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Trauma and PTSD

Here in Ventura County, people have been through a lot.  The terrible shooting at Borderline, immediately followed the Woolsey and Hills fires; so much trauma, so much loss, so much grief, so much sadness.  And of course, many people have had trauma in their lives for a long time, well before these incidents.  With trauma… Read more

The Borderline Bar and Grill shooting is a tragedy that hits very close to home for our community. The face that the Borderline has been seen as a very safe place to gather for young adults makes it all the worse (and the breakout of severe brush fires the very next day further upsets and… Read more

All of California has been dealing with fire this season.  First in Northern California, and more recently in Southern California, it seems that all of us know at least one person who has been directly and severely impacted by the fires. Here are two links to very helpful information that I encourage you to share. … Read more

If you or someone you know has incurred costs from being at the Las Vegas shooting, please check out this link for an application form.  You may be able to get at least partial reimbursement… Read more

We are getting lots of calls from people who are feeling affected by being present at the Las Vegas shooting tragedy.  I thought it would be helpful to post here about symptoms that may be present, and what to look for that may mean extra help or support is needed. After a traumatic event of… Read more

This has been a hard month for many people in other parts of the country. This weekend’s shooting incident in Las Vegas may strike closer to home for many, as people check in with friends and family to see who was at the concert and how they fared. In my practice, I am hearing that… Read more

Today is the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic Roe vs. Wade decision.  Regardless of how you feel about the abortion issue, it is important to acknowledge that at least  some women experience symptoms very similar to PTSD.  These symptoms may surface immediately afterwards, or not emerge until years later, perhaps with a triggering… Read more

More Magazine, always interesting, has an important article describing the results of several studies on the long-lasting effects of past domestic violence.  According to one survey, a shocking 81% of women who said they had experienced abuse have a chronic illness versus 61% of women who said they had never experienced abuse.  Those of us… Read more

Many clients come to therapists reporting that they have severe, persistent pain after traumatic events, like car accidents or sexual assaults.  Many times their pain doesn’t seem to be related in a physical way to the event itself, and often doctors will discount it or think that the patient is exaggerating their pain. A new… Read more

Have you heard of the ACES study?  It’s a study that began in 1994 that looked at Adverse Childhood Experiences and their relationship to current physical health.  The results are sobering,  and point to the need for treatment of childhood trauma, even when we are adults. An Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) is defined as experiencing… Read more

Many people will be impacted by the horror of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  What makes this especially difficult is that many of the wounded and witnesses are from outside the Boston area.  Right now, and in weeks to come, there will be trauma treatment professionals available in Boston to help people who are… Read more

With the massacre at Newtown still fresh in our minds, as well as other similar events more recently, the topic of how to spot mental health issues before they become an emergency is a big one on everyone’s mind. Concerned citizens in Simi Valley will have the opportunity to take a free 12 hour course… Read more

I love it when regular media writes really great articles about different aspects of therapy.  Today’s Los Angeles Times has a great overview of some mind / body approaches to therapy, all in one place.  Please take a look at it and let us know what you think!  … Read more

Tom was in a frightening car accident six months ago. Although his injuries were not life threatening, his car was totaled, and he was trapped behind the wheel for a short time until the paramedics came. Stopped at an intersection, he saw the other car hurtling toward his as the driver lost control during a… Read more

Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of 9-11.    For many of our young people, September 11, 2001 was the first, but probably not the last, event that evokes the question, “Where were you when …?”  Living on the West Coast, I remember being out for an early morning run.  My husband and I ran different routes… Read more

A recent newspaper article described some apps that veterans and others who suffer from PTSD can use just by reaching for their cellphones. They sound as they would be useful for anyone with PTSD or other anxiety issues. Here’s a list of the apps’ websites Breathe2Relax Mood Tracker PTSD Coach Full disclaimer:  I haven’t tried… Read more

The devastation in Haiti is almost too much to comprehend.  As with so many disasters, including the Indonesia’s tsunami in 2004, and our own attack of 9/11/2001, the endless news coverage can be quite traumatic for children. Here is an excellent article, posted on Psychology Today, on how to help your children cope.  Be sure… Read more

If you’ve wondered what it feels like to be a soldier dealing with PTSD, read Time Magazine’s article on the subject. Very informative… Read more

This weekend is a solemn one in many ways, for our country and for our community of Simi Valley. Eight years ago we awoke on the West Coast to news that was hard to comprehend at first. I remember being out running very early, with my husband, who liked to listen to the radio. For… Read more

I love it when clients recommend books! There is nothing like someone who has experienced a situation to recognize good advice when they see it. So here is a recommendation for women who are step-mothers. I haven’t yet read it myself, but the reviews on Amazon from actual readers are strongly positive. As of today… Read more

John Grohol noted this month on his PsychCentral blog some research that suggests that playing Tetris could possibly help prevent PTSD after witness traumatic events.Tetris Inoculation Against PTSD Flashbacks – World of PsychologyThe study he cites looked concluded that what might be happening is that playing this particular type of game uses the same areas… Read more

Our local community was severely impacted by the terrible train crash last Friday September 12, where a Metrolink commuter train collided with a freight train. Twenty five people died, and at least 135 of the 222 people involved were injured, many severely. As a resident of Simi Valley, and because I know several people impacted… Read more

Brain research is telling us some amazing things. When I was in graduate school, we were taught that brain development was largely complete by about age 3. We knew that children could learn in much more flexible ways than adults, but that even so, their brain structures were all in place and other than perhaps… Read more