Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is very common with individuals who are in recovery from addiction. It is an experience of reliving a traumatic life-event that has occurred in the past. PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans but can also occur with a myriad of other experiences, including, but not limited to, physical fights and rape, car accidents, natural disasters, unusual health challenges, naming just a few.
When dealing with PTSD, it is very important to be aware of the principle of trauma-informed, especially when choosing a therapeutic practitioner. To be trauma-informed is the recognition of the effects of trauma on a person’s reactions and life experiences. This is a critical awareness when dealing with PTSD to mitigate the false beliefs that can form about the self of the person dealing with PTSD. To be trauma-informed about PTSD is to recognize that the experiences of PTSD is not who the sufferer is.
Once some foundational work has been done with a therapeutic practitioner, individuals can be an active participate in their own ongoing healing from PTSD through the practice of mindfulness. Once the baseline awareness of a PTSD response has been established, the person with PTSD can be cued to recognize when they will need to access mindfulness tools.
It can be supportive to use a frozen lemon to break a PTSD episode. This simple tool is very powerful for bringing the person experiencing PTSD out of the mind and back into the body. By holding a frozen lemon in one’s hand and closing the fist around it, the intensity of sensation lessens the hold of the mind on the past experience, bringing it down to a level of manageability.
When the PTSD takes someone into a critical moment of the traumatic experience, use the imagination to turn the image into black and white. Many people find that this will reduce the intensity of the experience.
When the PTSD memory involves another person, the person experiencing it can engage the imagination to change the position of placement of themselves and the other in the memory. For example, if someone is standing over the person with PTSD and it makes them seem more powerful, the imagination can be engaged to make them stand below you, minimizing the power that they hold in the memory.
Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.
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