June is PTSD awareness month


PTSD Awareness Month

Recovery from PTSD is possible

June is PTSD Awareness Month. PTSD can happen to anyone – veterans, survivors of sexual or domestic assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events.

Julia, an Adult Therapist at Newhouse, describes one approach to dealing with PTSD. Somatic therapy honors the mind-body connection. When we experience trauma, our mind encodes the memory but our body will physically store it away too, especially when the trauma is “too hot to handle.” Somatic therapy could be a good option for clients who do not want to or are not yet able to unpack the verbal details of an experience, or who may not remember all the details in their conscious memory, but their bodies hold the encoded stress and pain.

Trauma is stored in the mind and body

Image source: Sandstone Care

All Newhouse therapists have been trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, a type of somatic therapy. EMDR integrates talk therapy and honors the way our memories can be encoded and interconnected through our experiences and not just in a linear, cause-effect manner. EMDR can help tone down the emotional intensity of memories so that a person’s nervous system does not become overactivated and go into fight-flight-freeze when a trauma memory is activated.

Neuroscience of Somatic Approach

Image source: Sandstone Care

“Starting a somatic therapy practice doesn’t have to be scary or intense,” says Julia. “An easy way for clients to ease into it on their own is to start with grounding and mindfulness techniques. My favorite grounding technique is the 5-4-3-2-1. The goal of this is to create a space for clients to lean into their 5 senses to create pause and reflection. First, steady your breath; then name five things you see, four things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, 1 thing you taste.”  

Julia goes on to say, “I think when clients are ready to process and heal from PTSD symptoms in their life, finding a trusted clinician is a huge benefit! People are not meant to be isolated. Our healing is not meant to be isolated. People are integrated beings. Our healing is meant to be integrated, too!”

If you think you or someone you know may suffer from PTSD, consider taking a Screening Quiz and learn more about somatic healing.

“People are integrated beings. Our healing is meant to be integrated, too!”

– Julia, Adult Therapist at Newhouse