“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think.” 

― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

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Physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse

Sexual assault and physical assault

Witnessing domestic violence, witnessing violence, or threat of violence

Being stalked

Job related trauma experienced/witnessed by police, fire, military, and first responders

Natural Disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, flooding, etc.

Homelessness and lack of access to food.

Serious accident, injury or medical procedures

School violence, including being bullied

Symptoms of Trauma:

Depression and anxiety

Difficulty concentrating, focusing, brain feels hazy at times

Difficulty sleeping

Restless, irritable, quick to angry outburst, on edge

Flashback, nightmares

Triggered by sights, sounds, smells, etc.

Feeling of a need to be in control, structured, routine

Guilt, shame, self-blame

Feeling disconnected, numb, isolating self

Hyper-vigilant, defensive


Your body and mind keeps score of your trauma. Because of this, you experience trauma symptoms that can range from severe to mild. Some trauma symptoms may disappear over time; however, some trauma symptoms may become a part of you, such as need for control, anxiety, responding to triggers, irritability, etc. Trauma is much like a computer program on your computer. The program may be closed, but often times there is "stuff" running in the background. That "stuff" is your trauma symptoms and the program is the trauma. Addressing the trauma can and will reduce your trauma symptoms. There is hope and healing through therapy, education, medication management if needed, and support.

First Responders and Military


First responders and military personnel are subject to intense traumatic events throughout their career. Often times, first responders and military personnel experience many traumatic events over the course of performing their jobs. Trauma therapy, such as Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), has the ability to alleviate compacted, complex trauma symptoms and help individuals have a fulfilling life.

Trauma is not a uniform that can be taken off at the end of the shift. Trauma follows you home, into your relationships, shows up in interaction with your children and family, disrupts sleep, ability to function on the job, and ability to find peace, calmness, and pleasure in every day activities. If you are one of many who struggle with trauma related symptoms, please contact Katherine L. Middleton, LCSW for information on how with only 1-5 session you can have a more fulfilling life.