How to Recognize Binge Eating Disorder

Sixteen year-old Addison has a great, loving family and plenty of friends. She excels in school and is also very active in the church’s youth department and in sports as well. Addison’s issues are deep within, however. She has trouble expressing her emotions and therefore struggles alone in her sadness and insecurities.

When the day is done and the night closes in, as everyone else sleeps, Addie feels drawn to the kitchen area. The day’s stresses fade away as she begins to relax over the food she finds there. From cookies, chips, and cake to a gallon of chocolate ice cream, she eats all she can manage to get her hands upon. Then she makes her way to her bedroom where more snacks she’s stashed await her.

At first, Addy experiences relief as she eats. She does not, however, enjoy feeling powerless over the situation and not in control. Once she realizes the amount of food she’s eaten, she is overridden with shame. Addy swears to herself that she will never repeat the action again.

She tries to live up to her promise but cannot. The cycle continues, over and over again. Every time she feels stressed out, she uses food for an outlet. She has no clue what to do about her situation or who to turn to. She doubts anyone would understand. She feels extremely along and afraid.

Brady has just turned thirteen. He’s known as a nice kid and he is also the joker of the classroom. He’s got friends but isn’t at all secure in himself or his friendships. He is always paranoid that his friends will decide they don’t like him anymore due to something he says or does.

His jokes are just a cover for his fear. Food is one thing he can rely upon to give him the happiness he is longing for. When sad, stressed, or bored, food is always there to lift him up and offer him relief, at least temporarily.

It wasn’t until Brady got into therapy that he realized the connection between food and his feelings. He knew he was drawn to food, but prior to therapy, he didn’t know the full implications and how very serious the situation was. When he felt he was not in control, he knew he could eat food and he’d feel better, if only for a moment.

The eating then turned to shame, especially when comments were made about his love for food by his parents. His eating caused him to gain weight which prompted bullying by his peers. The situation eventually escalated to the point that he required therapy. Now he is learning to identify and express his feelings. He is developing skills that he needs in order to cope with the emotions that used to overwhelm him.

Tammy is a young woman of thirty-four years of age. She has had issues with her body image and problems with her self-esteem for as long as she can remember. Her weight and appearance have been a struggle ever since she was a child.

She faced ridicule and bullying by her peers which turned into a severe distrust of others. She doubts who she is on the inside and feels very alienated. She is grown now but her job is quite stressful and very fast-paced. Keeping up with the job is tough and keeping up with life is even tougher.

There are two things that help Tammy deal with her stresses: food and alcohol. It seems she is forever having one drink too many or eating too much, too quickly. She feels remorseful after doing either. But, she feels very alone and overwhelmed.

She is doing all she knows how to do to cope with the way she feels. Therapy has crossed her mind but she thinks she should be able to handle her emotions and feelings on her own. Besides, unleashing all the pain is a scary thought. She doesn’t need the added stress.

The concept of being an “emotional eater” simply means to use eating in order to cope. It isn’t a new thing and most people have heard of it but it is far more serious than most realize. Binge Eating Disorder differs from just eating too much at one sitting. It isn’t simply eating for reasons that are emotionally based either. While both scenarios are problematic, they don’t entail the qualifications for being a binge type eater.

What Binge Eating Disorder Really Is

Binge Eating Disorder was recognized by the Association of the American Psychiatric’s list of mental disorders in 2013. Before that, it was in still in research although it was deemed a serious problem by a myriad of professionals throughout the course of many years. Finally, it has its rightful place as a disorder with a name and a set of criteria which distinguish it.

The BED diagnosis criteria are as follows:

  • The person must have repeated episodes of bing-eating.
  • The definition of a binge consists of possessing three or more of the five following characteristics:
    • Eating considerably quicker than normal
    • Continuing consumption of food beyond being comfortably full
    • Eating large quantities of food even though one is not feeling hungry
    • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by the portion sizes
    • Having feelings of guilt, depression, or disappointment with oneself following the binge-driven behavior
  • In addition, the person who engages in the binges must feel significant emotional distress or remorse about the binge they have taken part in.

The criteria for this disorder is different from that of bulimia nervosa, however, because an individual with BED doesn’t frequently take part in behaviors that are aimed at preventing weight gain.

Negative emotions usually come prior to the episode of binging. It can also be characterized by triggering from other root stressors. That is the reason it’s often regarded as a coping mechanism which is closely related to stress and other negative emotions.

As mentioned before, it is typical with this disorder for food to be consumed in a rush instead of at a pace that is normal. There is little to no mindfulness in the process. The person is likely to eat as an effort to relieve emotions and/or to escape stress.

Shame tends to be an ever-present part of the equation. It is common for those with BED to experience it on a regular basis. It is also typical for one to attempt to hide their shame by engaging in their behavior disorder which only increases and intensifies the negative ways they were already feeling. That is how cyclical behavioral patterns begin and continue.

Additional Common Diagnoses

Those who have been diagnosed with BED quite often meet additional criteria pertaining to other diagnoses as well. It’s not unusual for them to also display signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and even bipolar disorders. Another typical problem is substance and alcohol abuse. For this reason, a professional who is trained to recognize BED will also generally check for additional diagnoses as well.

Medical Complications

This type of eating disorder should be taken very seriously. Heart disease, diabetes type 2, muscle and joint issues, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal problems may be present. It’s vital with a BED assessment to also have an evaluation of medical health as well as one of mental health.

BED Risk Factors

There are a number of factors that put a person at more risk, typically. Those things tend to be common with those who have BED.

Some of those risk factors are:

  • Persistent dieting, prior to or in conjunction with active BED
  • Significant weight change history
  • Being overweight
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Not being able to emotionally cope or express oneself
  • Being unhappy with bodily appearance
  • Possessing other mental health disorders like having bipolar disorder, substance abuse issues, or depression
  • Being bullied or made fun of about weight
  • Emotional, sexual, or any other type of trauma or neglect
  • Experiencing a significant loss such as a breakup or death

Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Remember that weight is not always an indicator that someone has BED. The problem can occur in those who don’t have weight issues and those who have weight issues may not have BED.

Shame is frequently experienced with BED. Due to shame, hiding the symptoms and behaviors is very common. Though not conclusive, the signs below may be an indicator of the disorder if one or more are present.

  • Trouble eating in social situations, preferring to eat when alone
  • Obsessing over food and/or binge planning
  • Eating fast with a lack of control
  • Frequently feeling constipated or bloated
  • Eating past the point of feeling full
  • Discovering food wrappers, hoarding food, finding large quantities of food missing
  • Elevated withdrawal from activities and relationships and/or becoming isolated more
  • Habitually beginning new diets and/or odd meal rituals and/or frequently skipping meals
  • Fluctuation of weight
  • Unhealthy fixation and focus on bodily shape and/or weight
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

If a loved one, or yourself, is displaying BED symptoms, it’s imperative to seek a professional evaluation by a specialist in the field. Because BED is likely to include serious medical complications, it is recommended that a physician also evaluate the patient.

In addition, a dietitian can be a very important professional involved in the treatment since they are able to assist a person with the diagnosis and the disorder. They can play a crucial role in the patient understanding and coming to grips with the implications BED has on their health. Nutritional needs are discussed and medication is sometimes prescribed.

If BED is determined to be present, a number of psychological treatments exist which can be of help. Some of these methods are as follows:

  • Cognitive Behavior based therapy, or CBT, is a method which assists individuals in understanding the direct relationship thoughts, behaviors, and feelings have. It helps them develop positive and effective strategies to help alter negative patterns.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Technique, known also as DBT, is a helpful approach to teaching new skills which can be focused on so that emotions can be regulated during stressful times and during temptations to eat irregularly. Both individual and group settings are generally a part of this type of therapy.
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy, also known as IP, is a technique which helps individuals explore relationships such as loss, conflict, and so forth. It examines how they perceive themselves alongside others and takes a look at how those components might play into their eating disorder and its behaviors.

There are even more treatment types that might be recommended for BED, depending on the individual needs that you may have which flow from our life experiences, like trauma, abuse, etc. A qualified licensed therapist will be able to lovingly point you in the direction that will be the most helpful where a full plan of treatment is concerned.

It is overwhelming to live with BED. Hopeless feelings can consume you and sadness may be a constant emotion you feel. But, there is a better way. There’s hope just around the corner when you begin your journey to healing and recovery. Don’t put it off. Call today and walk in the sunshine. A brand new life awaits you.

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Do These OCD Symptoms Sound Familiar?

Do you know someone, whether an acquaintance or loved one, who checks their door multiple times to see if it was really locked or wash their hands repeatedly before they eat? Are you wondering why they do that?

Perhaps you, yourself, often engage in a particular behavior that but don’t really have any idea what drives it. It may have crossed your mind that these odd behaviors are signs of what is commonly referred to as OCD.

The term is often used by people to describe repetitive or strange behavior. People will often refer to a person who likes to keep things organized or prefers to be clean as OCD, labeling them as a certain kind of person rather than recognizing their condition as a set of symptoms that they may be struggling with.

This is evidenced by the fact that people rarely use the full name “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” For example, no one would say “there goes my friend cleaning my house again; he is very Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” It sounds silly because using the whole name makes it hard to label a person.

Behaviors that a person is trying to manage as a result of their diagnosis may strike others as odd. This article will discuss some of the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that tend to be misunderstood, and hopefully, it will aid those who find themselves confused by the OCD symptoms they or their loved ones exhibit

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Defined

Many think of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a condition that makes people keep their house clean at all times or to organize random things wherever they go. Most of these people don’t really think of OCD as the driving force behind those who wash their hands all the time. They merely attached the acronym OCD to the behaviors.

There are a number of criteria that have to be met prior to an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder diagnosis. Both behavior and thoughts lay behind a diagnosis of OCD.

What are the Most Common OCD Symptoms?

A person may be given a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder when they exhibit the following OCD symptoms:

Obsessions

Undesirable recurring urges, images, or thoughts that cannot be controlled or that occur whenever something unpleasant happens, causing distress or anxiety.

and/or

Struggling to suppress or disregard the thoughts (contamination), urges (wanting to injure someone), or images (picturing violence) by performing some action (performing a compulsion).

Compulsions

Some of the ritual behaviors such as checking, ordering, hand washing, or other mental acts like counting, repeating words quietly, or praying that the person feels compelled to perform to relieve their obsession;

and

A person behaves a certain way to reduce or prevent distress, anxiety, or to prevent a certain situation or event, although realistically, these have no connection to what they’re seeking to prevent at all.

Obsessions and Compulsions

The obsessions or compulsions consumes a lot of time, usually taking up to an hour a day. They can also be clinically distressing, socially damaging, occupationally hazardous, or detrimental to other fields of functioning. The obsessive or compulsive symptoms cannot be explained by another medical condition or mental disorder.

What Are The Most Commonly Misunderstood OCD Symptoms?

As mentioned, everyone is unique. Some display behaviors that may look like a sure indication of OCD, while others might not. There is a specific content of obsessions and compulsions that differ from individual to individual.

However, some symptoms are commonly found in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder including cleaning symmetry (symmetry obsessions and repeating, ordering, and counting compulsion), (contamination and cleaning compulsions), harm (fear of harming oneself and others and related checking compulsions), taboo or unacceptable thoughts (aggressive, religious, and sexual obsessions and compulsions).

The person acting out a compulsion may look like he or she likes doing it, but the truth is that it is merely a response to an obsession. Intrusive and unwanted obsessive urges, images, or thoughts usually result in anxiety or distress. A lot of people with OCD suffer from both obsessions and compulsions.

The compulsive act is performed in response to the obsession is to reduce the distress caused by the trigger or prevent a feared event. Compulsion may not be done for pleasure, but the relief it provides to those who are going through stress or anxiety matters more.

People with OCD will have either of the following:

  • Good or fair insight – a belief that whatever it is that is causing them anxiety will probably be okay even without doing the compulsive act.
  • Poor Insight – a belief that whatever it is that stresses them will most likely happen if they choose not to do the compulsive act.
  • Little amount to no insight – a belief that whatever it is that worries them will happen for sure.

Up to 30% of individuals have a lifetime Tic Disorder. Males who experienced childhood-onset OCD will typically experience a different OCD course, a different set of symptoms, a different comorbidity, and different pattern of familial transmission than those with a history of Tic Disorders.

The difficulties that people suffering from OCD experience is higher in events where their obsessions and compulsions are triggered. They may experience anxiety involving recurrent panic attacks or disgust.

As they act out the compulsion, the person may also feel as if they’re incomplete. Depending on a person’s triggers, they may try to avoid meeting people, go to places, and hold on some things. Contamination is often experienced by some people in public.

It’s common for people investigating the behaviors they act out themselves or by others, to assume that whatever it is they believe is correct without really identifying specific symptoms that are different from each other. There are differences when it comes to the symptoms of OCD depending on age and gender, so it is best to be knowledgeable about what things to look for in people when figuring out if their behavior requires extra care.

It seems that middle age adults appear to be the ones struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder symptoms but the reality is that the mean onset age is 19.5 years of age with 1 in 4 cases beginning at age 14. Almost 25% of males experience onset prior to age 10 while those whose 35 years old or older rarely experience the onset of symptoms, although it does happen.

A lifetime of OCD symptoms is often triggered by an onset in childhood however 40% of those with childhood-onset may experience remission in adulthood. We should, therefore, be aware of the signs and symptoms in children as well. They get diagnosed with compulsion because it’s observable compared to obsessions. Although, both obsessions and compulsions can still be seen in children.

The symptoms children show are more variable but more stable compared to the symptoms of adults. The obsessions of children are more of harm while those of adults involve issues of death or getting sick (themselves or their loved ones).

Adolescents, on the other hand, is more associated with religious and sexual obsessions compared to children due to the difference in their age and the stage they’re in. Their obsessions and compulsions developmentally change too.

It’s understandable for young children to ask their parents to perform compulsive acts by giving them a certain number of kisses on the check before they go to bed. They may also ask for their parents to check the window a number of times to make sure it is locked. Their obsession with danger will go away once their parents act out what the child believes is keeping them safe.

What are Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders Symptoms?

Although we have already discussed what OCD is, there may still be some questions in your mind about the symptoms you’re experiencing or seeing in others. You’re probably aware of the obsession you have or the compulsive response you do but you can only associate it with one idea or thought. In that case, you must know about the several very specific disorders that can be categorized as obsessive-compulsive related disorders.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Obsession with one or more perceived flaw (such as hair thinning or face wrinkles) or physical appearance defect (such as believing they are not pretty or handsome) that other people never noticed but at some point, made the person perform repetitive behavior (like checking themselves in the mirror) or a mental act (like comparing themselves to others) in response to their concern about how they look.

Hoarding Disorder

Having a hard time throwing or giving away possessions (regardless of their value) such as newspapers, mail, or old clothing. It happens because one thinks the items still need to be kept or feeling anguished for discarding them. The difficulty of getting rid of possessions causes clutter in a busy area of the house and the hoarding behavior then results in clinically significant distress or damage in social, occupational, or other important areas of life.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling) Disorder

Repetitive pulling of one’s hair causing hair loss usually targeting the scalp or eyebrows. It comes with rituals related to the hair such as the desire for certain texture or hair color. Some people may pull hair from other individuals or have the urge to do so (such as dolls, pets, sweaters, or carpets). The person tries several times to stop the hair pulling as it can cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other vital areas of life.

Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder

Constant skin picking using things such as fingernails or tweezers that results in lesions in body parts like the face, arms, and hands. It involves repeated attempts to reduce or stop skin picking. It can cause clinically significant distress or damage in social, occupational or other crucial areas of functioning.

In addition to the skin picking, skin rubbing, squeezing, lancing, and biting can also be experienced. Anxiety or boredom are some of the things that trigger skin picking. Tension is sometimes felt after which come feelings of relief, immediate satisfaction, or relaxation.

People may have observed these disorders while being exposed to the behaviors or just through their results. They also have some type of obsession, compulsion, or ritual. The symptoms experienced by some people can greatly affect their social lives as they feel embarrassed and ashamed of it.

It can be hard to be in a place that triggers compulsions, allow people to see how hoarding has affected your life by inviting them into your house or expose your body with visible scars as a result of picking or hair loss due to the pullings. But it’s important for you to live life to the fullest whether or not the world understands.

Since we are naturally capable of having thoughts and ideas that can comfort someone when they’re feeling triggered, it’s best for us to be more compassionate and understanding to others as well as to ourselves if we’re suffering from symptoms of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. The more we know about these disorders, the more we know how to care for ourselves and others.

What Should You Do Next?

If you have compulsions or obsessions that hinder you from completely enjoying life and you want to know what to do next, there are therapists that can help you find freedom from the symptoms of OCD and related disorders. You will receive support as you deal with your symptoms. Regardless of whatever it is that you’re going through, remember that you don’t have to take this journey alone.

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Who Needs Trauma Informed Care and How Does it Help?

Experiencing a “traumatic event” is something many people have to cope with — and there is a range of situations that can be labelled as “traumatic events.” Trauma is often described as being both a physiological and a psychological wound. When we perceive a threat to our lives or experience a threatening situation, or witness serious harm occurring to another person, our response is one of being traumatized.

When we experience trauma, it can feel like being hit by a bulldozer – and the effects can be felt for months and years. A Trauma Informed Care approach helps to build an awareness of your feelings and reactions and to aid recovery through interacting with others.

What is Trauma Informed Care?

If you’ve experienced trauma and you’re looking for counseling to help your recovery, it’s important to find a counselor who understands the need to have compassion and empathy. Trauma Informed Care gives you the opportunity to work with an experienced counselor who can help you to navigate your way through the trauma journey.

Rather than being a goal to be achieved, Trauma Informed Care is much more of a way of thinking and living. At its heart is the premise that there may have been multiple experiences in life that have caused some level of trauma. What’s more, each different experience of trauma takes a toll and has a negative impact on your ability to feel safe.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2018) highlights a variety of key approaches to overcoming trauma as part of a Trauma Informed Care approach. These include recognizing the widespread impact of trauma, identifying the symptoms caused by trauma, and continuing to learn more about trauma so as to incorporate new knowledge into practice (SAMHSA, 2018).

Who Benefits from Trauma Informed Care?

There are numerous benefits of trauma informed care. By far the greatest benefit, though, having someone partner with you in the journey towards recovery and growth. Another important benefit is the feeling of being understood and listened to. Trauma Informed Care begins to bring light back into your world when it’s been overshadowed by trauma.

The Kaiser Permanete study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (also referred to as ACEs) has shown that 1 in 4 people have experienced some kind of traumatic event. These definitions of trauma are broader than are commonly imagined – so while sudden events like combat violence or serious car accidents are readily recognized as causes of trauma, you can experience trauma without recognizing it as trauma.

Some of the most commonly overlooked types of trauma are those that happen in early childhood when it’s more difficult to recognize the way that trauma has impacted you. Additionally, each individual is impacted in different ways by their experiences and this is something that Trauma Informed Care recognizes.

Trauma Informed Care, therefore, isn’t only beneficial for people who have experienced the more obvious kinds of trauma. Rather, it can help anyone – because one of the biggest challenges when seeking out counseling is finding someone that you feel will understand your issues more deeply than just the surface level. The focus on empathy in trauma informed care is a huge benefit.

When you’ve experienced trauma, you may feel isolated and alone because of the sense of others not understanding what you’re going through. Trauma distorts the way that we think, so it’s important to find a mental health professional who can help you to identify your distorted thinking. A compassionate counselor who is committed to listening to you is vital.

Compassion is at the center of Trauma Informed Care – both toward others and toward the scars that trauma leaves behind. A trauma informed care approach, then, conveys an important message when you’re hurting: “I see your pain, I understand how you’re struggling, and I will walk with you and guide you to grow in strength to overcome the past and build a sense of hope.”

When you have hope, you have the power that comes from knowing that you’re going to get through the most difficult times and emerge stronger. Trauma Informed Care has the benefit of restoring your thinking patterns and helping you to recognize that you are not defined by the trauma that you have experienced.

What Impact Does Trauma Informed Care Have?

With trauma at its core, the biggest impact that Trauma Informed Care has is in revealing distorted thought patterns. With distorted thought patterns come feelings of fear, anger, shame, and guilt. Together these are considered to be the “four horsemen” of trauma.

Left unchecked, these feelings can be destructive, keeping you trapped in your trauma. When you are able to identify and name them, you start to take control and reduce the power that they have over you. Once you become aware of how the feelings are controlling your life, you’re able to start on the journey toward recovery.

Psychology Today (2017) has highlighted that when you’ve experienced trauma, the emotions you feel are not necessary the ones that you expect to feel. A trauma informed care approach helps you to recognize this and offers the opportunity to experience hope and healing as you are helped by your counselor’s empathy and sensitivity toward you.

When you’ve experienced trauma, ordinary medical care can feel very impersonal. It’s more difficult to discuss the impact that trauma is having on your life with a primary care physician. Even when you mention things like feeling down, having difficulty sleeping and feeling disconnected from yourself and others, the solutions offered are often limited to a prescription to help you sleep. But when you do sleep, you may experience nightmares or feel groggy making it feel like your attempts to recover are in vain.

By encouraging you to build a connection and communicate with your counsellor and your loved ones, Trauma Informed Care takes a different approach to fighting the battle for recovery from trauma. It offers the space you need to share the burden of what you’re carrying. Living with trauma can feel like carrying a heavy weight around your neck, and each day you’re faced with a need to put on a mask that pretends that you’re fine – when really, you’re anything but.

Trauma Informed Care helps to build a greater level of resilience by treating the whole person. Understanding past trauma and the way that you respond to and handle trauma is an important part of the process. Trauma Informed Care respects where you are on the journey toward recovery and meets you where you are – removing the need for you to pretend that you’re doing better than you are. This is essential for healing.

When you are a trauma survivor, you may feel like your life is overshadowed by oppressive feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. You may be plagued by worries about the future and fears of reminders of the past. It’s important to realize that no matter what you have experienced, there is always hope in Jesus Christ. He offers the opportunity to rest and find peace within His grace.

A Christian View of Trauma Informed Care

“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron. – Psalm 107:13-16

At the root of Trauma Informed Care is the desire to answer Jesus’ call to care for the brokenhearted. Going through traumatic experiences can be compared to the “valley of the shadow of death” from Psalm 23.

It’s important to recognize that when we are in the midst of, or recovering from trauma, God sees us, and is heartbroken for us. The Bible tells us that God sees every single tear that we shed, whether physical tears from our eyes or figurative tears from the heart. God is always present in your life.

Are you familiar with the poem “Footprints in the Sand”? In it, the poet Mary Fishback Powers describes a dream about walking across a sandy beach with God. The poem shows how we often feel, in the lowest, saddest and most desperate times in our lives, it can feel like there is only one set of footprints in the sand as if God has left us.

In the poem, the poet cries out to God in desperation, asking where He was during those awful times. God’s response is both simple and profound: “It was in those moments that I was carrying you.” God promises never to leave nor forsake us – and He never breaks that promise.

In Trauma Informed Care, all Christians are called to shine the light of God’s hope onto those who are broken.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies are new every morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”Lamentations 3:21-24

When you’ve experienced trauma, it’s common to feel that it would be impossible for anyone to be able to understand the depths of the pain that you have experienced (and continue to feel). You may feel that everyone (including God) has abandoned you. While these feelings are real, they are not true.

God reaches out to us in the moments when we are feeling the most desperate. In Isaiah 41:10, he says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

God loves to restore joy to the brokenhearted. The Bible tells us in many places that God has a huge amount of love and care for people who feel that the weight of the world is crushing them. In fact, there are 65 places in the Bible that show God’s view on trauma and His faithfulness to those who have experienced it.

Because God has so much compassion for us, when we rest in his love, we can receive a spirit of hope and peace. Trauma Informed Care builds on this, by not only seeing you as a whole person but also seeing (and helping you to see) how God sees you through His eyes.

You only have to look at the story of the death of Jesus’ friend Lazarus (in the Gospel of John) to see that Jesus too experienced trauma and heartache. We see this in Jesus’ reaction to Lazarus’ death – he wept. This is just a demonstration of the depth of compassion that God has for those in pain. God is always near to those who feel brokenhearted. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Christian counseling recognizes God’s presence in the midst of the Trauma Informed Care journey. The Lord is, according to the Bible, the Great Counselor. He longs to free us from the weight of the trials that we experience in life. Therefore, in Christian Trauma Informed Care, God joins in restoring the broken and both counselors and counselees stand on God’s promises for the restoration of hope.

Let Hope Arise

Getting the support you need to overcome the impact of trauma on your life is a hugely powerful and loving choice. When you begin to seek help, you are acknowledging that the trauma of the past does not have to define you for the rest of your life. In itself, trauma can leave you feeling powerless and hopeless but starting the journey to recovery is taking back some of that power.

When you reach out for counseling with someone who is trained and certified in treating trauma, you are acknowledging that there can be hope for the future and it starts today. Exploring Trauma Informed Care is a first step towards experiencing power and love.

Trauma-focused counselors seek to demonstrate to you that they see you, they hear you, and they can walk every step of the journey alongside you. They aim to empower you to tackle the challenges that will arise as you recover and regain the understanding that God loves every part of you – including the broken parts that you are ashamed of.

Reach out to one of our specialist trauma counselors and book an evaluation to see how you can let hope arise within you once more. Our counselors are ready to help you to break free from the burden on trauma and enable you to see that you are worth the investment. The recovery process may be long and at times difficult, but the effort is worth it to equip you to face battles in the future.

References:

Colson, Denice. (2016). Implementing trauma-informed care in Christian Counseling. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/DeniceColson/implementing-traumainformed-care-in-christian-counseling

Psychology Today. (2017). Trauma informed care and why it matters. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-day-slavery/201707/trauma-informed-care-and-why-it-matters

SAMHSA (2018). Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/nctic/trauma-interventions

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“Beautiful Lady”, Courtesy of it’s me neosiam, Pexels.com; CC0 License; “Fog,” courtesy of Etienne Desclides, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Alone,” courtesy of pixabay.com, pexels.com, CC0 License; “Woman Praying”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License