Rindie Eagle, MA, LPCC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Board Approved Supervisor LPCC/Master ART Practitioner/Certified HeartMath and Anger Management

From Around the Web

Trauma affects everyone differently. As there is no universal or “correct” response to a situation, two people going through the same event can report wildly different experiences. So, in choosing the best trauma therapy, it’s important to examine your unique needs. There are many different options to choose from to help you discover the right approach for your healing journey.
What is trauma?
Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing event that has overwhelmed your nervous system beyond its capacity to cope. In times of trauma, your body undergoes a heightened state of alertness, preparing for either a fight-or-flight response, while your brain actively searches for indicators of potential threats. These events take various forms and occur in different settings. Trauma could stem from instances of natural disasters, combat in war zones, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, accidents, and witnessing or experiencing violence. Trauma’s effects can be immediate and long-lasting, affecting your physical health, mental well-being, and emotional stability.
As trauma activates your survival mind, it activates your autonomic nervous system. You may experience physical symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, trembling, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. Mentally, you might feel overwhelmed, confused, or disoriented. Emotionally, you can grapple with intense fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, or a sense of detachment.  
Long after the traumatic experience is over, your brain and body are still in states of high alert, searching for potential danger.  This long-term existence in survival mode can impact your overall health and well-being. Trauma has the capacity to modify your brain

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

Have you ever been in a situation that triggered such an intense emotional response that you felt like you were completely taken over, losing all control?  It almost felt like you were having an out-of-body experience, dissociating from yourself and your surroundings? Maybe you experience extreme rage, lashing out, and yelling, or you may feel completely numb and unable to react.
When stress triggers reactions like irritability, panic, rage, or conversely, a sense of numbness, disconnection, or freezing, you may have stepped outside your “window of tolerance.” This window is where you operate at your best and can even thrive. Mental Health Professionals believe that understanding and managing your emotions is key for overall emotional well-being and improving your mental health.
What is the Window of Tolerance?
The Window of Tolerance was developed by Dr. Dan Siegel. It refers to your emotional experience and the optimal range of emotional and physiological arousal within you that can effectively cope with stressors. In this zone, you can experience and process emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down. If your arousal falls outside the window, you experience intense emotions and may enter either a Hyper-aroused state (fight or flight response) or a Hypo-aroused state (freeze or dissociation). 
What happens when you exceed your Window of Tolerance?
When the amygdala (the survival part of the brain) is activated, it will put you in a state of fight/flight(hyperarousal) or freeze (hypoarousal). Safety is your priority in this state, and emotional regulation takes a back seat as the prefrontal cortex (reasoning

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

The month of June calls to create awareness around Alzheimer’s, Brain Health, and PTSD. As we reflect on the realities of PTSD and Alzheimer’s, we cannot help but acknowledge the increasing correlation between these two topics. Fortunately, Brain Health Awareness Month highlights the importance of understanding trauma’s adverse effects on the brain. As consciousness around this issue increases, more early screening presents opportunities for prevention and healing.
What is the Connection Between PTSD and Alzheimer’s?
PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may surface after experiencing a traumatic event in military situations, in cases of abuse, or witnessing or being involved in an accident. As we study PTSD, we learn more about how it alters the brain, wiring it for increased anxiety, depression, intrusive memories, and hyperarousal. Portions of the brain can be affected, such as the amygdala- our threat detection center, the hippocampus- the memory center, and the prefrontal cortex-involved in complex decision making.  
Further exploration of brain health and its relation to Alzheimer’s also has identified inflammation in the brain and body, often caused by stress and hypervigilance, as contributing factors. Furthermore, people with PTSD are often sympathetic dominant or in a state of chronic stress and arousal. Continual existence in this state of hyperarousal does not allow the body to enter a complete state of rest, contributing to difficulty sleeping, which is correlated with decreased memory consolidation and disrupted brain performance. Impairment in these areas is linked to reduced brain function and the declining symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
How could treating trauma with ART

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

 Although the concept of Mindfulness is thousands of years old, the demand for a practice that calls us back to the present moment may be even more significant today. With the advent of technology, you may notice an increased challenge to stay focused and present. While you may love the connectivity provided by social media and smartphones, you often feel your attention is fragmented. Adding constant stimuli to an ever-active, stressed brain may make you feel burned out, agitated, and emotionally reactive. 
If you are grappling with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, OCD, CPTSD, and ADHD, it is common to experience feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and a lack of control.
To increase balance and emotional well-being in our lives, Mindfulness has gained recognition as a transformative practice in many spaces. Practicing Mindfulness boasts improved emotional regulation, stress reduction, greater focus, and more self-compassion in coping with day-to-day scenarios. 
What is Mindfulness?
  Mindfulness is the practice of non-judgemental awareness and observation of the present moment. You develop resilience and focus as you train your mind to stay in the present, observing your inner and outer experiences non-judgmentally.
How does Mindfulness help deal with mental health?

Enhanced Self-awareness: Mindfulness helps you become more aware and attuned to your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. As you notice the arising of these occurrences, you can observe them with non-judgment.

Emotional regulation: As self-awareness improves, you develop a better relationship with your emotions. Mindfulness allows you to observe and respond to emotions with greater clarity and less impulsivity and reactivity, prompting

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

Yes, you’re suffering from trauma. As trauma is a universal part of life, you have suffered or are suffering from its impact. Therapists have referred to types of trauma as “little T” trauma or “Big T” trauma to discuss the severity of its impact. 
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event where we perceive ourselves as “unsafe”. During trauma, your body enters a state of arousal, fight or flight as your brain scans for signs of danger.
When we hear the word “trauma,” it is common to think of experiences in war, natural disasters, sexual abuse, neglect, or violence. However, even if you are someone who has never experienced any of these occurrences, you are still most likely affected by the effects of trauma in your life. Your day-to-day experiences, including your ability to emotionally regulate and control your stress. 
“Little t” traumas, or “microtraumas,” can often occur in even the most emotionally healthy childhoods, as you lacked a comprehensive understanding of events you were experiencing as a child. 
For example, If you were a child playing with a toy and accidentally broke it. Your parent comes in, sees the broken toy, and they become angry, scolding and yelling at you. At this age, you rely on your parent to feed, clothe and keep you safe. Your young mind may experience your parent’s intense anger to mean you are “bad” or “unlovable.” This simple experience can be indirectly perceived as a life-threatening situation. On an unconscious or preverbal level, you may think

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

self-care while mourning

Grief is an all-too-familiar feeling during this period, and even more so than usual. Grief is hard. It is personal. It knows no bounds, does not come in any particular shape or size, and there is no one right way to get through it (if one ever truly does).

To all those who are grieving, I see you, and I am with you. I urge you to take care of yourself and remember that you are not alone in this. We won’t go into a full-fledged therapy session here, but I can share some ways to care for yourself during this tough time and express my solidarity.

Here are five ways to practice self-care while grieving:

1) Connection

Connection is always key; even when it is simply being in a room with another human and not saying a word.

2) Connection

Bereavement groups are incredibly helpful and very often underutilized. To be in a group of others that are going through similar phases of grief can be invaluable to your healing and provide you with a built-in support network. Having that connection and knowing you’re not alone can really help you embrace your feelings rather than push them away.

3) Connection

Connect to something greater. Get some fresh air. Take walks. Connect to your higher power. Do volunteer work.

4) Connection

Connect to your feelings by journaling. You can write letters to your loss, journal about the loss, or express your thoughts and feelings about grief in the way that is most comfortable for you. The act of letting the thoughts and feelings flow out of you can be a healthy release.

5) Connection

Connect to what is good about life. Watch your favorite funny movies or comedians. Look at cute pictures of babies and puppies. Think of a time your loved one made you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, they say. So, even if it is only for a moment, let yourself connect to what is good in life.

I am sure by now you are sensing a theme. You are insightful and would be correct. We care for ourselves by connecting. If you are curious about some of the scientific research related to the protective and healing effects of connection during loss, I have linked a great article below. Most of the time, you may not want to connect. You may lack the energy or find it is easier to stay home. I encourage you to reframe connection as caring for yourself with the possibility that in doing so, you may feel better sooner.

“Psychosocial factors that appear to help buffer the negative effects associated with interpersonal loss include social support (186–188), secure attachment style (46, 189), positive emotions (129, 188, 190), optimism (191), cognitive flexibility (including positive reappraisal and acceptance) (192), and spirituality, including religiosity (193).” (Seiler et al., 2020)

Frontiers | The Psychobiology of Bereavement and Health: A Conceptual Review From the Perspective of Social Signal Transduction Theory of Depression

Unfortunately, no one possesses a cure for grief. The only remedy is to go through it. Just know that we do not have to go through it alone. Reach out to your local counselor for support or find your nearest grief support group if you are struggling.

does grief ever get better

Encouraging Results through honesty and empowerment.


Seiler, A., von Känel, R., & Slavich, G. M. (2020). The psychobiology of bereavement and health: A conceptual review from the perspective of social signal transduction theory of depression. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.565239

Link to Original Post - ART Blog

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Link to Original Post - ART Blog

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