Ask Zoe: What is PTSD and How Do You Work with It?

Jeanine recently asked, “What is PTSD and how do you work with it?

healing-stress-healing-traumaWhen most of us experience a threatening, scary or painful event, our energy systems and nervous systems are zapped and, almost inevitably, emotional and/or physical symptoms automatically begin. Usually, they don’t subside until we do specific work to alleviate them. The complex of emotional and physical symptoms that start happening after one of these scary, threatening or painful events is called PTSD—Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

I’ve been trained in various ways of working with PTSD symptoms: Process Work, a trauma method similar to Somatic Experiencing and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). In my over 25 years’ experience as a psychotherapist, I’ve found EFT to be the most effective, by far, in resolving the emotional pain that often follows painful experiences and painful childhood family patterns–in other words, PTSD. So that’s how I work with it. PTSD creates a painful “charge” in the nervous system. Clients often find that, where before they would be overwhelmed by emotional pain and even physical pain, after a short time using EFT, when they think  about a traumatic incident or painful family pattern, it’s like it’s far away or like watching a movie.  There’s no painful emotion attached to it anymore. They also find that their lives and relationships become much freer, too.

If you’d like to know more, read my past blog posts, EFT Helps with PTSD and  EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 3    .

Wishing you a free and joyous life,


Tools to help with 9/11 Emotional Pain

9/11 is tomorrow and we’ll be inundated with media images again. This may trigger emotional pain and even trauma for some people. I’ve written two articles with some ideas for protecting yourself:

Bin Laden Killing May Trigger 9/11 PTSD: This article was written shortly after Bin Laden was killed, but is timely for this anniversary of 9/11, as it goes through the symptoms of PTSD

People Are Still Experiencing 9/11 PTSD After 10 Years: This article also details the emotional pain that may continue and get re-triggered now, and tells how EFT works to heal painful emotional and anxiety symptoms .

9/11 Anniversary May Trigger Childhood Trauma

Hope these are useful to you.


Prolonged Grief Can Be A Sign of PTSD

Grief can be debilitating, whether it’s grief over the death of a loved one or loss through divorce—or any other kind of loss. Grief is natural, as painful and wrenching as it is. When we experience loss, instinctively, we often feel it as a threat to our own survival—maybe not literally, but on a deep, emotional level.

Prolonged Grief Can be a Sign of PTSD

I worked with a client once whose child died through very painful circumstances. A number of years later, he was still experiencing extreme anxiety and even the spaciness and distorted vision that are among the signs of traumatic stress, whenever he thought about the circumstances around his child’s death. A year after the loss, another client, whose partner left her for someone else continued to feel extreme loss, depression, and inability to focus at work.  These are all signs of PTSD.

It’s Hard to Give Up Grief

As painful as the experience of grief and loss can be, for some people, it’s even harder to move on from grief and loss. In one instance, a client felt that, if she let go of her grief, she would be condoning what happened around her child’s death. In another, it felt that the feeling of grief was the only thing still connecting my client to the person that was lost, and there was the belief that giving it up would sever this last connection. There are many other ways that holding onto grief seems to help one keep ones identity, one’s sense of justice and one’s connection to the one lost. I say “seems to help,” because, in reality, this holding on doesn’t actually help and indeed stops us from finding a new real connection or a new real identity.

EFT is Effective with Grief and Loss

As I said, grief is natural, but debilitating grief and prolonged intense grief can be a sign of PTSD, or traumatic stress. I’ve worked with a number of clients experiencing this kind of “PTSD grief,” and have found EFT Tapping very effective in relieving people and helping them to move forward with their lives. If you’d like to know more, see my pages on Stress and Trauma, EFT and EFT Case Studies, and check out my E-zine article on grief.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,