PTSD: Are you suffering from a traumatic event?

PTSD Stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You hear a lot about it in the media these days due to the great number of people coming back from serving in war and having issues re-adjusting back into society. Never before these times have we had the communication systems we currently have so the problem is well known. But, the problem has existed for a very long time.

Many times when someone witnesses a very traumatic event, (like rape, mugging, a car or plane accident, death or serious injury, industrial accident or natural disaster, or other violent act) either exposing themselves to the harm or witnessing some else become hurt, it is difficult for them to move on or forward beyond the event. This is because of the way our brains are wired.

We all have an internal survival system that lets us know when our surroundings are not safe. On a much smaller scale this same survival/critter brain/flight, fight, freeze response system helps us determine if we like someone or not.

As humans we create our memories by combining our thoughts with our emotions. To recall a specific memory, we need to embed the original memory with as many sensory pieces (pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells) as we can then stimulate those sensory systems in the same way to recall the memory.

In individuals with PTSD the traumatic event is so intense it instantly floods the brain with many visual, auditory, feeling, smell and taste representations that the traumatic event is re-lived or remembered and triggered by just about every thing the individual does, feels, sees, hears and tastes in the present. Because the person is experiencing intense representations in experiencing common reality, they start to embed that common reality with what was remembered from the original event. Over time the associations become so great that the person starts to not be able to function normally in society. This is why it is said that the onset of PTSD starts about 3 months after the event.

We all have this internal survival system that is always checking in to see that our environment is safe. With a person suffering from PTSD their survival system is over working indicating to the sufferer that no place they go, no experience is safe even though the threat for their life and/or wellbeing or another’s life and well being does not exist.

Our survival systems start developing about two months before we were born and is considered fully developed by the time we turn three. The survival coding embedded in this system was based on what we coded was safe or not safe based on and influenced by our experience with our parental units during this time period. With this system fully developed, any traumatic event experienced after the development of this system would also be coded in this system. The trigger size (the feelings of danger we would feel) is based on the extent to which the event was coded as threatening to our wellbeing or our life and how often we used that trigger (think about how some people react to spiders – sometimes the reaction is not warranted based on the stimulus). Our survival system is supposed to act like a defense and warning system to preserve us and keep us from harm, but the intenseness of the original situation can cause us do act in strange ways unfamiliar to our logical brain…which then struggles for reasons, excuses, really lies as to why we acted or behaved as we did. When a PTSD sufferer is reacting to their environment, their critter brain/survival system is over working to try and keep them safe.

When it comes to treatment of PTSD the psychological community has fallen short in treating this condition. They are split between medication and some types of cognitive behavioural therapy. They don’t believe that either treatment are effective in curing the condition. Currently, some of my colleagues (the NLP community) are collecting funds to do research to create an exact NLP protocol to deal with PTSD because there are a tremendous amount of people suffering from it and they think that NLP is the best tool to combat, treat and resolve this condition.

Personally, I’ve had a lot of success with individuals that have had PTSD in a relatively short amount of time and have had them experience great strides between very few appointments to resolve (get full recovery) the issue. The Psychological community maintains the claim there is no cure. If you think you might be suffering from this condition or know someone who is, and are frustrated because the treatments out there are not working fast enough or at all, please contact me. I am willing to work over the phone, on Skype and if there are enough people in your area I will travel to you to work with you face-to-face. You can reach me at 415-404-6636 in the US and 778-788-6657 in Canada or

Tracy Joy

Certified therapeutic practitioner of NLP
Founder of NLP Vancouver