Dale A. Baker, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist - La Jolla
California Psychology License # PSY 9693
7946 Ivanhoe Avenue, Suite 201, La Jolla, California 92037
Couples - Individuals - Families
Unfortunately, people sometimes experience severe trauma in their lives such sexual abuse, physical abuse, military combat, sexual harassment or being the witness or victim of a crime. A personal experience of such events may include intense fear, helplessness and horror.
Characteristic symptoms resulting from trauma are persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event, persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, numbing of responsiveness, and increased anxiety. It is often difficult for others to fully appreciate how disoriented and deeply disturbed victims of trauma feel. Frequently victims experience intrusive reoccurring thoughts of the events and distressing dreams during which the events are replayed. In rare instances, the person may even experience dissociative states that last from a few seconds to several hours. Physical reactions and intense psychological distress often occur when the person is exposed to triggering events that resemble or symbolize an aspect of the traumatic events.
Therapy is especially helpful for victims of trauma. They often feel detached or estranged from other people. Therapy helps re-establish trust by reducing psychic numbing that interferes with intimacy, tenderness and sexuality. It also helps victims regain hopefulness and a sense of a positive future.