University of Arizona – Take Back the Night 2014

Every year, students and community members come together to protest sexual violence at Take Back the Night. Take Back the Night originated in the 1970s and continues to take place in communities across the country and the world.

Take Back the Night will include music, speakers, and an open-mic speak out, during which survivors of sexual violence can share their stories. There will also be a resource fair featuring campus and community organizations.

Join us on April 22 to take a stand against sexual violence!

Take Back the Night is free and open to all ages.
UA Women’s Plaza of Honor
West of UA Centennial Hall

Schedule of Events:
Resource Fair from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
March begins at 5:30 pm
Rally begins at 6:00 pm
Survivor Speak Out begins at 7:00 pm

Dolce Voces
Gwendolyn Valentine
Desiree Feria
Esperanza Dance Project

Keynote Speaker: Lelani Clark
A special thanks goes out to the following people. This event wouldn’t be possible without you!

UA Students
Oasis Program Against Sexual Assault & Relationship Violence
Campus Health Service
Women’s Resource Center
Pride Alliance
LGBTQ Affairs
UA Panhellenic Council
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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2013 in review

I can’t believe I am starting my 5th year writing Treating Trauma! I surely have not been blogging as frequently this past year and I continue to miss that, and my interactions with all of you!

I must admit, I do enjoy all the year in review and best of 2013 lists this time of year. WordPress provides bloggers with their own version. I thought I’d share some of it with my readers.

Attractions in 2013

Wow! This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2013. I am so glad to be part of this important conversation about trauma and healing. As you can see, some of my most popular posts were written well before 2013. This highlights how much we need access to information about complex trauma, dissociation, and that healing is possible! I feel inspired to contribute more, new content for 2014.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2013.

One of my most popular recent posts was How to Avoid an Abuser: Understanding Grooming. I was honored that one of my favorite bloggers, Captain Awkward, helped folks find this post.

How did they find you?

I find it fascinating that such varied sites refer to my blog. I also learn a lot from the search terms that lead you here. For 2013, the most common search terms leading to Treating Trauma were complex ptsd, questions, ptsd, complex ptsd treatment, and emdr. This helps me know what you want to know!

As do your comments. The most commented on post in 2013 was Reader Question: Treating Emotional Numbness. What could be better than a reader-inspired blog post? It seems you all agree! For 2014, I welcome more questions and suggested topics. What do you want to know about trauma and healing?

Who knows what 2014 will bring? May we meet it with acceptance and make of it what we need! I feel great appreciation for all of you who have connected with me here and look forward to what the new year will bring.

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World Suicide Prevention Day 2013

World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide PreventionToday is Suicide Prevention Day. Do you know that suicide deaths account for more than half of all violent deaths in the world? I have written previously about suicide and trauma survivors as well as how anti-gay bullying can increase suicide risk for LGBT youth. We talk about suicide to decrease the stigma and silence that prevent those in need from seeking help. We talk about suicide so we all can become better informed and thus able to see warning signs in time to reach out to those we know who are struggling. We talk about suicide to remember those we have lost and support each other in the aftermath.

What do you think when you hear “You Cannot Be Replaced”? If you are depressed or if you are struggling with shame and self-blame following traumatic events you may have a hard time believing this. Your negative self-talk (or punitive dissociated parts) may tell you that you do not matter, that friends and family would be better off with out you. I want you to know that these negative beliefs are simply not true. They are lies born of pain and internalized from the abuse of others. You do matter, and nothing about suicide can make the world a better place. Help is available.

Suicide Prevention

How can you get involved?

  • Seek help immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thought or feelings: Go to your nearest emergency room, contact a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
  • Light a candle near a window tonight at 8pm to show your support for suicide prevention, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.
  • Join the Official World Suicide Prevention Day Facebook Event Page.
  • Participate in TWLOHA’s “You Cannot Be Replaced” campaign.
  • Support the Trevor Project,  the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.


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PTSD Awareness: Impact of Trauma

Understanding PTSDJune is PTSD Awareness Month. Here is another oldie but goodie of mine plus other resources, as previously promised.

PTSD is just one of the effects of trauma. People experience a range of reactions following a traumatic event. Visit this page at the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about other common problems and reactions related to experiencing trauma.

Impact of Trauma

I’ve defined what therapists mean when we talk about trauma. Now I’d like to elaborate on its impact and why you might want to seek therapy for help in the aftermath of traumatic experiences. How does it impact a person and what can be done about it?

Trauma impacts many and has further reaching consequences than is usually understood. Kessler et al. (1995) found that 60% of men and 51% of women in the general population reported at least one traumatic event at some time in their lives. Almost 17% of men and 13% of women who had some trauma exposure had actually experienced more than three such events. As a therapist, I expect that most people seeking help will have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives.…

Read more…


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PTSD Awareness: Start by Understanding Trauma

June is PTSD Awareness Month. As promised yesterday, I am sharing this 2009 post of mine to start with the basics: understanding trauma. I resonate with the following quote:

“Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.”  — Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery


What is Trauma?

What do  therapists mean when we talk about trauma?

One definition I like states that “psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions in which: “The individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed or the individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity.” (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995, p. 60)

The important part of this definition in my practice is the emphasis on “unique individual experience”. 

Read more… 450 more words

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