Examining 6 Complex Trauma Symptoms: Pain, Confusion, & Rooted Evil

By Támara Hill, MS • 7 min read

If I were to give you a certain estimate of the number of kids and teens I currently see for trauma, I would say about 7 out of 10 cases every 30-90 days of the year. It’s scary to look at the large numbers of people within our society who have struggled with (or are currently dealing with) some form of trauma. It’s even more scary to observe the after-effects of trauma and the evil that triggers the symptoms that are expressed as complex, confusing, and even deceptive. I use the term deceptive to refer to trauma symptoms that are complicated and hard to treat with medication and even therapy. Some symptoms are so rooted in the trauma history that it takes months, if not years, to properly treat and understand. After 8-10 years of working with trauma cases, I found myself beginning to conceptualize the traumatic histories of all of my cases as having a “rooted evil.” There is no other explanation for why an innocent child has to experience the turmoil often brought on by a traumatic past. This article will briefly explore the complexities of trauma (the “rooted evil”) and describe the debilitating nature of re-enactments, triangulation, emotional dysregulation, and suicidal thoughts. 

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Engaging In Family Therapy: Myths and Challenges

By Támara Hill, MS • 5 min read

Family therapy can truly become either a saving grace or a boxing ring. For many of my clients, it’s a boxing ring full of traps, snakes, confusion, and drama. No matter how much I attempt to encourage my young client’s to give it a try and be courageous, the session drama becomes a living, breathing soap opera. Have you ever  been in family therapy or wondered what it would be like to attend a family session? This article will address some questions about family therapy and explore some common myths.

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Childhood Trauma: 8 Misconceptions About Traumatic Experience

By Támara Hill, MS • 8 min read

What is trauma? If I were to quiz you on trauma would you know how to define it? You might say something like trauma is a negative experience that you cannot forget or move past. I would give you an A+ but also challenge you to consider different situations in which trauma occurs and the impact on the victim. For example, we all know that a child who has been abused and neglected or has seen something horrific would most likely be traumatized. But would you also consider a 3 month old baby who has been severely neglected to be traumatized? Why or why not? Would you consider an adult, who has a history of trauma, to still be suffering from the trauma? These questions will be answered in this article and I will provide an example case for your review. 

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Thinking Errors: 7 Signs You Are Communicating All Wrong

By Támara Hill, MS • 5 min read

communicating photoHow do you communicate with those you care about, your co-workers, and your friends? Do you show them different sides of yourself or are you always the same person? Do you believe that there are rules to communication? Many of my clients simply believe that communication does not entail a host of different skills but should only consist of talking. What many of them fail to realize is that communication is often influenced by internal thoughts as well as body language. Both of these things either contribute to or detract from the conversation. Even more, poor communication skills are to blame for miscommunication, arguments, and confusion. 

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The Therapeutic Relationship: 7 Things That Help It Stand

By Támara Hill, MS • 6 min read

office photoWhen you think of therapy what comes to mind? A couch and a shrink? A stern psychiatrist who sits protected behind a desk while asking you or your loved one multiple questions? Do you think of a cold, dark office or an overly positive office with positive quotes all over the place? However you think of therapy, there has been something in your life or something said that has influenced the way you perceive therapy. All of your perceptions of therapists has a great deal to do with how you view therapy. It also could have something to do with your own experience or someone else’s experience. Either way, I want to debunk what you think therapy is and help you develop a more realistic, healthy view.

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Triangulation: The Trap Of The Problematic Person

By Támara Hill, MS • 6 min read

Have you ever heard of the term “triangulate” or “triangulation?” If not, that’s okay because it’s typically a concept used in and mainly used in trauma-informed therapy. The term is typically used to describe an individual who creates drama, trouble, and confusion using 3 or more people in a situation. I’m sure you have had experiences with many family members, friends, and possibly even your own children that might help you understand this concept better. This article will explain triangulation and help you explore the problems that result from someone who engages in this behavior. You must know that there are some people who are greatly unaware of the fact that they are indeed triangulating you and others involved in a specific situation. However, there are also those who intentionally create confusion as a means of controlling others in a passive way.

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Communication: 10 Comforting Things To Say To Someone With Mental Illness

By Támara Hill, MS • 7 min read
talking photo

Photo credit: ddalki3003 (Pixabay)

Last week we discussed the worst things to ever say to someone with a mental illness. Many viewers commented on what their personal experiences have been and how someone’s words simply tore them apart, confused them, hurt them, or even empowered them in the long run. What we say to someone who is struggling with something has a great deal to do with our knowledge-base, belief system, life perspective, and ability to care for someone. What we say also has a lot to do with how we have been treated when we have needed help. We are social animals who learn by experience. What we say and do has most likely been learned from some early experience in development. Sadly, we rarely consider the impact we have on someone with the words we use. But in some cases, if a person is taught what to say to someone who is struggling, they can change their perspective and ultimately how they communicate with the sufferer.

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Frustration: 10 Worst Things To Say To Someone With Mental Illness

By Támara Hill, MS • 6 min read

pointing finger photoIt’s not easy living with a mental health condition or someone who is suffering from mental health challenges, especially when it is severe or chronic. It’s even harder trying to get others to understand what it feels like to struggle or what it feels like to watch a loved one struggle. Until you experience mental illness (either yourself or through someone else), you have no idea how sensitive everyone is and how important it is to be careful with what you say.

Have you ever experienced depression or know someone who has? What has been your self-talk (things you say to yourself to help yourself overcome the depressed mood) or things that you have said to others who appear depressed? Perhaps you make statements such as “cheer up!” “It will get better” or “you won’t be depressed forever.” Do you think such statements are helpful? It wasn’t until I became a therapist and started working with families and young children that I learned what should and should not be said to someone who is struggling with a mental health condition.

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38 Tips For Finding Ways to Relax

By Támara Hill, MS • 2 min read
relaxing photo

Photo by Greyerbaby (Pixabay)

This past week I met with a few of my former colleagues and we ended up discussing the various ways we tend to de-stress over the weekend. I thought many of the suggestions shared were great and wanted to share them with you!

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What Dr. Martin Luther King Has Provided For Mental Health

By Támara Hill, MS • 1 min read
MLK Memorial

Photo credit: angela n.

 

As you read the headline I’m sure you questioned what relevance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr serves to the discussion of severe or untreated mental health. Rarely do we ever hear people emphasize the importance of following the example of Dr. King in our “fight” against society’s lack of knowledge about severe and untreated mental illness. But Dr. King embodied so many sophisticated qualities that add such a rich tapestry of cultural legacy and inheritance to my own life and society in general.

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Mental Health In A Failed American System

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