Author Archives: Lisa Jane

Lido Wellness Center Blog

Understanding Retraumatization

January 25, 2024

What Is Retraumatization?

Retraumatization is a complex psychological phenomenon where an individual’s reaction to a current event is significantly amplified due to the unresolved trauma from a past experience. This process is anchored in the concept of ‘trauma memory,’ where the brain encodes and stores traumatic experiences in a unique, often fragmented manner.

Here’s a light hypothetical scenario to illustrate. Emily, an avid baker, once had a kitchen fire. It caused a bit of damage and could have been much worse. It was put out fairly quickly, but it left her a bit shaken. Years later, while watching a cooking show, she sees a similar fire breakout. This seemingly small trigger sets off a cascade of anxiety and flashbacks. She’s not just reacting to the fire on TV; she’s reliving her past experience.

Retraumatization Is Past Trauma Made Present

When a person encounters a situation reminiscent of past trauma, their brain may fail to distinguish between the past and present, triggering an intense re-experiencing of the original trauma. This response is not merely a conscious recall but a full-blown, involuntary re-living. In psychological terms, this can involve a resurgence of intense emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses that were originally associated with the initial trauma.

Emily’s journey through therapy involves gently unpacking the original trauma and understanding how the recent event tapped into those old fears. It’s a bit like detective work, piecing together the past and present to find a path towards healing.

How Does Retraumatization Happen?

Retraumatization often occurs when sensory, emotional, or contextual cues in the present environment closely resemble aspects of the original trauma.

The brain’s limbic system, particularly the amygdala, plays a crucial role in this process. It acts as an emotional alarm system. It activates a stress response when it detects any sign of the original trauma.

This process is not always rational or within the conscious control of the individual. Even a particular scent or sound can act as a trigger, leading to an unconscious activation of the trauma memory.

How is Retraumatization Different from Typical Trauma?

The key difference between retraumatization and typical trauma lies in the layered complexity of the former. In typical trauma, the response is primarily to a new, singular event. However, in retraumatization, you are dealing with the double impact of both the new event and the unresolved past trauma.

From a therapeutic perspective, this layered complexity requires a nuanced approach. The treatment needs to address not only the symptoms and responses to the new trauma but also confront the unresolved issues from the past.

This often requires a multifaceted approach that combines trauma-informed care with techniques specifically designed to process and integrate past traumatic experiences.

This complexity can also make the individual more vulnerable to repeated instances of retraumatization, as each new incident can reactivate the trauma memory. This means coping mechanisms, enhancing emotional regulation, and fostering a deeper understanding of the triggers to prevent a cyclical pattern of retraumatization will be a focus of treating retraumatization.

Retraumatization Treatment

When it comes to treatment, think of retraumatization therapy as a custom-tailored suit versus a one-size-fits-all approach typical in standard trauma therapy. It’s more than just addressing the immediate trauma; it’s about understanding and healing the deeper, older wounds that have been inadvertently poked.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) remains a cornerstone, but with a twist. It’s like regular CBT with a PhD in history—it dives into the past to make sense of the present. Therapies like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) also play a pivotal role, helping the mind to reprocess the old traumas in a safe environment.

Understanding retraumatization is crucial, not just for those experiencing it but for their therapists and loved ones. It’s about recognizing that sometimes, the past isn’t just a memory; it can be a living, breathing influence on our present.

At our trauma treatment center in Newport Beach, we approach each case of retraumatization with the gentleness of a friend and the precision of a scientist. We believe in a treatment that’s as unique as the individuals we serve. After all, healing is not just about moving on; it’s about moving forward with understanding and resilience.

Getting Help for Retraumatization

Are you or someone you know navigating the complex journey of retraumatization? At Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach, we understand the intricate paths of healing from past and present traumas. Our dedicated team, utilizing approaches like CBT and EMDR, is committed to providing personalized care that respects your unique story and fosters resilience. Don’t let the past dictate your future. Reach out to us for a compassionate, professional hand in your journey towards healing and wholeness.

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Lido Wellness Center Blog

What Is a Trauma Bond?

January 22, 2024

Breaking a trauma bond is challenging but entirely possible—think of it as untangling a complex knot. It requires self-awareness, support, and often professional guidance. Healing involves understanding the nature of the bond, practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and sometimes, stepping away from the relationship.

Therapy can be a crucial tool in this process, providing a safe space to understand and heal from the trauma. Remember, it’s a journey of self-discovery and healing, not a race to the finish line. To fully understand the potential of breaking a trauma bond, let’s find out more about what is a trauma bond.

What Is a Trauma Bond?

Imagine you’re walking with a friend who subtly nudges you into a puddle every few steps. Oddly enough, you start to anticipate these nudges, even feeling a strange connection to them. This is a bit like a trauma bond—an emotional connection formed between a person and their abuser, born out of a cycle of abuse, devaluation, and the intermittent warmth or reward.

In simpler terms, a trauma bond is the psychological equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome in relationships. It’s like being addicted to a toxic love, where the highs feel like soaring in the sky, and the lows like plunging into an abyss.

Trauma Bond and Intermittent Reinforcement

Consider the concept of intermittent reinforcement. This principle explains how unpredictable rewards can lead to more persistent behavior than consistent rewards. Where a trauma bond is concerned, the abuser unpredictably alternates between kindness and cruelty.

This inconsistency triggers a powerful psychological response. The victim stays in the relationship, holding onto hope for the positive reinforcement, much like a gambler at a slot machine waiting for the next win.

Neurologically, this cycle of abuse and intermittent kindness can create pathways in the brain similar to those formed in addiction. Your brain becomes wired to seek out the abuser’s approval, despite the harm they cause. The unpredictability of kindness releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure, further reinforcing the bond.

Trauma Bond vs. Authentic Bonding

What is a trauma bond and what is authentic bonding? In contrast to the chaotic nature of a trauma bond, authentic bonding is founded on principles of secure attachment. Secure attachment refers to a stable emotional connection between people where each person feels safe and valued. Authentic bonding involves consistent positive interactions, emotional safety, and mutual respect, fostering a deep and healthy emotional connection.

In authentic bonds, power dynamics are equal, and communication is open and honest. There’s a sense of mutual empowerment, where both individuals feel free to express themselves without fear of retribution or judgment.

Why Stay in Trauma Bond?

It’s a bit like being stuck in a maze with the illusion that the only safe path is the one you know, no matter how harmful it is. Trauma bonds often form because the abused person may cling to the fleeting moments of kindness or affection from the abuser, mistaking them for genuine love. The cycle of abuse creates a confusing blend of fear, attachment, and a desire for the abuser’s approval.

Can a trauma bond be formed in relationships other than romantic ones?
While often discussed in the context of romantic relationships, trauma bonds can form in various dynamics—between parents and children, friends, or even in professional relationships. It’s the underlying pattern of abuse and intermittent reinforcement that defines the bond, not the type of relationship.

Identifying and Treating a Trauma Bond

So, how do you know if you’re in a trauma bond? It’s like trying to read the label from inside the bottle. Here are some signs:

  1. The Rollercoaster Effect: If your relationship feels like a never-ending rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows, it’s time to consider the possibility.
  2. Justification of Bad Behavior: You find yourself justifying or rationalizing abusive or unhealthy behaviors.
  3. Walking on Eggshells: Constantly feeling on edge, as if you’re tiptoeing around broken glass, afraid of upsetting your partner.

What Is a Trauma Bond: How to Break It

Breaking a trauma bond is not unlike trying to unlearn a language you’ve been speaking for years. It’s challenging but not impossible. Here’s how:

  1. Awareness: Recognizing the bond is your first step. Like a detective, gather evidence of your feelings and the nature of the relationship.
  2. Self-Care: Engage in activities that foster self-respect and self-love. It’s like putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others.
  3. Boundaries: Set firm boundaries. Think of them as personal rules of engagement in any relationship.
  4. Support System: Build a scaffold of support. Friends, family, or support groups can be your cheerleaders.
  5. Professional Help: Sometimes, you need a guide. Therapists or counselors can be your GPS through this complex terrain.

Seeking Treatment for Trauma

Trauma, like a shadow, often follows us unnoticed. Seeking treatment is acknowledging the shadow and learning to walk in the light. Therapy, particularly trauma-informed therapy, is a journey through your past, understanding its impact on your present, and reclaiming your future. Techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), or even group therapy can be effective.

In the end, breaking a trauma bond is about reclaiming your narrative. It’s about understanding that while your past chapters are written, you hold the pen for the next ones. It’s a journey of turning pain into empowerment, fear into bravery, and trauma into triumph.

Call Lido Wellness Center Today

Are you or someone you love entangled in the invisible chains of a trauma bond? At Lido Wellness Center, we understand the complexity and challenge of these bonds. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to guide you through the journey of healing and self-discovery. Don’t let trauma define your story. Reach out to us, and together, we can break these bonds, one step at a time. Your path to empowerment and wellness starts here – let’s embark on this journey together.

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Lido Wellness Center Blog

Reiki for Anxiety: A Gentle Journey to Wellness

January 17, 2024

Anxiety disorders are all around us. It might be that we are finally beginning to recognize and name the issue, or it could be brought on by the state of the world—and its breakneck pace and expectations. Whatever it is, amid this high-speed digital hustle, an ancient practice is making a quiet comeback. Welcome to the world of Reiki for anxiety– a holistic treatment that’s intriguing people around the world.

Understanding Reiki for Anxiety

Before we dive into the serene waters of Reiki, let’s talk about anxiety. At the heart of anxiety disorders lies a complex interplay of biology and environment. Imagine the brain as a sophisticated command center, constantly processing signals from the world around us. In those with anxiety disorders, this command center is on high alert, interpreting a multitude of situations as threats, even when they’re not.

This heightened state of alert is often the result of a delicate balance of neurotransmitters gone awry, combined with genetic predispositions and life experiences.

Holistic Healing: Treating Mind, Body, and Spirit

Enter holistic treatment – an approach that treats the person as a whole, rather than just focusing on the symptoms. Holistic therapies, such as meditation, yoga, and acupuncture, are gaining popularity in managing anxiety, providing a much-needed breath of fresh air away from conventional treatments.

What is Reiki for Anxiety? Not Your Average Energy Drink

So, what exactly is Reiki for anxiety? Originating from Japan, Reiki is a form of energy healing that involves a practitioner placing their hands lightly on or over a person’s body to facilitate the individual’s process of healing.

It’s like having a human charger for your body and soul – no cables required. The idea is that by channeling universal energy, Reiki can balance the body’s energy flow, leading to emotional and physical healing.

The Roots of Reiki: A Brief History Lesson

Tracing back to the early 20th century, Reiki was developed by Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist. It’s said that Usui attained the knowledge and spiritual power of Reiki during a profound mystical experience on Mount Kurama. Since then, Reiki has traveled across oceans and cultures, evolving into various forms but always retaining its core principle of healing through energy.

Reiki and Anxiety: How Does It Help?

So, how does Reiki help with anxiety? Imagine anxiety as a chaotic storm in your mind. Reiki acts like a gentle breeze, helping to calm the turbulent thoughts and emotions. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, Reiki can create an environment within the body that encourages healing.

While it may not be a magic cure, many individuals report feeling more centered, calm, and less anxious following Reiki sessions.

A Safe Space for Healing

One of the most appealing aspects of using Reiki for anxiety is its ability to provide a safe, non-invasive form of healing. In a Reiki session, there’s no need for talking or analysis – helpful for those who might feel ‘talked out’ after numerous therapy sessions.

This silent, supportive environment allows individuals to let their guard down, which can be incredibly therapeutic for those who are constantly battling the whirlwinds of anxious thoughts.

Beyond the Session

The benefits of Reiki often extend far beyond the session itself. Many report an increased sense of self-awareness and mindfulness, finding it easier to recognize the onset of anxiety symptoms and apply other coping mechanisms more effectively. It’s like learning to ride the waves of your internal ocean, rather than being tossed around by them.

Empowerment in Your Healing Journey

Reiki can also be empowering. It encourages a proactive approach to personal health and well-being. In a world where we often feel at the mercy of our mental health struggles, taking an active role in a practice like Reiki can be a powerful step towards reclaiming control.

Complementing Traditional Therapies

It’s important to remember that using Reiki for anxiety is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional therapies for anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. Think of it as part of a broader, integrative approach to managing anxiety—a piece of the puzzle that fits into your unique mental health picture.

Further Help for Anxiety Disorders

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I could use some of that zen magic in my life,” remember, Reiki and anxiety is best used as a complementary therapy. It’s important to consult with healthcare professionals for anxiety disorders. There are numerous paths to managing anxiety, from therapy and medication to lifestyle changes and support groups.

A Step Towards Healing

Reiki, with its gentle touch and profound simplicity, offers a unique path to wellness. It reminds us that sometimes, the best way to quiet the mind is to simply let go and trust in the healing power of our own bodies.

For more information or to explore treatment options for anxiety disorders, feel free to contact our mental health facility and counseling center at Lido Wellness in Newport Beach, CA. Our doors (and minds) are always open!

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Lido Wellness Center Blog

What Causes CPTSD?

January 10, 2024

Understanding the Complex Ties Between Trauma and Healing

Imagine a mind like a tapestry. Each thread represents our experiences, emotions, memories, the very fabric of our being. Now, picture this tapestry enduring a relentless storm, fraying its edges, and sometimes tearing it apart. This storm is trauma, and its aftermath can lead to conditions like PTSD and, in more intricate cases, CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The Basics: Trauma and PTSD

Before diving into the depths of CPTSD, let’s set the stage with its more widely recognized related disorder: PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is often associated with a single, life-altering event—a jarring experience that leaves a lasting imprint on the individual. It’s like being stuck on a frightening roller coaster in your mind, long after the ride has ended.

The Chronic Nature of CPTSD

Unlike PTSD, which often stems from a singular event, CPTSD is the cumulative result of enduring trauma over an extended period. It’s like a slow, relentless erosion of one’s sense of self and safety.

Individuals with CPTSD have not just faced a trauma; they’ve lived in it, sometimes for years. This could be due to ongoing abuse, living in a constant state of fear in a conflict zone, or enduring long-term, severe neglect. The trauma becomes a chronic backdrop to their everyday life, shaping their worldview and self-perception.

The Complex Web of CPTSD Symptoms

CPTSD is a multifaceted disorder with a broad spectrum of symptoms, making it a bit of a chameleon in the mental health world. Apart from the classic PTSD symptoms like flashbacks and severe anxiety, CPTSD weaves in layers of emotional complexity.

Individuals might struggle with deep-seated feelings of worthlessness, profound emotional numbness, or an unshakable sense of despair.

They may find themselves in a perpetual state of alertness, as if danger lurks around every corner.

Relationship difficulties are common, as the trust that forms the foundation of connections with others is often shattered. These symptoms make navigating daily life akin to walking through an ever-shifting labyrinth.

The Signs of CPTSD

Key signs of CPTSD include persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, emotional numbness, difficulty in maintaining relationships, distrust in others, chronic feelings of guilt or shame, and difficulty controlling emotions. Flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance of trauma reminders are also common.

The Roots of CPTSD

The Prolonged Exposure to Trauma: The causes of CPTSD are deeply rooted in prolonged exposure to traumatic environments. This can include growing up in a household where emotional, physical, or sexual abuse is the norm, or living through extended periods of war, where violence and loss become everyday realities.

In such environments, the people often feel a pervasive sense of helplessness, a key ingredient in the formation of CPTSD. This feeling of being trapped, with no apparent escape, can profoundly impact one’s mental health.

The Role of Perceived Control (or Lack Thereof)

A critical aspect of CPTSD’s root causes is the person’s perceived lack of control over their situation. When individuals feel powerless to change their circumstances or escape their trauma, they are more likely to develop CPTSD. This sense of helplessness disrupts their ability to cope with stress and can lead to a profound disconnection from their sense of self and reality. It’s not just the traumatic events themselves but the ongoing sense of entrapment and powerlessness that carves the deep emotional scars characteristic of CPTSD.

Can CPTSD go away on its own?

CPTSD is a serious mental health condition that usually requires professional intervention. While symptoms might fluctuate over time, they often don’t resolve entirely without treatment. Therapy, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, medication, are key to managing and improving symptoms.

Can children develop CPTSD?

Yes, children can develop CPTSD, particularly if they experience ongoing trauma such as abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence. Symptoms in children might include emotional dysregulation, developmental delays, difficulties in forming healthy attachments, and behavioral problems. Early intervention and therapy are crucial for helping affected children.

The Road to Recovery: Treatment for CPTSD

While CPTSD is a challenging condition, it’s not an invincible foe. Treatment often includes a combination of psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes medication to manage symptoms. It’s like having a skilled guide to help navigate through the maze of the mind.

But perhaps the most crucial aspect of treatment is support – from loved ones, support groups, and healthcare professionals. It’s about rebuilding that tapestry of the mind, thread by thread, with patience and understanding.

Treat CPTSD at Lido Wellness in Newport Beach, CA

Are you or a loved one navigating the complex journey of CPTSD? At Lido Wellness Center in Newport Beach, CA, we understand the intricate patterns of trauma and healing. Our expert team offers personalized care, blending psychotherapy, CBT, and supportive therapies to guide you through this labyrinth.

Don’t walk this path alone; let us help you rebuild your tapestry of life, one thread at a time. Reach out to Lido Wellness today for a compassionate, professional approach to healing.

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