Many people experience trauma in their lives. Strong reactions to trauma, such as PTSD, happen not only to those who witness atrocities such as in war, but also to those were exposed to sexual abuse, brutality, or physical or emotional abuse in relationships. This is not just because of what happened to us, but how we make sense of what happened to us and the negative emotions that result. These negative emotions seep into our lives in a variety of ways. We may find ourselves withdrawing from or not engaging in relationships, eating in ways that are harmful to us, struggling with addictions, and suffering from depression, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and low self-worth.
Dr. Samantha Gaies, Ph.D uses a combination of hypnosis, mindfulness, and exposure therapy techniques to help people suffering from psychological trauma caused by a distressing events. Her approach focuses on helping people reduce the impact and the symptoms associated with trauma. Dr. Gaies’s practice incorporates techniques that help clients gently confront and work through difficult memories and experiences, while also learning to live more fully in the present moment in order to regain control over their lives. Her approach utilizes hypnosis to help clients explore their unconscious to finally understand the relationship between their past trauma and current psychological distress, which ultimately allows them to free themselves from these painful memories and once again feel like the person they were prior to the trauma.
One of the most difficult aspects of trauma is that the impact of trauma can affects a person’s life months and years after the event occurred and that the difficulties that arise manifest and interfere with his or her everyday life. Consequently, people do not realize that negative emotions, problems in relationships, and low self esteem are directly related to previous traumatic experiences. Additionally, when people experience these negative symptoms, they push away the memories or fight against these feelings; yet paradoxically, it is the avoidance of these symptoms and memories that creep into daily activities, daydreams, thoughts, and nightmares. In essence, the longer and harder people continue to ignore the traumatic event, the more the traumatic memories will continue to control and affect their life in a variety of negative ways.
Research shows that facing the memories of the event in a safe and controlled therapeutic environment can drastically reduce individuals’ symptoms and allow them to begin living their life and feeling like themselves again. Dr. Gaies has years of experience working with trauma in a hospital setting helping people to decrease their suffering due to several different types of trauma, including sexual harassment and assault, physical and sexual abuse in relationships, and sexual and emotional trauma in childhood. During this time, she become proficient and certified in utilizing the most advanced techniques for treating trauma, such as Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy, to help relieve people’s trauma-related symptoms.
Dr. Gaies takes has taken her advanced, researched-based training in trauma to create her own, new method of treating trauma, which combines the latest hypnotic techniques, exposure therapy, and mindfulness to address clients’ past experiences and help them reclaim their lives. This technique helps individuals better understand the negative feedback loop between the biological changes that began after the trauma and their current emotional state and responses. Through the use of hypnosis, Dr. Gaies teaches clients to alleviate anxiety, stay more present, reduce flashbacks and nightmares, and help them find a way to once again feel like the person they were before the trauma.