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religious trauma syndrome

What is “Religious Trauma Syndrome?”

Most therapists promote spirituality as a coping mechanism. Life is holistic. We need to connect to Spirit in order to feel whole. It helps expand our experience of life. However, even the best things can be corrupted. Religious trauma syndrome is one example. So what it is? Defining Religious Trauma Syndrome You won’t find “religious trauma syndrome” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Sufferers may experience Confusion, difficulty with decision-making and critical thinking, dissociation, identity confusionAnxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideation, anger, grief, guilt, loneliness, lack of meaningSleep and eating disorders, nightmares, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, somatizationRupture of family and social network, employment issues, financial stress, problems acculturating into society, interpersonal dysfunction The symptoms occur because of guilt for...

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yearning for sovereignty

Yearning for Sovereignty

The young girl wants to spend time with her friends, choose her own clothes, and make her own career choices. She’s fighting with her parents who want her to do and be something else. A grown man doesn’t know who he is. When he was growing up, if he said he liked pink, his mom said, “You don’t want that. That’s a girl’s color.” If he said he wanted to be a waiter, his mom said, “No, you want to be a lawyer.” When he cried, his mom said, “You’re okay.” Now he’s unsure how to make a decision without consulting someone else. A worker hates going into the office because his boss nitpicks. Nothing is done right, on time, at the level of quality that his boss wants. No matter how...

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child abuse

What Does Child Abuse Look Like?

Schools closed for social distancing may take away some children’s only refuge from abuse. When a child is being abused at home, he may be too afraid to ask for help. He might not know that it’s an option. It’s up to the rest of us to look out for the children. We must keep our eyes and hearts open so that we may be of aid and comfort to the most vulnerable among us. What Does Child Abuse Look Like? Believe it or not, some people don’t know what child abuse looks like. They may have grown up with it and just thought that their behavior was “normal.” They reason that that is how some people parent.  So that there is no grey area, let’s look at some of the signs of...

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why we don't talk about our dreams

Why We Don’t Talk About Our Dreams

Dreams are a treasure trove of information! They are a free risk management tool that can make your life safer, more fun, and easier. Yet we don’t talk about our dreams – at least not outside the therapist’s office. Why? It Feels Self Indulgent Holding someone hostage while you divulge your nocturnal vision can feel selfish. It can seem like there is nothing in it for the listener. In our dream deprived/sleep deprived society, this could be so. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about dreams nor do we value them. If this is what is stopping you, feel free to join my Facebook group. That’s all we do is talk about dreams. Your dreams will be appreciated there because they give everyone practice in learning the language of dreams. One more...

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Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

If you are looking around and seeing things in your life that you just don’t like, it’s time to take responsibility. Your vibe attracts your tribe. This means that things that resonate at the same frequency are found together. When two similar things are in proximity, the vibration of the weaker follows the vibration of the stronger so that they end up vibrating at the same rate. This means that your environment could be bringing you down or keeping you down. So, this isn’t just some New Age mumbo jumbo. It’s a fact. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to either change yourself, let some people or things go, move on, and open some space for new things to come in. Change Yourself It’s natural to change. We aren’t the same...

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How to Dream More

Dreams are the road to the unconscious. They can show you what is hidden from you. Dreams can direct you to your desires. They can warn you of danger. Your spirit ancestors and helpers can speak to you through your dreams. You can solve problems in your dreams. So, if you’re not dreaming, you may want to know how to dream more. Everyone dreams every night. The problem isn’t that we don’t dream. It’s that we don’t remember our dreams. Dreams have always been present. They are wired into the DNA of humans. They come whether we want them or not. It doesn’t matter to dreams if you are sleeping on a train, doing a sleep study, or are writing them down for your own personal use. They are just there. Dreams...

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Conquering the Two Faces of Anxiety

Anxiety has two faces. If you understand what they both are, you have a shot at overcoming them. So let’s start by defining the first face. This type of anxiety is a feeling of foreboding that shows up for no reason. You don’t know when it will start or when it will go away. This type of anxiety has a physical cause. The Physical Face When the body is in a state of dis-ease, it creates signs to let you know so that you can intervene and bring it back into balance. Examples of these types of things are pain, moodiness, sleeplessness, hunger, lack of hunger, or anxiety. That’s right. Your lifestyle has an effect on emotional health because the mind, body, and spirit are all one unit. Since these symptoms are caused by...

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Sensitivity is Not Reactivity

Sensitivity is not reactivity. Sensitivity is the ability to perceive stimuli. Reactivity is about responsiveness to stimuli. The two are not the same, nor do they always go hand in hand. Let’s take a look at them separately to see what I mean. Sensitivity As with all things, there an be too much or too little sensitivity. There is also a sweet spot that is just right. When someone is very sensitive, they notice things more readily than other people. For instance, the buzzing of a fly could be absolutely unbearable. Sunlight could seem really intense. Smells, changes in temperature, food texture or flavors might seem really noticeable to sensitive people. This person could have a really hard time coping with the environment because she’s frequently overstimulated. People with low levels of sensitivity...

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Why Did I Do That?

Everyone has times in their lives when they say, “Why did I do that?” and just can’t figure things out. When this is you, try applying a behavior chain analysis to shed some light on things. Not sure what that is? Read on! A behavior chain analysis is a method for looking at linked things to find out more about it. It’s usually used to change undesirable behavior. Here are the steps for using one. Define the Problem Every behavior chain analysis starts with a problem. You have to have something to analyze. Examples of problems are: gossiping, overeating late at night, anxiety in social situations, quick temper when someone asks me something I am not prepared to answer, or panic attacks when I am overworked. The more specific you are, the more...

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