With PTSD and Other Trauma, How Do We Measure Success?

PTSD is an individual experience. We have similar yet different symptoms In order to recognize improvement, we must learn roadways along the journey.

1.  From Win Over PTSD: “Signs That You’re Healing Your PTSD”:

This is the list of seven criteria for having resolved trauma. It was created by Claudia Black, Ph.D.

1. The physiological symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder have been brought within manageable limits.

2. The person is able to bear the feelings associated with the traumatic memories.

3. The person has authority over his/her memories. He/she can elect to remember the trauma and to put that memory aside.

4. The memory of the traumatic event/s is a coherent narrative, linked with feeling.

5. The person’s damaged self-esteem has been restored.

I think healing in ourselves often goes unnoticed. It’s nice to have these concrete signs to let us ponder the ways in which we may be healing without conscious thought.

I hope you’ll check out the PTSD Forum. You can become a member for free, and post your own thoughts and feelings, as well as connect with others who face the same challenges as yourself. You’ll also find people who are truly “healing their PTSD.” It’s an inspiring and helpful site.

To read the full article, go to:


2.  From From Survivor to Thriver: “Getting Better…Slowly”:

I adore my doctor.  She’s been my doctor for about 8 years now, and I’ve never given her enough credit.  I’ve always been afraid to ask her about anything having to do with my mental disorders because I was terrified that she wouldn’t believe me.  Not only does she believe me, but she very much so wants me to get to a healthy place.

I had another appointment with her last week, and she was concerned that I am taking the ativan every day.  She doesn’t want me to get addicted to it.  I understand her concern because I feel the same way.  It’s helping me so much though.  I take it when I can feel a panic attack coming on, and it calms me right down…within a few minutes.  I told her that I feel the celexa working, but it’s not enough during those really high anxiety times.  She increased my dosage to 40mg per day from 20mg per day to see if that helps.  She did promise not to take the ativan away, but she’s hoping that I’ll use it less.  Me too.

She also suggested I find a therapist, and talked with me about FMLA when I told her I was worried about missing work for it.  I know I need a therapist, and my company will pay for the first 10 sessions, so there’s really nothing stopping me but myself.  It’s seems such a daunting task.  I’ve talked about it a lot on my blog.

I’m still very frustrated that I can’t write in my handwritten journal.  I strained a ligament in my hand.  I’m hoping that with ice and ibuprofen, it will get better soon.  I have to take it easy.  At least typing isn’t painful anymore.

I guess the bright side of my injury is that I’ve been reading a lot.  I’m almost finished with the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, and I will read the others.  It’s a great series so far, but it’s been a bit triggering.  I will write about it in another post.

3. From  Trauma Treatment for Children: “Improved Advocating through Risking Connection Training”:

This is really true. First, by understanding brain science and the effects of trauma, treaters can become more articulate in describing why punishment is not the best response to problem behaviors. They can describe how making amends can teach the youth hope in relationships, and how learning skills can help him be less likely to repeat the behavior. By understanding the behavior and the need the youth was trying to meet, they can recommend a specific intervention which will help the youth learn to meets his needs in a more positive way. They are more confident because their ideas are grounded in a theoretical framework.

Often when people think of “doing trauma work” they mean that the youth is retelling the details of her traumatic experiences. Through understanding both the trauma framework and modern brain science treaters can explain the benefits of other areas of treatment. It is NOT TRUE that recreational activities, fun events, creative pursuits such as music and art, cooking, and relaxing with others are just time fillers in between the “real therapy” that happens in the clinician’s office. Using the trauma framework treaters can specify exactly what step in healing each activity is designed to accomplish. Changing the child’s template about relationships, re-building her brain, increasing her sense of self-worth and teaching feeling skills are all happening during these every day parts of life. When a treatment team is well trained they can describe and document each step of the day by describing its connection to healing.

Photo credit.

2 thoughts on “With PTSD and Other Trauma, How Do We Measure Success?

  1. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .

    . Anyhow, great site!

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