EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 2

Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior

 

Abusive Families Create PTSD Symptoms

In abusive families, children often suffer physical abuse or sexual abuse or their parents criticize them severely or play painful mind-games. A child might see or hear something that’s wrong and try to say something about it, but her parents might tell her that it’s not really happening or that she’s crazy. If she tells her parents she doesn’t want them to do what they’re doing or that it hurts her feelings if they say cruel things to her, they ridicule her, put her down or tell her they’re not doing whatever they’re doing. This is psychological abuse. Abuse often results in PTSD symptoms. (See my blog entry, EFT Helps With PTSD, for a definition of PTSD and some introductory background).

Children Suffering From Childhood Abuse Are Powerless

When children are abused, they often have no recourse—no one is there to help them. They’re trapped, and they don’t know a way out. As young children, parents are like mirrors for us, showing us who we are by the way they act toward us. If they are constantly criticizing or hurting us, the mirror is showing us that we’re ugly or wrong or stupid. And because we have no other input, we automatically believe it.

Childhood Abuse Creates Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior

Having a mirror that says we’re ugly and wrong creates a split in us. On the one hand, we believe it and start to beat upon ourselves just like they do; we hurt ourselves. On the other hand, there’s a healthy core in us that’s really angry about being treated so badly. Unfortunately, children have few relationship tools; often their way of expressing this anger is to act out impulsively or aggressively. This gets them in trouble in the larger world, which usually doesn’t understand the root of their behavior.

Negative Self-Image, Self-Destructive and Impulsive Behavior Continues into Adulthood

Whatever is mirrored to us as young children stays with us into adulthood. This is because we learned from this mirror before we ever knew we were learning anything. It unconsciously becomes our worldview and our self-view. And the way we learn to react to it to survive emotionally becomes an automatic habit that continues on into adulthood. But I’ve seen that we can change all of this.

EFT Helps With PTSD Symptoms of Childhood Abuse

EFT is amazingly effective with the PTSD symptoms caused by childhood abuse and other causes of PTSD and healing pain, both physical and emotional pain. For more details, see my website EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com.

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

EFT Helps With PTSD

What is PTSD?

When 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.

PTSD is “Normal”

A lot of times, people who experience PTSD feel that there’s something wrong with them. In a way, there is—because you’re in emotional and/or physical pain. But actually, what’s happening is our body’s normal nervous system reaction to threat. So you could say that PTSD is a healthy survival mechanism built into our nervous system and body. The positive part of this is that it can help us to recognize and react quickly to future threats.

PTSD: Our Body Reacts As If It Were Happening All Over Again

The negative part is that in humans, our nervous system starts reacting to events with even a homeopathic dose of threat or emotional/physical pain as if they are full-blown threats or painful events. And even remembering the original scary, threatening or painful event automatically and immediately creates the same physical and emotional reactions that occurred during the original event.

PTSD Symptoms Are Automatic 

For example, someone who was accosted and robbed by a man with a mustache while walking down a certain street at 4:00pm often will automatically break into a sweat walking down that street at any time of day. Their heart may beat quickly if they’re outside at 4:00pm. Their chest might get tight whenever they see a man with a mustache, no matter where they are or when they see him. In an effort to keep us absolutely safe, our nervous system goes way overboard.

PTSD Symptoms

How intense our fear was during the original threatening event determines our PTSD symptoms. If we were really scared or the emotional pain was really intense, but in both cases, we somehow felt that we could handle it or overcome the danger or the pain, resulting symptoms will probably include increased heartbeat, heat, muscle cramps or body tension, intense fear or panic, or anger. There might also be some active sadness or grief.

If the event was overwhelming to us, or we felt that we couldn’t handle it or overcome the danger, resulting symptoms may include dizziness, spaciness, floatiness, difficulty focusing, changes in how we perceive our bodies, emotional or physical numbness, and difficulty concentrating on what’s happening. Emotionally, we may experience depression, a depressed sadness, despair, nausea, chronic sorrow, hopelessness, and resignation.

EFT With PTSD

EFT is amazingly effective with PTSD symptoms. The emotional and physical after-effects—PTSD symptoms— of one event can often be alleviated in one to four sessions. I think this is because EFT is great at re-balancing our energy systems—and PTSD is a result of our energy system being short-circuited—which affects our nervous system and thus our emotions and bodies.

See EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 2 and EFT Helps With PTSD, Part 3.

For more information, see my website, EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com

Wishing you a free and joyous life,

Zoë

Vicarious Trauma in Organizations Often Goes Viral

Stress and Trauma Can be Contagious in Organizations

In any group, such as organizations and businesses, stress and trauma can act like a virus–spreading very quickly. It is called “vicarious trauma” and can be caused by several kinds of situations.

Just one occurs in organizations whose customers or clients live under a lot of stress or trauma. Employees automatically absorb their clients’ trauma and begin reacting as if they, too, were experiencing first-hand trauma.

 Example at a Large Health Center

I consulted with a large public health center for a time. By definition, their clients are people who are experiencing serious emotional pain, some of them for their whole lives. The people who worked directly with clients heard their stories. They couldn’t help but imagine the scenes and feel what it would be like to go through their clients’ experiences. Inevitably, the trauma permeated into them, and their nervous systems inevitably reacted the same way they would react if the employees, themselves, were literally going through the emotional pain and traumatic stress.

Viral Traumatic Stress

Here is where it becomes even more contagious. First, employees with direct contact to traumatized clients “catch” traumatic stress. They react to their co-workers out of this nervous system state and soon, like a virus, this vicarious painful experience and even behavior spreads throughout the organization, even to top management, which never meets clients directly.

In organizations such as the health center, employees either become overly reactive and it’s like there are constant conflict-fires erupting, or people start becoming overwhelmed, tired, spaced out and numbed out emotionally. If nothing is done to become aware of vicarious trauma and to alleviate it, the organization almost inevitably becomes increasingly dysfunctional.

EFT Helps with Vicarious Trauma

EFT Tapping is amazingly effective in alleviating emotional pain and its symptoms and, of course, vicarious trauma. If an organization has experienced a specific painful or scary event, I can work with whole groups or individuals. Most people respond quite quickly and their emotional pain is alleviated, bringing them back to their normal, productive selves.

Organizational Consulting

Longer-term issues can also be resolved:

  • Fears resulting from lay-offs of colleagues
  • Stress from merging two companies or departments
  • Conflicts among employees or departments
  • Management/employee issues

 

These issues can be resolved through a combination of executive coaching, management coaching, role clarification, coaching for management-employee relations, and group and individual EFT.

For more information on organizational consulting, check out my website pages on Organizational Consulting. There’s also more information on stress and trauma on my Stress and Trauma page.

Wishing you a free and joyful life,

Zoë