BLOG: Hope for Post-traumatic Growth

What Trauma Recovery Does to Your Close Relationships

By Beth Fehlbaum, Matt E. Jaremko, and guest contributors Preface Beth Fehlbaum and Matt E. Jaremko, co-authors of the forthcoming book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt, address some of what happens to folks as they go through trauma recovery. In this installment, Matt and Beth discuss what can and does happen to the relationships …

How Does One Identify an Experience as a Trauma?

By Matt E. Jaremko and Beth Fehlbaum Our title might sound somewhat nonsensical. Of course, if you have experienced a trauma, you will know it. However, admitting that you have experienced trauma may not be as straightforward as you might think. Folks can tend to underplay the extent to which they deserve care and attention. …

Giving Thanks for the Opportunity to Share a Message of Hope and Resilience with Trauma Survivors

Something I’m thankful for: my writing partner and the book we wrote together. I’m sharing the cover with you. It’s the first time it’s been posted publicly. My co-author, Matt, and I really like this cover because of the light coming into the group therapy circle: providing the light of hope in the face of …

Being Tender yet Tough with Veterans

As any subgroup of Americans, military veterans cover a wide spectrum of personality types and pre-service adjustment history. While there is almost universal agreement that veterans should be honored for serving, across the board admiration without constructive criticism may be unwise. Not every hero acts heroically all the time. Sometimes folks with adjustment difficulties need …

Perseverence + Resilience + Patience = Hope for Recovery

I sometimes say that my middle name is “Perseverence.” It could also be said that Resilience runs through my veins, which is, in part, why writing a book with Matt E. Jaremko–Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt: Narratives of Hope and Resilience for Victims of PTSD–is so gratifying, because it will help SO MANY PEOPLE. …

Chapter 2 Playlist: Symptoms of PTSD: Stress Control in Hyperdrive

The symptoms suffered by trauma victims who develop PTSD include reliving the event, avoiding cues and reminders about the event, feeling either numb or keyed up, health problems that have no clear cause, feelings of shame/guilt/anger and hopelessness, poor emotional and behavioral control, social and communication problems, changed beliefs, values and personality features.

Identifying this conglomerate of unpleasantry as the body’s unified reaction to life catastrophe might sound simple and obvious; but it’s not. We offer in Chapter 2 of our book detailed explanations of these symptoms as well as a discussion of their causes.

We also suggest “Music Therapy” to help recognize the place of these reactions in a life interrupted. Here is our playlist for Chapter 2: Symptoms of PTSD: Stress Control in Hyperdrive.

1. Covert War, David Wilcox

Family conflict and an abusive childhood lead to  trust issues in adult life. Any trauma reaction in adulthood is made all the worse due to trauma in childhood. Both harmful constellations must be dealt with.

2. One Left in the Chamber, Corb Lund

Desperation is heightened when given enough regret, trauma, failure, and avoidance. Suicide is very high among folks whose lives have been traumatized. Perhaps it is the ultimate escape but recovery from trauma requires some form of facing those regrets.

3. Dress of Laces, Nanci Griffith

Neglect and abuse in childhood leads to more abuse. Somewhere such cycles must end. We think our book is a good starting point.

4. Tear Down the House, Avett Brothers

PTSD changes one deeply, and it is necessary to let go of what is not working in order to grow a new life.

5. I Am a Rock, Simon and Garfunkel

Sometimes we believe that isolation is the best protection from facing pain, but that is an illusion.

6. A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, Ann Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Rupert Wainwright

Eventually, the difficult stuff we avoid must be faced.

7. The Unspeakable Crime: Rape, Documentary Film

A documentary that describes a sexual assault victims’ center in Manchester, England.

8. Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, 2013

A compilation of 5 stories: Lucy, a Pre-Law student with schizophrenia who, to her detriment, experiments with her medication dosage; Grace, the daughter of a bipolar mother whose manic episode has frightening consequences; Alison, whose family life is heavily impacted by her sister’s illness; Eddie, a stand-up comedian whose depression sends him spiraling into darkness; and Maggie, whose PTSD is the result of the sexual trauma she experienced while serving in the military.

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