What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and can Beachwood help?
At Beachwood, Integrative Equine Therapy has been shown to be profoundly helpful for people experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which the American Psychiatric Society describes as “occurring after a traumatic event, witnessing a traumatic event happening to others, or learning that a traumatic event happened to a close family member or friend.”
What does PTSD feel like? What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD can feel like anxiety, heart racing, shortness of breath, and physical shaking. It can have symptoms like headaches, upset stomach and nausea, even vomiting. You can feel PTSD in your whole body—that’s why a somatic therapy that connects your whole body can help.
PTSD symptoms also include flashbacks, and depression, or depression-like symptoms.
You’d be surprised at how many physical symptoms of stress have emotional and psychological underpinnings.
Who experiences PTSD? Can Integrative Equine Therapy help?
PTSD also occurs in people who have had traumatic experiences, not just veterans. We often remind Beachwood clients that how a person perceives a stressful situation is a major factor in whether or not an experience is traumatic or not.
In the bestselling book, “The Body Keeps the Score", Bessel van der Kolk, writes about how the brain, mind, and body, store trauma. And why it’s important to work with the whole body to help heal trauma. Whole body therapeutic experiences—sometimes called somatic therapy-- like Beachwood Integrative Equine Therapy can help when your whole body has stored the trauma.
Clients often ask Beachwood: Why do I react the way I do when I’m triggered?
If you experience a traumatic event or events that are way too big for you to handle and you think you have to get through it alone, it can get stored in your brain as trauma.
What happens when I’m triggered? When something reminds you of that situation again, the fight or flight part of your brain jumps in again to help. Then, you are not able to access the “thoughtful response” which originates in the part of your brain that holds short- and long-term memory and conscious thought.
How do you release stored trauma? When you have stored trauma, you need to build a neural pathway from the fight or flight part of your brain to help you get through the experience.
From Reaction to Response: Beachwood Integrative Equine Therapy can help
The Chairman of our board is a Naval officer with a history of PTSD. It is his objective to provide free services at Beachwood Integrative Equine Therapy for as many veterans as possible. He often reminds us, veterans don’t always ask for support; combat veterans often have a difficult time with therapy in general.
When we became a resource for the The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Hidden Heroes - the foundation for veteran caregivers - in 2018, we saw this change. Caregivers have their own trauma from living with and caring for veterans with anxiety, trauma, PTSD, and depression. The caregivers and spouses who had the opportunity to experience Integrative Equine Therapy at Beachwood were so grateful when it worked, they told their wives, husbands, brothers, and friends.
Now at Beachwood, we are trying to grow fast enough keep up with the demand in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Chicago, and California.
Call Beachwood to discuss your own circumstances and concerns and how Integrative Equine Therapy has helped others experiencing PTSD symptoms. If you would like to talk with our veteran co-founder, you can do that, too.