The Nature of Trauma

Our bodies and brains are made to process new information and experiences every day without our even being aware of it. Here’s the exception — when we are jolted by an overwhelming event like a car accident or repeatedly distressed from neglect or abuse, our natural coping mechanism shuts down. As a result, these traumatic experiences remain frozen in the limbic system of our brains — in their raw, emotional form, rather than in the verbal, “story” mode of the cortex.

In other words, the limbic system holds the unprocessed traumatic memories in an isolated network disconnected from the cortex where we use language to house memories. As a result, even when the memory is forgotten, emotions and sensations from a prior traumatic experience may be triggered when some element in our environment seems similar to elements of the traumatic event. Without understanding why, we may re-experience painful feelings like fear, panic, anger or anguish.

The goal of effective trauma therapy is first to establish a strong therapeutic alliance, then to make sure self-calming resources are in place. The therapist can then assist you in forming connections between the brain’s memory networks, putting words to a traumatic experience, thus enabling you to process past trauma and move forward a little more freely in your life.

The ABCs of Learning Challenges (Part 1)

  • Most children with learning differences are affected by multiple challenges.
  • Learning challenges often surface when there is a mismatch between the child’s abilities and the demands of the environment. For example, an academic curriculum may be accelerated beyond the developmental level of the child (or many of the children) in a particular classroom.
  • People with verbal learning disabilities have difficulty with words, both spoken and written
  • People with non-verbal learning disabilities may have difficulty processing abstract concepts, abstract reasoning and conceptualizing concepts.
  • visual processing or perceptual disorder refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes.
  • An auditory processing disorder interferes with a person’s ability to make sense of information taken in through the ears.

(To be continued)

Parent Conversations: Understanding Your Child’s Changing Developmental Needs

Event Date: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Dr. Murphy gave a parent presentation at the Country School about the developmental needs of pre-school children, with a particular emphasis on the critical role parents play in fostering their child’s emotional, cognitive and social development. Topics included:

  • Principles of effective discipline
  • Coping with transitions
  • Managing tantrums
  • Facilitating social skills development
  • Managing adult expectations

Other talks in this series will focus on Elementary and Middle School children.

Please email info@murphypsychologygroup.com if you are interested in having Dr. Murphy speak to parents or teachers at your school.

10-Week Workshop for Parents of Challenging Children

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Mothers or Couples Groups

  • Learn easily grasped strategies and techniques
  • Improve your relationship with your child
  • Understand the role of healthy relationships in brain development
  • Learn how your child’s slow-to-emerge abilities affect academics and behavior
  • Develop a calm, problem-solving approach
  • Establish and maintain reasonable expectations

 Call or email to sign up.

Julia Murphy, LMFT (818) 388-1526

Info@MurphyPsychologyGroup.com

 

 

 

 

                          

MurphyPsychologyGroup.com

18321 Ventura Blvd., Suite 955, Tarzana, CA 91356

Contact: Julia Murphy, MA (818) 388-1526

Info@MurphyPsychologyGroup.com