It sounds as if the person you are describing may be suffering
from some sort of post-traumatic disorder. There are numerous
therapies that can help, as well as treatment centers around the US.
Are you, or this person, seeing a therapist now? Some, but not all of
the centers I have listed require a referral from the patient?s
current therapist. This is to ensure the patient is receiving the
appropriate therapy, to determine if the patient requires an inpatient
mode of therapy, and often for insurance purposes.
If you, or the person in need therapy is not seeing a therapist now,
I strongly recommend making an appointment with a qualified therapist.
A therapist can determine what type of treatment would be best
regarding painful memories.
I have posted several centers that treat painful and traumatic
memories, as well as some alternate therapies to consider.
Additionally, therapists are using some medications to help alleviate
About trauma and PTSD
?Trauma is stress run amuck. Stress dis-regulates our nervous
systems - but for only a relatively short period of time. Within a few
days or weeks, our nervous systems calm down and we revert to a normal
state of equilibrium. This return to normalcy is not the case when we
have been traumatized. One way to tell the difference between stress
and emotional trauma is by looking at the outcome - how much residual
effect an upsetting event is having on our lives, relationships, and
overall functioning. Traumatic distress can be distinguished from
routine stress by assessing the following:
? how quickly upset is triggered
? how frequently upset is triggered
? how intensely threatening the source of upset is
? how long upset lasts
? how long it takes to calm down
If we can communicate our distress to people who care about us and can
respond adequately, and if we return to a state of equilibrium
following a stressful event, we are in the realm of stress. If we
become frozen in a state of active emotional intensity, we are
experiencing an emotional trauma - even though sometimes we may not be
consciously aware of the level of distress we are experiencing.?
?So far, science can't predict precisely how a certain individual will
react to a traumatic event. But certain factors can provide clues
about the likelihood and severity of PTSD:
? How severe and long-lasting was the trauma? The more intense and
long-lasting the traumatic experience, the more likely it is that the
victim will develop PTSD.
? How close was the person to the trauma, and how dangerous did it
seem?Foa's patient who was injured in the factory explosion was more
vulnerable to PTSD than if he had been across the street, merely heard
the bang, and only later found out about the explosion's tragic
consequences. Foa cites one recent study that found that women who
perceived their lives were in danger during a rape had 2.5 times the
incidence of PTSD than did others who didn't fear for their lives
during the rape.
? Has the person been traumatized in the past, and if so, how many
times? One of Foa's patients didn't develop PTSD until the third
sudden death in her circle of friends and acquaintances. The third
time, "that was it," says the therapist. "Now she's thinking, 'What's
next? Next it will be me.'"
? Was the trauma inflicted by other people? PTSD is more likely after
a rape or other manmade trauma than after an earthquake, hurricane,
flood, or other naturally occurring disaster. Psychologically, it
seems to matter whether the trauma is intentionally aimed at the
victim or is random and suffered by many people together.
? What is the person's coping style--does he or she tend to stay
enraged? And, does the person get support from friends and family, or
negative reactions? People are less likely to have PTSD, elaborates
Foa, if they think about the trauma, talk to other people about it,
and let go of their anger over the incident. Foa encourages people to
face the trauma: "Talk to someone you trust, write about it, do
anything but push it away." And, she says, if the symptoms still cause
suffering after several months, professional help should be sought.?
?Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not a disorder to be
associated solely with military personnel, as it has been in the past.
It has been shown that exposure to traumas such as a serious accident,
a natural disaster, or criminal assault can result in PTSD. When the
aftermath of a traumatic experience interferes with normal
functioning, the person may be suffering from PTSD. The increasing
stress of living in the 21st century, on both a global and personal
level, has been sufficient to considerably elevate the numbers of
people who suffer from PTSD.?
?Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in
a recent movie, your brain could be wiped clean of sad and traumatic
That is science fiction. But real-world scientists are working on the
next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after
a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less
painful and intense.
Will it work? It is too soon to say. Still, it is not far-fetched to
think that this drug someday might be passed out along with blankets
and food at emergency shelters after disasters like the tsunami or
Zoloft: ?Zoloft's approval for PTSD was based on two 12-week
studies of the drug that demonstrated its effectiveness. While
Zoloft's benefit over placebo was clear in women patients, little
effect was seen in the male group. Scientists aren't certain why the
gender difference exists, but some have theorized that PTSD in
veterans, a mostly male population, might differ somehow from the
disorder in the mostly female population of sexual assault victims.?
Propranolol: ?Memory isn't a single entity. There are different
kinds and types.
Short-term memory lasts just a few seconds. It's the ability to recall
a phone number long enough to dial it. Capacity is limited. It's no
coincidence that phone numbers are just seven numbers long. That's the
working limit for most people's short-term memory.
Long-term memories come in two broad categories. Explicit memories are
general knowledge, facts of life, conscious recollections, the sort of
stuff most people think of as memory.
Implicit memories are perceptual abilities, motor skills, conditioned
or instinctive responses that operate outside of consciousness, such
as instantly recognizing an object or knowing how to ride a bike.
Researchers focus on long-term memory because it is the primary driver
of behavior. Much about how long-term memories are formed or function
is fuzzy or unknown, but some fundamentals are well-understood.?
?Memory-altering drug research is currently focused on propranolol,
one of several so-called beta blockers widely used to reduce blood
pressure, treat abnormal heart rhythms and prevent migraines. The
brand name for propranolol is Inderal. Other beta blocker brand names
are Inderide, Innopran XL, Betachron E-R, Kerlone, Lopressor,
Tenormin, Toprol XL, Visken and Zebeta.
Beta blockers work by "blocking" the stimulative influence of stress
hormones ? specifically adrenaline ? upon the body, relaxing blood
vessels and slowing nerve impulses inside the heart.
Experiments indicate propranolol also blocks the effect of adrenaline
upon areas of the brain involved in memory formation, including the
amygdala. It seems to disconnect emotion from memory.?
Helps to resolve painful incidents.
?Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) is a new method of psychotherapy
that was developed by Dr. Frank Gerbode, a California psychiatrist.
TIR Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy is a procedure that allows a
person to desensitize painful experiences and reduce or eliminate the
negative impact of traumatic, overwhelming events.?
?TIR Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy involves a very specific but
fairly simple procedure that helps people resolve painful incidents.
The first step is to identify a traumatic incident. Next, we identify
when it happened, how long it lasted and where you were at the time.
Then you will be asked to imagine going to the start of that incident.
The starting point is that moment just before the upsetting event
began. Once at the starting point you will close your eyes, report
what you are aware of and then imagine moving through the incident
until it is over. At the end of the incident you will open your eyes
and report what happened as you moved through it.?
?The idea of emotional trauma being curable has only recently been
considered by leading traumatologists. In May of 1993, Professor
Charles Figley and Joyce Carbonell convened a seminar at Florida State
University. The invited participants were addressed by a panel of
innovators in the field of successfully treating emotional trauma. The
panel members included Dr. Frank Gerbode and Gerald French, who spoke
on the treatment paradigm know as Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR).
Since that time, thousands of people suffering traumatic sequelae have
resolved their residual pain, suffering, anguish and grief with the
benefit of TIR.?
?TIR is not a protected or proprietary (for-profit) intervention
system. Anyone may use it. But successful clinical application of TIR
requires an absolute minimum of four days of intensive training -
which include both giving and receiving TIR sessions under the super-
vision of a trainer certified as such by the Institute - followed by
an optional practicum with consultation. TIR training for counseling
professionals and para-professionals is available in England, Belgium,
Germany, Canada, Australia, and the US, and information regarding it
may be obtained from:
Gerald D. French, MA, MACP, CTS
200 SW 19th Road
Miami, FL 33129
ph: (305) 285-7624 cell: (786) 223-0136
fax: (305) 285-1332
Robert H. Moore, Ph.D., C.T.S., B.C.E.T.S.
575 South Duncan Avenue,
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone: (727) 443-1120
I would suggest reading further on this topic before trying it!
Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
?Having determined a trauma diagnosis, for example, the therapist
using the trauma algorithm asks the client to think about the event
and estimate an SUD (Subjective Units of Distress) rating for it. The
client is then instructed to tap firmly five times with two fingers at
the beginning of the eyebrow, under the eye, under one arm and just
below the collarbone, at which time a second SUD rating is taken. The
same process is repeated until the client lowers the SUD rating to one
or two. If, as is usually the case, the client experiences little or
no relief, it is because of something called "psychological reversal,"
a kind of systemic mind-body negativity or block that Callahan
attributes "possibly to an electrical polarity reversal.
" To clear this up, the client is asked to tap on the outside edge of
the hand, while saying three times, "I fully accept myself even though
I have this problem." The treatment for trauma now resumes with what
is called the Nine-Gamut Treatment, during which the client taps the
spot between the knuckle of the little and ring fingers, while going
through nine steps, about five taps per step: open eyes: close eyes:
open eyes and look down and to the left: look down and to the right;
circle eyes in one direction: then the other; hum a few bars of any
tune; count to five and hum a few bars again. Then, the original set
of taps is repeated.?
?Thought Field Therapy is an alternative treatment method that has
been shown, by casuistic reports, to give good results when applied
for anxiety disorders. In this study 52 patients, with one or more of
the diagnoses agoraphobia, social phobia and/or PTSD, where randomized
to either treatment with TFT or a wait list. The treatment group all
got treatment in one week. 2 1/2 months later both the treatment group
and the control group were tested on the same items as before the
treatment started. After this evaluation phase the control group got
the same treatment as the treatment or study group. Both groups were
evaluated 3 and 12 months after treatment, the study group also 6
months after treatment. 4 patients were omitted because they changed
groups. The study were performed from May 2002 until June 2003.?
?Conditioning: For tapping therapy to be effective, the thought field
must be attuned. This is just to say that the client needs to be in
the distressing situation or be thinking about the distressing
situation while tapping. Most TFT interventions make no attempt to
modify distressing thoughts, images, or situations. While similar in
these regards to exposure techniques, the reported rapidity of
therapeutic responses to TFT suggest a different mechanism. It is
likely that the active ingredients of TFT will be best explained in
light of the substantial research on classical or Pavlovian
conditioning. Classical conditioning research has shown that simply
pairing stimuli and responses in various combinations can produce
dramatic changes in organismic reactions. Nathan Denny (1995) makes a
related argument focusing on the orienting response and its influence
on cognitive restructuring in relation to TFT.?
Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation (VKD)
?Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation (VKD), a method based primarily on
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), begins with a version of the
standard premise among PTSD therapists that, for many traumatized
clients, time stands still. Stuck in the terrible "present" of the
trauma's worst moment, they are continually, subjectively reliving it,
thus unable to grasp that it has already happened and is over. In the
language of NLP, they are only too "associated" with it, feeling all
the original sensations as if from inside the event rather than
observing it from an outside perspective the way most people
experience painful past events that no longer disturb them.
VKD practitioners take clients through a step-by-step program of
purposeful dissociation from the trauma gaining them the ability to
observe it at a distance instead of being subjectively overwhelmed by
it. When they are able to separate themselves from the event in time
and space, they have the presence of mind, so to speak, to allow them
to actually take in the "information" that the trauma is no longer
happening it is past, it is over.?
?Screening. Use caution with exposure-based treatments with clients
who exhibit the following, as there is some evidence to suggest they
are at increased risk of retraumatization, increased anxiety and
panic, alcohol abuse, increased shame and guilt, and obsessional
thinking following exposure (Litz, et al, 1990):
? current substance abuse
? history of impulsivity
? ongoing life crises, such as suicidality
? prior failed treatment with exposure-based therapy
? a history of noncompliance
? a recent claim for compensation
? difficulty using imagery
? absence of re-experiencing symptoms
? inability to tolerate intense arousal
? history or presence of a co-existing psychiatric disorder?
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
?The best-known of the four methods Figley and Carbonell studied is
probably Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, it makes use of right-left
visual, kinesthetic or auditory stimulation while the client mentally
focuses on traumatic experiences. Most typically, the client thinks
about the traumatic memory and the negative beliefs associated with it
(i.e., "It was my fault that I got raped.") while visually tracking
the rapid back-and-forth movements the therapist makes with two
fingers or a wand before his or her face. Alternately, physical taps
or auditory tones may be used. During this "desensitization" phase,
according to the practice, the client's subjective feelings of pain,
anguish and panic decline or disappear, while new insights about the
original traumatic event or its meaning emerge. At this point, the
EMDR therapist takes the client through further "sets' of
back-and-forth stimulation the "installation* phase during which the
client integrates the trauma experience into his or her life and
experiences a kind of personal psychic transformation as well. ?
The Timberlawn Trauma Program for Psychological Trauma and Extensive Comorbidity
Directed by Colin A. Ross, M.D.
Timberlawn Mental Health System
4600 Samuell Boulevard, Dallas Texas, 75228, USA
The Timberlawn Trauma Program was created to provide quality treatment
and education in the area of trauma and extensive comorbidity.
Comorbidity is defined as an extensive history of multiple symptoms
and diagnoses. The Trauma Program does not utilize regressive
treatment modalities such as focusing on the retrieval of repressed
The treatment team members work collaboratively emphasizing acute
stabilization, improved functioning and self management for the
chronic, high cost, high utilization patient with extensive
The program is under the direction of Colin A. Ross M.D., an
internationally renowned clinician, researcher, and author. The
program is based on Dr. Ross? "Trauma Model". This model emphasizes
the effects of trauma as multiple symptoms expressed by multiple
diagnoses. The unresolved trauma and the resulting attachment
conflicts are the common themes throughout these various diagnoses. A
goal of the program is to reduce the number of admissions and overall
cost by addressing the core attachment issues.?
Women?s Treatment Center
Contact Us by Phone
Contact Us by Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a licensed therapist and would like to refer a patient to
WIIT, please call Larry Spinosa at 1-800-437-5478 or email
?WIIT offers treatment for these psychological issues as well as other
women's trauma issues:
Depression, Bipolar, Borderline Personality, Child Abuse, Sex Abuse,
Trauma, Survivor, Dissociative Disorder, PTSD, Multiple Personality,
D.I.D., Ritual Abuse, Incest, Women's Programs?
?The Center offers short-term, directed treatment for adults who
exhibit acute symptoms associated with posttraumatic and dissociative
disorders and other trauma-based conditions. A national model in the
treatment of adult posttraumatic syndromes, The Center?s innovative
program provides rapid stabilization and essential training in
self-management skills through the use of stage-oriented, cognitive
and behavioral strategies. Designed to meet the individual needs of
patients at different stages of treatment and respond to the
challenges posed by a rapidly changing healthcare environment, our
problem- and skill-focused continuum of care includes inpatient and
The professional team at The Center includes psychiatrists,
psychologists, nurses, social workers, and expressive therapists who
provide multidisciplinary treatment. Expertise gained from years of
working with people diagnosed with posttraumatic and dissociative
disorders enables the staff to provide the effective, focused
treatment necessary for these clients. Our focus on stabilization
through self-management of symptoms is a cost-effective strategy
designed to respond to acute crises and yield long-term benefits.?
Call 1-800-369-2273 or 202-885-5610
32 W. Winchester St.
(6400 S.), Suite 101
Murray, UT 84107
Phone: (801) 263-6367
Fax: (801) 263-6370
Catastrophic events or disasters
Witnessing or experiencing injuries
Aftermath of surgery
Relationship losses (i.e., divorce, death, or rejection from a significant other)
Abuse, rape, or assault
Illness and disease
Physical or sexual abuse
Trauma Recovery Institute
314 Scott Avenue
Morgantown, WV 26508
fax: (304) 291-2918
Louis Tinnin, M.D.
Linda Gantt, Ph.D. ATR-BC
Art Therapist/Executive Director
?The Trauma Recovery Institute provides treatment for trauma along
with a training program for trauma therapists. Louis W. Tinnin, MD,
professor emeritus of psychiatry at West Virginia University,
pioneered the treatment procedures. Dr. Tinnin is assisted by a team
of trauma therapists, psychologists, social workers, art therapists,
Our outpatient clinic is located in Morgantown, WV. We work directly
with individuals or in conjunction with a referring therapist to
design a brief program of intensive trauma work. We treat both adults
and children who are survivors of physical and/or psychological trauma
from single or multiple episodes. Such traumas include acts of
domestic violence, car accidents, industrial accidents, sexual abuse,
physical abuse and neglect, rape and other violent crimes, medical
trauma, and combat trauma.?
?Any individuals struggling with psychiatric problems can find
themselves caught up in treatments that are at an impasse,
characterized by chronic crisis management and interrupted by frequent
short-term hospitalizations. Often, their treatment stirs up such
intense feelings that a patient cannot function adequately between
sessions, no matter how frequent. The goal of treatment at Riggs is to
help individuals in such a struggle take charge of their lives more
fully so that they may return to more productive outpatient work after
discharge. This may involve finding new solutions, developing
self-acceptance, and dealing with obstacles to growth, development,
self-respect and the ability to work, play and love.
Riggs is known for its longstanding and internationally-recognized
tradition of providing intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a
voluntary, open, and non-coercive community. Patients not helped in
other settings can often benefit from deeper, more thorough
psychodynamic evaluation and treatment. Riggs offers a continuum of
programs and services within a core treatment framework that remains
consistent throughout the patient?s stay.?
Arizona Center for Social Trauma
?ANNGWYN ST. JUST, PH.D. is a systemically oriented
Traumatologist. Since 1997 she has been fascinated with the new
possibilities opening with the combination of Systemic Constellation
Work and relatively new field of social/global trauma. Dr. St.Just is
also a cultural historian, psychotherapist and somatic educator who
specializes in developing multimodal, crosscultural, kinesthetic
methods based on easily transmitted concepts for trauma education and
Currently, the director of The Arizona Center for Social Trauma
(ACST), she has served as Somatic Advisor to the Drug and Alcohol
Studies Program at the University of California at Berkeley. For over
25 years she maintained a co-creative relationship with Peter Levine
Ph.D., founder of Somatic Experiencing® methods for working with
Anngwyn St.Just has traveled widely in Europe and Russia teaching
innovative ways of healing sexual and generational trauma with special
focus around the issues of Men, Women and War. Dr. St.Just is the
author of numerous articles and her new book ?Relative Balance in an
Unstable World ? a Feminine Perspective on Individual and Social
Trauma? will be published in German in 2005 by Kösel-Verlag, Munich.?
Contact Anngwyn St. Just, Ph.D
ONe therapist has made a list of treatment centers around the country:
This site lists treatment centers by state:
Selecting a Therapist/Treatment
?? Posttraumatic stress disorder has both psychological and
physiological symptoms. The best way to proceed toward recovery is to
attend to medical and emotional needs in a simultaneous and integrated
way. Ideally, your physician and your therapist should consult
periodically about your progress.
? If you have a trusting relationship with a family doctor, internist
or general practice physician, he or she might be a good source of
referrals to a mental health specialist in your community.?
?If you are currently in crisis: The process of choosing a helpful
therapist takes some time, thought, and focus. If you are currently in
a crisis, or are worried that you might hurt or kill yourself or
someone else, please contact your community's mental health center,
hospital emergency room, or crisis hotline. When the crisis has
passed, this brochure will help you organize the task of finding a
therapist for on-going treatment.
What is Good Trauma Therapy? A Good Trauma Therapist?
Historically, mental health treatment has been treated according to
the "medical model": the "sick" patient treated by the powerful
doctor, who has the responsibility, the expertise, and the tools cure
the illness. The patient's job is to be compliant and to follow
orders. With some practitioners, this model continues to this day.
Recently, however, some therapy models recognize that individual
distress is often caused or made worse by poor social, political and
economic environments as well as by harmful family dynamics. Trauma
survivors, are generally best served by therapists who work from an
environmental framework, or "trauma model", as they are also more
likely to see their clients as experts in their own lives, and as
partners in healing.?
I hope this information has provided you with an ian information
base for seeking treatment. If any part of my answer is unclear,
please request an Answer Clarification, and allow me to respond,
before you rate. I will be happy to assist you further, before you
The best of luck!
recognized therapy + traumatic experiences
memory + trauma + therapy
Social Trauma therapy center
PTSD + treatment centers
therapy + painful memories