Why Face Masks Can Trigger Unpleasant Emotions
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
Acquiring tools to manage mask anxiety can help you. Many of you may be experiencing strong feelings of being upset, sad, anxious, or irritated when wearing or seeing others wearing a face mask. However, you may not be able to put your finger on exactly why you feel these intense emotions. There are many reasons why you might feel this way. Traumatic memories may be connected to face masks, and there is also the lack of social cues via facial expressions—any and all of which can cause us to go into fight, flight, or freeze survival mode, depending on our own individual trauma hi ..read more
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Is COVID-19 Killing Kindness?
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
Fear, trauma, and isolation may elicit aggressiveness. The COVID-19 global pandemic has decreased our social interactions and restricted our accustomed freedoms. People are losing loved ones, jobs, savings, businesses, homes, and all sense of normalcy and stability. But is our society also losing compassion and kindness? History and psychology show that societal instability and chaos can increase intolerance (Rokeach 1960), anxiety, and aggression (Jacobs 2001), which can lead to authoritarianism (Sales 1973), escalating crime and violence, and even genocide (Staub 1989). In this light, the cu ..read more
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Why You Might Have Intimacy Issues After Trauma
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  It is a myth that only sexual-abuse survivors suffer from intimacy issues. In fact, sexual-abuse survivors may not exhibit any physical intimacy issues. However, in this case intimacy issues are not uncommon because when we experience a traumatic event of any type, our body goes into physiological “survival mode”—a response that, if not completed and returned to a normal regulation of the nervous system, can lead to emotional and physical intimacy issues. For example, you might be in a loving relationship, but after you experienced a natural disaster such as the recent fires in Califor ..read more
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A Child Within Us Wants to Talk
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  Many of us have an ”inner child” or an “inner younger part” who has not been heard, seen, or treated in a healthy nurturing way. As a result, whether it is an inner child, adolescent, or younger adult, feelings of being ignored, abandoned, or not loved may be retained. The memories of these unresolved feelings are carried into our adult life and often become buried in the subconscious. However, the “inner younger part” remains waiting to be found, to be listened to and to be nurtured, and keeps acting out in attempt to be discovered and attended to. Anna described having a deep sense o ..read more
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Reconciliation After Estrangement
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  Just as Laura Davis describes in her book I Thought We'd Never Speak Again: The Road from Estrangement to Reconciliation, I have seen positive outcomes when working with adult children of abusers who have been able to regain closeness with their previously abusive relatives. In these cases, they have been able to resolve their history with their abuser and heal. In the most successful cases, a new perception, a new level of expectation, and setting ground rules have all helped to re-establish healthy relationships. However, most of the time when my clients have attempted to talk about ..read more
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Four Steps to Recognize Your Internal Alarm System
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  In my last post I talked about a client who I recently worked with to access her anger reaction in the moment through Somatic Experiencing. She had been hanging onto her anger over a conversation with a friend. Instead of confronting the friend in the moment, she struggled to suppress her reaction and then, later on, to forgive her friend. These are the four powerful steps that I taught her to improve her internal alarm system: She visualized her conversation with her friend. She began to notice what she was sensing in her body when her friend made the comment. She became awar ..read more
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The Lingering Trauma of Child Abuse
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  In an earlier article, I talked about child neglect (known as an "act of omission".) On the other end of the spectrum of child abuse is physical abuse, an act of commission.  According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics for 2006, approximately 905,000 U.S. children were found to have been maltreated that year, with 16% of them reported as physically abused (the remainder having suffered sexual abuse or neglect.)1 In other studies, it's been noted that approximately 14-43% of children have experienced at least one traumatic abusive event prior to adulthood.2 ..read more
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Escape From an Emotionally and Verbally Abusive Father
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  This article depicts the interview and story of Dianna, who grew up in the Middle East and escaped her emotionally and verbally abusive father when she was a young adult by emigrating to the United States. Because her father never acknowledged her pain, and most of her relatives never believed such abuse was possible from her father, Dianna asked me to write and share her story (including a written consent) to increase awareness of verbal abuse and help victims like herself. For the purpose of confidentiality, names, ages, and other identifying details have been altered. The beginning ..read more
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Fear of Success
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  "Why are some people afraid to succeed but not to fail? Why are some more afraid of failure? How can one learn to embrace these two fears? What is the difference between them?" A young Canadian woman wrote to me recently with these inquiries. I thought they were excellent questions, and decided to share my thoughts and findings here. We are all so complex, and the way we react to situations and anticipate results is based on many physiological and psychological factors. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to generalize why different personality types might handle success ve ..read more
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Trust in Yourself
Dr. Susanne Babbel | Trauma Blog
by Susanne Babbel
1y ago
  “We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone—but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” — Walter Anderson Merriam Webster dictionary defines trust as the "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something" and "one in which confidence is placed." But unfortunately, trust can be broken in many ways. We may have been betrayed, mistreated, lied to or hurt by someone such as a partner, family, friend or colleague. Instead of developing mistrust only for the person who hurt us, we often begin to be suspicious of eve ..read more
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