Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) requires a trauma-informed approach to counseling. Supportive listening does not cut it. The nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety suffered by individuals with PTSD require a level of expertise beyond regular counseling skills. When clinicians treat trauma like regular counseling and there is little relief, tragically suicide can be the final result as an individual despairs of ever gaining freedom over intrusive unwanted memory and terror.
Trauma therapy has been called "the brain surgery of psychotherapy".This is an area of specialty that Sandra has built over the 25 years of her clinical experience. She has hundreds of hours of post-graduate training in specific techniques used to treat post-trauma symptoms. The brain does not process information related to a trauma the same way it processes ordinary life experiences. Instead, the intensity of the emotions of terror and helplessness overwhelm the region of the brain that stores events in narrative "history". The traumatic experience is split up into fragments of information such as the images, sounds, smells and especially bodily sensations experienced at the time of trauma. Beliefs about the event are stored with the level of comprehension held at the time of the event. Witnessing violence by a seven-year-old, for example, will result in beliefs about that event held by the child. These beliefs need to be reprocessed. Sandra knows how to do this critical work.