BLOG: Hope for Post-traumatic Growth

When holidays like Mother’s Day hurt, and hope that they won’t always do that

I used to have to “write out” Mother’s Day in the form of a post– like– a long blog post or a poem or some kind of reflection. And I didn’t do it this year…unless you count this one, but the purpose of this is a lot different than those sorts of gutteral “I’ve gotta …

Guest Post: When Mom Took Off the Mask

Beth here: with my daughter’s permission, I’m sharing a piece she wrote in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. She reflected on what it was like when I “took off the mask” I wore as a result of being sexually abused as a child and expected to maintain a facade of “everything’s fine.” When Mom …

Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt is now available for pre-order!

We are thrilled to announce that our book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt is now available for pre-order! More stores will follow, but these are the current sites showing the pre-order info: Amazon U.S. Amazon Canada Amazon U.K. Waterstones Books- U.K. & Europe   Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt conveys hope and resilience …

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. …

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, and values and personality features.

Identifying this conglomerate of unpleasantry as the body’s unified reaction to a life catastrophe might sound simple and obvious, but it’s not. In Chapter 2, we offer 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 suicide  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 (2013) (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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