Experiencing a trauma trigger is not just being upset by disturbing content. It’s a response wired into our brain by a past event, causing thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and behaviors that often feel automatic and out of one’s control.
Brenda Denzler, a North Carolina writer, recounts in the online magazine Cure the abject fear that gripped her as she prepared for surgery. “Fear and anxieties so intense that they bordered on hysteria emerged,” writes Denzler. Luckily, the surgery went well and her fears subsided. Then in 2018, she was diagnosed with cancer. “I was… read more
Have you ever found yourself repeating relationship patterns that you don’t like or understand? If so, you’re definitely not alone—and Attachment Theory may shed light on what you’re experiencing. Therapist Jacky Casumbal, LGSW, explores the topic below. “We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover what… read more
Discussions of mental health on our televisions represent a radical change; there was a time when mental health was so stigmatized that people avoided discussing it within their families, let alone engage with it on a public platform. In many ways, this shift towards mental health representation is a major win. Shows that “do it right” can normalize conditions that might have otherwise felt isolating or shameful, and can encourage viewers to seek treatment.
What is a Trauma Anniversary? Certain times of year bring old memories and associations to mind. The holiday season may find you thinking more about family or personal ties, whereas the summer might get you focused on planning your next getaway. Much of the time, these associations are pleasant. Sometimes, however, the memories aren’t so… read more
Sleep is supposed to be restful; yet when we’re having a nightmare, it’s anything but. Whether we’re being terrorized by a fictional monster (that girl from The Ring, anyone?) or grieving a dreamed loss, nightmares steal our energy away rather than restoring it. So why do we have nightmares? And how can we reduce their… read more
What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Many people have heard the term “PTSD,” particularly regarding issues of sexual assault and the military. Yet not all of us are totally clear on what it is or how it works. While our knowledge of trauma is constantly growing, here’s a basic overview of what clinicians and researchers know… read more
More and more therapists are describing themselves as “trauma-informed” or “experienced in trauma care”—but what does that mean, and how can trauma-informed care (TIC) benefit those of us seeking treatment? Dr. Julie Lopez, creator of the Viva Center’s Trauma Informed Clinical Practice Certificate Program, helps us break down how TIC can affect your wellness journey… read more
The effects of trauma are multifaceted; it can alter not only our mood, but also the sensations we feel in our body, such as headaches, gastrointestinal distress, and more. It can even make us feel as though we’ve lost control of essential parts of ourselves; many survivors of sexual trauma, for example, struggle to regain their sense of control over their own sexuality.
How can we reclaim this essential part of ourselves and learn to find joy from it? We looked to experienced therapists, including Viva Practitioner Alina McClerklin, LICSW, and sex therapist Vanessa Marin, for ways to regain one’s sense of control.
The brain is our body’s control center, so it’s natural that more therapists are turning to brain-based treatment methods to resolve issues more effectively. As our knowledge of this organ grows, the ways to enhance brain function and tap into its power to heal do too.