(503) 880-6151 ~ 10700 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Bldg 3, Suite 560 Beaverton, OR 97005 Pauline Picco Drug and Alcohol Counseling / Therapy in Beaverton Oregon Facebook Icon

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Trauma & PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of trauma and stressor-related mental health disorder. While most people who experience a traumatic event, (such as a car accident or a natural disaster, abuse or sexual violence, war, or threat of physical harm or death), do not develop PTSD, some may find they are feeling afraid or stressed even when no longer in danger. They may experience upsetting recurring flashbacks of the event as well as nightmares. They may have trouble sleeping and feel emotionally numb, tense or anxious. Feelings of depression and a lack of interest in life are also common. In addition, avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, or reminders of the event are frequent coping mechanisms. pauline-picco-drug-and-alcohol-counseling-and-therapy-in-beaverton-or-pauline-picco-dark-portrait-pictureIn extreme cases, dissociative states may be experienced as well as aggressiveness, reckless or self-destructive behaviors.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms like these for more than a month after the triggering event, seeking treatment from a mental health professional can be very helpful.

I work with many clients who are suffering from trauma histories and PTSD diagnoses. I typically begin therapy with psycho-education on ways of seeking safety, such as abstaining from the use of alcohol and drugs, refraining from self-harm behaviors, acquiring trustworthy relationships, gaining control over overwhelming symptoms, and attaining healthy self-care.

The second stage of treatment involves the client’s sharing the past trauma and mourning the extreme feelings of pain with a compassionate, nurturing witness (therapist). Here, the goal is to enable the client to transform from overriding shame to a sense of dignity.

The third stage encourages the client to move on from the old identity of “victim” to a new identity that embraces promise, joy, and fulfillment.