Trauma and Stress Management

Letting Go of Trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event that involved the threat of injury or death. It can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood, or events like assault or rape. Veterans returning home from a war often suffer from PTSD. Families of victims can also develop post-traumatic stress disorder, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers.

PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters).

The symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

1. "Reliving" the event: This experience can include flashbacks, repeated upsetting memories and/or nightmares of the event, and strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event.

2. Avoidance: This can include a sense of emotional numbness, or feeling like you don’t care about anything, feeling detached, having a lack of interest in normal activities, being unable to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, and avoid places, people and thoughts that remind you of the event.

3. Arousal: This can include excessive emotions, problems relating to others, difficulty concentrating, irritability or outbursts of anger, feeling too aware (hypervigilance), startling easily, having an exaggerated response to things that startle you, and having trouble falling or staying asleep. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea.

NeuroAdvantage™ Programs for Trauma and PTSD

NeuroAdvantage offers programs designed to help decrease traumatic memories and their associated negative emotions. Anxiety, worry, tension, startle response, intrusive imagery (“flashbacks”), helplessness, and avoidance behaviors may all be significantly reduced when using NeuroAdvantage’s “Letting Go of Trauma” program in either an individual or group-therapy format.

For example, the Letting Go of Trauma program takes advantage of research showing that slow, alternating stimulation of the right and left hemispheres with back-and-forth eye movements reduces mental and physical measures of arousal while decreasing the vividness of traumatic memories and their associated negative emotions. The final 15 minutes of the program stimulates Alpha and Theta brainwaves while also providing positive affirmations to minimize anxiety while increasing inner serenity.  This program has been shown to clients’ sensitization to traumatic memories and their associated anxiety, worry, feelings of helplessness, and avoidance behaviors.

For maximum effect, use the NeuroAdvantage™ Trainer with the programs we designed to alleviate the effect of severe trauma, as well as those designed to enhance relaxation. Your NeuroAdvantage™ Coach can work with you to determine the most effective programs and schedules.

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We have also developed the audio programs for mental concentration, memory and focus.  These programs can be used with the Trainer, or by themselves.

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Research Supports the Effectiveness of Our Programs in Reducing Trauma

Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches (BHOPB) evaluated the effectiveness of our trauma program for clients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Weiner et al, 2008).

The PTSD clients were given six 30-minute sessions using NeuroAdvantage’s “Mood Lifter” program along with audio coaching, as well as four 35-minute group sessions using the “Letting Go of Trauma” program over the course of two weeks.  As shown below, these clients showed substantial improvement on each outcome measure. After only two weeks, their PTSD symptoms decreased by an average of 36.4% on PDS Symptom Severity scale and 10.3 points the on MCMI’s PTSD.  They also demonstrated a dramatic decrease in depression.

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References:

Barrowcliff, et al. (2003).  Horizontal rhythmical eye-movements consistently diminish the arousal  provoked  by auditory stimuli.  British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 289-302.

Lee, C.W. & Drummond, P.D. (2008).  Effects of eye movement versus therapist instructions on the processing of distressing memories.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 22(5): 801-808.

Van den Hout, M., et al. (2001).  Autobiographical memories become less vivid and emotional after eye movements. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 40: 121-130.

Weiner, M., Abrams, M., MciLveen, J. & Pigott, E. (July 2008).  Neurotherapy as an adjunctive treatment for substance abuse Disorders:  Research & Practice.  Labor Assistance Professionals Conference, Las Vegas.

DISCLAIMER: The NeuroAdvantageTrainer is not a substitute for medical diagnoses or treatments and is designed to be used under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional.  Information published on this website is the property of NeuroAdvantage, LLC and cannot be duplicated without permission. 

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