Family and individual therapy in Oakland, CA.

Everyone who has ever been badly traumatized knows that it can be a devastating experience. It is often life-altering. The impact of trauma varies widely from one person to another. Severe trauma negatively affects almost everyone. Even mild to moderate trauma, however, can cause intense distress and a disruption of everyday functioning. Effective psychotherapy can be very helpful to address the negative impact of any traumatic experience. For the best results of acute trauma, one should get help as soon as possible after the traumatic event.

Exposure to trauma causes both an emotional reaction and a cognitive (thinking) reaction that completely overwhelms a person’s ability to cope. The experience is so overwhelming that the normal mechanism for processing a life experience malfunctions. The traumatic event is processed in such a way that they will later take on a life of their own. Memories of the trauma, pre-occupation about the trauma, or the experience of actually reliving the trauma (a flashback) will start to function as a type of “false alarm” in the person’s life. The experience can be mild or severe. On the milder side, the traumatized person will ruminate about the experience, which means that he thinks about it incessantly and cannot stop thinking about it. Sleep disturbances are very common. It is now believed that there is a physiological change in our brains from moderate to severe trauma. Current research is focusing on changes in brain physiology and brain functioning as a result of trauma.

There are many effective treatment techniques for addressing trauma. Trauma causes a severe disruption in life functioning and great distress. Individuals who suffer the most are those who experience multiple traumas over time. Adults who were badly traumatized as children are often at increased risk of PTSD for their entire lives. There may be abuse happening in your family right now. If that is the case, then I have decades of experience to help you in a sensitive and compassionate manner.

It is very common for PTSD or a milder trauma reaction to be labeled as a character defect or some type of weakness. Friends and family will often tell the victim or a trauma to let the past be the past and to move on from it. When a client is unable to do that, then there is often criticism and judgment. This is exacerbated because there are such wide individual differences in response to traumatic events.

If you have been traumatized, please do not fall into this trap. If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma, please guard carefully against being self-critical or being influenced by others’ criticism and judgments. You are suffering from a medical condition. Do not let others judge you negatively for a painful but very treatable condition.

Trauma disorders, including PTSD, occur in all age groups. I have decades of experience treating trauma, and have techniques to help trauma sufferers of all ages. Please give me a call. I can help.

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Elizabeth Preston, Ph.D.

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Business Address:
1305 Franklin St Suite 502
Oakland, CA 94612

Business Hours:
Mon-Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sat 9:00am-1:00pm