I had the good fortune to read a post on Jolene Philo’s Different Dream blog that highlighted the work of Margaret Vasquez, a traumatologist who received some of her training from the Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc. program. She started her own center in Georgia called Freedom’s Calling. On her website, she posted a series of presentations that are a must-see for all who want to learn more about trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Ms. Vasquez was a guest on the Abundant Life TV Show, which has a Catholic focus. While I am not a Christian, the intention of the interview with Ms. Vasquez is to guide us toward information that promotes healing and peace. The interviewer does a good job of keeping the discussion about trauma focussed on this subject and seems to really care about helping all people understand the effects of trauma on their lives. A person of any religious or spiritual background can get a lot from watching this program. Ms. Vasquez has a wealth of information to share with us. I just finished viewing the second of five TV segments and highly recommend it so far.
In the first segment of the program, “The Story of Trauma,” Ms. Vasquez discusses the definition of trauma and the consequences of trauma. I really like the way she categorizes the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): hypervigilance, avoidance, and re-experience. In hypervigilance, she describes the traumatized person as always being on edge or “keyed up.” Avoidance has to do with a person avoiding anything reminiscent of the trauma, and re-experiencing relates to the traumatized person having flashbacks, nightmares, and thoughts and emotions connected to the incident. The thoughts or emotions might be based on a sight, smell, sound, song–anything that reminds the person of the traumatizing event and creates fear, anxiety, anger, or other unsettling emotions.
Ms. Vasquez is passionate about educating people about trauma and helping people heal. I’d love to hear your comments about the information being communicated.