What makes someone a trauma survivor?  If any one of the following has occurred:
1.  Experienced a traumatic event (ie sexual assault, war, vehicle accident)
2.  Witnessed a traumatic event (ie witnessing domestic violence)
3.  Indirectly learned about a traumatic event that a close family member or friend experienced.
4.  Have experienced repeated exposure to extreme details of a traumatic event in person, not through media (ie. first responders)

What are signs of unresolved trauma?
*Difficulty in making and maintaining healthy relationships
*Suicidal thoughts
*Staying stuck in the role of victim, rescuer or perpetrator
*Unable to shut off thoughts, images, feelings, memories and nightmares
*A pattern of self-injury or out-of-control behavior
*Black and white thinking and other cognitive distortions.
*Unhealthy attachment patterns
*Intense self-blame and feelings of unworthiness or being “ruined”.
*Feelings/emotions or conflicts seem intolerable.

What is PTSD?
A formal diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is made when the symptoms from having experienced a trauma cause significant distress or impairment in social and/or occupational dysfunction for at least one month.

Healthy Skills for Trauma Survivors to Learn:
*Identify your triggers
*Choose healthy relationships
*Learn to accept grief as part of life.
*Establish and maintain healthy boundaries
*Calm your body’s stress response
*Modify extreme responses and black & white thinking
*Understand and use the power of forgiveness.

By Ann Phillips Browning, LLMSW

Desert Streams Christian Counseling