Soul Healing: Recovering From Trauma!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 15, Number 1

KimmelPsychology has provided a monthly E-Letter for over 14 years, that is educational, informative, and helpful to our readers. Topics change every month but the format remains the same; brief information about the topic as well as suggestions for improvement.

This month’s topic is about recovering from trauma. You are invited to share your thoughts by emailing Dr. Kimmel at


                                                       (Photo by Luis Galvez)

In less than one month, our community will experience the second anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. The rest of the country will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Those of us who live here will rememember. No doubt the media and others will use this opportunity to gain viewer attention but it can rip off the scabs covering emotional wounds.

Trauma is an extremely difficult condition to overcome. Mutual support, determination, and time can help a person to adjust to their overwhelming emotions. It can take quite awhile to feel safe and secure again but a person can recover.

Traumas destroy our sense of personal safety. They are extremely intense experiences that overwhelm our ability to cope. Our reactions of flashbacks, depression, and hypervigilance are normal reactions to an incredibly abnormal event. People who have been traumatized feel helpless, frozen, and emotionally out of control. Feelings of depression and anxiety are constant and don’t seem to go away. The ability to trust is damaged as is the sense of control over one’s life.

Trauma not only affects our emotions, but it also affects our arousal system. It is as if we are frozen in a state of being always on-guard, preparerd for some danger. It affects us psychologically as well as physically through nightmares, weight changes, and overall agitation.

Traumas can last from a short period of time to years depending upon the severity of that trauma. Traumas can fade as people process the event. However, when there are frequent reminders of the traumatic incident such as newscasts or documentaries, this process can be delayed. Anniversaries or other reminders can also trigger a stressful reaction.

Recovery involves regaining a sense of safety and control over one’s life. This will involve a period of grieving, rebuilding trust in others, and neutralzing feelings and memories of the event. Several types of therapy have shown to be very successful in recovering from traumas. EMDR Therapy can help to unfreeze traumatic memories. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very helpful in reframing and processing thoughts and feelings about the trauma. Somatic Experiencing can help to physcially release trauma related bodily sensations.

To recover from trauma, it is important that you show up…determined to take back contol over your own life. It involves a reclaiming of your life and your identity. It is regaining a sense of safety and control. It is an unfreezing of one’s emotions and being able to trust.

We offer the following information on Soul Healing: Recovering From Trauma! This information can be downloaded as a handout at


People who have been through trauma, their souls are hurting…
…Mary Gauthier


  • It can take an incredibly long time to overcome the pain of trauma and feel safe again
  • Traumatic reactions are normal reactions to a very intense abnormal event
  • It not only affects you psychologically, but also physically leaving you in a heightened state of arousal and awareness
  • Trauma is the result of an exceptionally intense event or events that destroys one’s sense of safety, control over one’s life, and sense of personal power
  • Often involving a personal threat, you can either be a victim or just exposed to an event or series of events that are overwhelming and isolating
  • The more helpless, trapped, and frightened you believe you are, the more you are likely to be a victim of trauma
  • Trauma is not like a cold that you can get over quickly; it causes:
  • Overwhelming negative emotions and a sense of powerlessness
  • Frequent and intrusive memories of the trauma
  • Flashbacks and constant anxiety
  • Hypervigilance
  • Difficulties in trusting
  • PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when you remain in a kind of psychological shock and are unable to process the trauma and cope with your emotions
  • Psychological symptoms of trauma include: shock, anger, mental confusion, anxiety, guilt, self-blame, hopelessness, numbness
  • Physical symptoms include: hypervigilance, tiredness, sleep difficulties, agitation, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, being startled easily

  • Seek support from others and do not isolate; connecting with friends will help you to heal by being able to share your experiences and accept the caring from others
  • Participate socially which will allow you to feel you have a normal life and also a sense of control over your own life
  • Be physically active and move; exercising can help you “unfreeze” your nervous system and allow it to return to normal functioning
  • Calm yourself by practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing and other stress reduction exercises
  • Have a good and well-balanced diet; do not drink or use drugs, and get enough sleep
  • Seek professional help if your symptoms do not lessen, you have difficulty functioning, you feel numb and disconnected from others, or have nightmares and flashbacks
    Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at

    Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
    5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
    Coral Springs FL 33067

    Copyright © 2020 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.

    Dr. K’s blog will return next month. Till February …

    The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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    If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2019 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.