Domestic Violence, Trauma, and PTSD

About 25 percent of women and 10 percent of men have been victims of sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner.  The vast majority of these women first experienced those forms of violence when they were younger than 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Past traumas and PTSD can affect your current relationship or your ability to establish a healthy enriching one.

Life experiences affect the way that you relate to your partner/spouse.  Early childhood  experiences are extremely important.  If you had a loving secure relationship  with caregivers, you are more likely to have a loving secure relationship as an adult with your spouse.  However, the good news is that even if you had many traumas as a child, there are ways to rewire the brain so that you can heal.  

At one time there wasn’t much understanding of why two people exposed to the same trauma might have completely different reactions.  One might get over it fairly rapidly while another one might suffer from debilitating flashbacks  and other symptoms.  People who have had good attachment relationships with parents cope much better in adult traumatic situations. “Four out of five assaults on children are at the hands of their own parents.  Domestic abuse and child abuse are closely related:  in homes where spousal abuse occurs, children are abused at a rate 1500% higher than the national average.”   Bessel van der Kolk  

“When people are faced with life=threatening or other traumatic experiences, they primarily focus on survival and self=protection.  They experience a mixture of numbness, withdraw, confusion, shock and speechless terror.  Some respond by taking action while others respond by dissociation.”  Bessel van der Kolk  

Children and women abused by male partners, often develop long-term reactions that include fear, anxiety, fatigue, sleep and eating disturbances, intense startle reactions, and physical complaints.  They have the goal to alter their emotional state rather than the circumstances that give rise to those emotional states.  This often leads to them to engage in alcohol and substance abuse.  

All of these traumas can and often do affect how one relates to one’s partner.  In a trauma the brain is being affected.  The part of the brain that is responsible for the cognitive analysis of experience is not functioning properly.  

In a safe almost painless way, I can help you overcome past traumas.  You will remember them, but they will no longer have an emotional pull over you.   You are now free to enjoy a healthy fulfilling relationship.

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