How would you describe your parent or family caregiver? Are (or were) they supportive, loving, and caring? Did they meet some if not most of your emotional and psychological needs? Good parents don't get recognized as much as they should. As a product of a very dedicated, loving, and self-less mother, I can say that a good parent makes all the difference in a cold and empty world. As a youngster, we look to our parents or guardians to protect, love, and nurture us. Unfortunately, none of us are immune to trauma and even if your childhood was the best anyone could have, trauma has a way of eroding the positive memories. This article will highlight some of the main challenges of good parents and guardians. It is important that you know I am not only referring to parents in this article, despite the title. I am also referring to family caregivers (i.e., aunts or uncles, grandparents, Godmother or fathers, etc) and guardians or adopted/foster parents.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word trauma? Do you think of physical or psychological trauma? Do you have preconceived notions about how trauma may affect human development? Sadly, many people struggle to understand the emotional, psychological, and/or physical toll trauma can have on overall health. Trauma tears families apart. It divides and sadly, in some cases, it conquers. This article will highlight some of the things I have seen, in my profession and life, that is difficult for others to understand about trauma. I have narrowed these things down to 9 for the purpose of keeping things structured and succinct.
What is trauma? How would you describe it? 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? Would you consider an adult, who has a history of trauma, to still suffer from the trauma? These questions will be answered in this article including a video on traumatic experience.
Did you know that July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month? If not, you're not alone. Sadly this month is often overlooked by the majority in the U.S. You can't fully blame them for not paying attention as Men's Health Month, National Safety Month, PTSD Awareness Month, and LGBT Pride Month keeps a lot of people preoccupied fighting for their own causes. But we can't forget the significance of this month as it provides the greater knowledge we need, as a society, to reach for those who have suffered injustice, social and institutional discrimination, and disenfranchisement in many more ways than one. This article will focus on bringing awareness to the ever increasing concern for those of color of ALL ethnic groups.
Do you know someone who lies frequently about any and everything? Have you caught someone in a few lies and wonder why they continue to engage in the behavior? If so, you are obviously dealing with a pathological liar. What most people fail to recognize about pathological liars is that they often lack the ability to empathize with others (walk in your shoes), feel guilty about their behavior, and have trouble controlling their innate impulse to lie. For most of us, it is very difficult to lie with a straight face and quite easy to feel guilty about the lie. But for someone with pathological behaviors, it is rather easy for them to lie while exhibiting behaviors and emotions that make the lie believable. What is most interesting about pathological liars is that many of them know how to control their emotions in such a way that lying can look like the truth to us. This article will explore ways to protect yourself from pathological liars and identify their modus operandi.
Are you excited for the 4th of July? Are you looking forward to all of the American traditions we love to engage in year after year? Independence Day has a new meaning every single year. It has a new meaning for different populations as well. In this article, I discuss 10 reasons why Independence Day may not be a day of celebration for everyone this year. I also include a link to a recent video of mine on the topic of trauma.
When someone treats you with disdain and uses every verbal attack they can think to use on you, do you walk away thinking "this person hates me, they think I am completely worthless?" What about if your boss walked by you without smiling or greeting you after you just applied to another job? Would you think "he completely hates me? "He knows I'm trying to leave even if I didn't tell him." If so, have you considered that perhaps you were engaging in a Cognitive Distortion? In this article, I discuss this concept further and explain ways to combat negative and limited thinking.
Trauma is one terrifying event after the other. It's like one heart-beat skip after the other. How do you feel about the recent deportation of almost 2,000 children separated/deported from their families at the U.S. border? Without getting buried too deep in political thought, how would you feel if your child were snatched from your care? How might your parents feel? In the wake of all of the deportations and traumatic separations of foreign children and their parents, I think it's important that we explore the impact of trauma on these families. Let's start with a general evaluation of the topic of trauma. In this article, I discuss some of the facts of trauma we, as a society, tend to overlook in our personal lives and in the lives of others. In the attached video, I break down what trauma is and how it affects the overall mind, body, and soul. Disclaimer: Some of the information discussed could be triggering. Video over 15 minutes long.
On average, every 2 weeks, someone jumps from San Fransisco's 4, 200 foot long Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is considered to be the "prime location" for carrying out a suicide. Why? Because the bridge not only sits high up above the waters and is 4, 200 feet long, but is also known to have "assisted" in the suicide of at least 3,000 or more people, according to research. This is a terrifying reality. One of the reasons for why this is terrifying is because 3,000 people wanted to die. What about their lives was so hard that they couldn't stand living? This high number staggers me each time I look at it. This article will discuss 17 things I have learned about suicide along the way as a psychotherapist. I will also add some details from research on suicide.
Have you ever heard of the term inter-generational trauma? What about "generational curse?" Inter-generational trauma is a concept developed to help explain years of generational challenges within families. It is the transmission (or sending down to younger generations) of the oppressive or traumatic effects of a historical event. For example, a great grandmother who was placed in a concentration camp in Germany may have learned to cope by "cutting off" her emotions. Because of this, this grandmother may interact with her family in an emotionally distant fashion. That relationship may be tumultuous to say the least. The transmission of the historical trauma may begin to negatively affect her grandchildren and her grandchildren's children, etc., leading to generations of emotional distance, defensive behaviors around expression of emotions, and denial. Inter-generational problems including oppression can often be found in families that have been traumatized in severe forms (e.g., sexual abuse, rape, murder, etc). This article will highlight some of the ways inter-generational trauma can affect younger generations and families.