Trauma, Child Abuse, and PTSD

HartoHeart & Associates Inc. provides proven and innovative treatment for Trauma, both long term, as in Child Abuse, and short term (PTSD). Additionally, groups are available for reinforcing and supporting those attempting to address the debilitating effects of Trauma, and to provide practical and immediate solutions to the crippling symptoms of depression, anxiety, and self injurious behaviors.

Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, car accident or disaster. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event. Common Stress Reactions after a Trauma would include: fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, shame, anger, irritability, and behavioral changes. However, if your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

There are four main symptoms of PTSD: Reliving the event (also called re experiencing)
  • Memories of the trauma can come back at any time.
  • You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.
  • You may have nightmares or feel like you’re going through it again. This is called a flashback.
  • Seeing someone who reminds you of the trauma may bring back memories of the event.
  • You may think about the trauma at work or school when you need to concentrate on something else.
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event.
  • You may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous.
  • You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  • If you were in a car accident or if your military convoy was bombed, you may avoid driving.
  • Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking help. This keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.
Feeling numb
  • You may find it hard to remember or talk about parts of the trauma.
  • You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
  • You may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy, like spending time with family and friends.
Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)
  • You may be jittery, or always on the alert and on the lookout for danger.
  • You might suddenly become angry or irritable.
  • You may want to have your back to a wall in a restaurant or waiting room.
  • A loud noise can startle you easily.
  • If someone bumps into you, you might fly into a rage.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for PTSD. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a CBT in which you learn skills to better understand how a trauma changed your thoughts and feelings. It will help you see how you have gotten “stuck” in your thinking about the trauma. It helps you identify trauma-related thoughts and change them so they are more accurate and less distressing. Our therapists at HartoHeart & Associates Inc. can assist you in this process, reducing symptomology and restoring our clients back to their original healthy mind states.

Child Abuse

When children are nurtured, they can grow up to be happy and healthy adults. But when they lack an attachment to a caring adult, receive inconsistent nurturing, or experience harsh discipline, the long-lasting consequences can affect their health, well-being, and relationships with others. Child abuse and neglect often take place in the home and come from a person the child knows well—a parent, relative, babysitter, or friend of the family. There are four major types of child maltreatment. Although any of the forms may be found separately, they often occur together.
  • Neglect is failure to provide for a child's basic needs.
  • Physical abuse is physical injury as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or otherwise harming a child.
  • Sexual abuse is any situation where a child is used for sexual gratification. This may include indecent exposure, fondling, rape, or commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
  • Emotional abuse is any pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth, including constant criticism, threats, and rejection.
Our therapists at HartoHeart & Associates Inc. use both Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to assist in learning skills to better understand how the abuse affected your life, and Sensori Motor Psychotherapy to help you to identify trauma-related thoughts, change them so they are less distressing, and assist you in identifying and integrating discomforting feelings. Our clinic also provides follow up group work to assist you in overcoming the hurtful feelings and negative consequences of poor parenting and/or support.

Group Therapy

HartoHeart & Associates Inc. provides group therapy counselling for people afflicted with both short term Trauma, and Child Abuse as a means to encourage personal growth and learn about how other people deal with their Traumatic Disorders and what led them to develop them. Furthermore, open communication, compassion and non-judgment are always ensured.