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What Do We Know About Trauma?

Peaceful woman outside with her eyes closed and hands over her heart

We have a biological imperative to survive and if something really, really bad happens, we won’t let ourselves forget it. Our mind, body, and heart piggy-back on each other to emphasize and warn us.The problem is when those learned responses overwhelm us and become maladaptive. That’s okay because we can learn another response. We can use our body or mind or feelings to unravel the traumatic reaction.

During a traumatic event, if we think we can handle the threat, our body reacts with a flight, fight, or freeze response. These are protective responses in the moment. Another response is now being called ‘faun’ where we play dead or dissociate in order to live another day. These responses work for a time but if we treat all of life’s situations as traumatic, we close ourselves off from genuinely loving connections.

How do you know if it is getting out of hand? Do you treat new situations like there is going to be a battle? Are you hyper-vigilant? Do you run away from difficult situations or from difficult times in relationships? Do you do nothing, passively letting things unfold, not knowing how to act, afraid of failure? Do you check-out of life through isolation or substances?

Now, do you have to know how to fix it? No. Go to a therapist you trust. Together you will unravel the present though the past and learn new techniques to give you strength in the future.

Ursula de Vries, Registered Psychologist, Owner of Reclaim Your Nature Psychotherapy, EMDR Certified Therapist, EMDR Consultant in Calgary, Metis Therapist

Ursula de Vries

Registered Psychologist

Ursula is a Registered Provisional Psychologist at Reclaim Your Nature Psychotherapy in Calgary. She works with teens (16+), adults, couples, Indigenous, LGBTQ2SIA+, Veterans, and more. Daytime and evening appointments.

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In-person therapy for individuals, teens, and couples in Calgary. Telepsychology is available across Alberta, Yukon, Nunavut, & Northwest Territories.