Author Archives Martha Escamilla

SHORT THERAPY FOR MOURNING PERIOD

April 30, 2015
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“The first kiss is not the most difficult; it is the last one.”

Accepting the death of a dear person is always a painful event, whatever the circumstances. Initially, the survivor may be in a state of shock and denial, may not believe what happened to him/her, may feel unreal, and may expect that at any time the person will walk through the door or will call.  They go to the funeral, but the person is absent. Death feels foreign.

Afterwards, there may be stronger emotions of rage and guilt.  Rage with the person who died, with the doctors, with themselves, anyone can be a target.  The search is for blame; we feel guilty.  “If only,” comes to mind: if only I had been better, and if I had arrived sooner and if and if …we regret thousands of things that we didn’t do or didn’t say. We can easily go from crying to rage.  Time goes by and we enter into the negation period; there is a search for a solution to the loss, like “over there, he/she is better off, he/she is already resting”, etc.

Time goes by and the absence of the deceased becomes more visible; sadness arrives, resentment begins to leave and often one may despair, experience the disorganization, and feel that what was easily done before can’t be done. This is the depression.  It begins to become apparent that the other person will not return, the disconnection with the one who left is felt, home feels empty now, the bed is larger, and during difficult times the sadness will become stronger for the loss. With time comes acceptance that the loss is real and unavoidable.  

There are no rigid phases; the person may go from one emotional response to the other, depending on many factors.  In general, the mourning is longer and more difficult when there have been previous traumas or when the death of the loved one was traumatic.

When a person dies, crying is not only because of his/her absence, but for all that it implies, a new life without him or her.  One has to assume more responsibilities, sometimes there is economic hardship; there are many changes that need to take place and all this implies additional stress at the time of mourning.

Nowadays, fortunately, there are therapeutic tools that are very effective to work through suffering due to the loss of a loved one.  The short-term therapy can be very effective in reducing the emotional rigidity due to the pain, helping the patient work through the rage, the guilt and the sadness.  It is like an onion - the layers begin to fall until arriving to sadness and returning to hope.  

In 2006, I had the honor of studying with Dr. Botkin who developed a method of IADC, where some people can heal the guilt, the pain and the rage, and experience the reconnection with the deceased. As a result, they experience hurt and forgiveness, and increase the ability to love and take care of others.  If you wish to learn more about this procedure, you can contact me.  It is a beautiful process. I feel privileged to be able to accompany others in this spiritual experience. 

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TRAUMA

May 1, 2015
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Trauma

When you ask people if they have suffered a trauma, the majority respond: No, I have never endured a trauma; I have only gone through some difficult times.  This is because trauma is often seem as it relates to accidents, physical accidents or the ones that occur in a hospital or in an emergency room, etc.  But the scope is bigger.  A traumatic experience is an unexpected situation we live through or when our life or the life of someone else is in danger.  It is a stressful experience that exceeds the natural barriers of what we can comprehend, disrupting the ability to respond and producing feelings of helplessness, fear and loss of control.  

A traumatic experience can be a particular event like: a natural disaster, living through an assault, a car accident, falling from a bicycle, having surgery, the sudden death of a loved one or living through a continuous stressful situation.  Also, having experienced an economic setback, a separation, a partner infidelity, or having endured an illness, being jobless or living in an unsafe area. 

All of the above have a long term effect on our body, mind and emotions. Impotence, depression, sadness, anxiety, panic, anger, isolation and desolation, etc. are some of the many emotions that take over our nervous system. It is important to know that trauma lives in our nervous system, not in the traumatic event.

The symptoms after a trauma can vary; feelings of constant body ache, chronic fatigue, pain in the chest or back, muscular tension, fibromyalgia, migraine, nausea, ulcer, hyper-vigilance, intrusion of images of trauma, nightmares, exaggerated startle responses, panic attacks, hypersensitivity to sound, smell and touch, etc.  Also sudden mood changes, reduced capacity to deal with stress, isolation, frequent crying, lack of hope, loss of interest for family, work and other things that used to bring wellbeing.  There can be confusion, difficulty concentrating, phobia, fears with no apparent reason: like the fear of public speaking, fear of flying, drive a fear of driving, fear of the authority, feeling that one cannot be happy, etc.

After enduring trauma, it may take some time to feel secure, again.  The most important thing is to find a psychologist that specializes in trauma who can provide the right treatment. It does not matter if the trauma occurred years ago or if it occurred yesterday. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that what happened was not important, that many people have gone through it, or that it happened so long ago that one must forget.  Remember something fundamental, if it is important to you, it is important.  And that, in itself, is sufficient. With therapy, the patient does not have to continue to re-live the trauma.

I have 20 years of experience working with people that have experienced complex traumas. After working hand-in-hand with patients, the results are satisfactory. In the therapeutic sessions, I combine energetic and psychological techniques.  With progress in treatment, one can feel more alive, can take control of his/her life and can connect again with one’s inner self, with nature and with the world.

 

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FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

May 2, 2015
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The fear of public speaking is very limiting and causes some people to have a "double life". On the one hand, they are good workers and diligent; on the other hand, they feel insecure and are afraid others will be aware of their weakness, which increases their panic. They will do anything to hide their reality, believing that its reputation could be compromised. A simple conversationbetween friends, speaking at a conference for 200 people, or reporting to your boss, can become a torture. They anticipate the worst, they feel they have no control over their body, voice breaking, trembling hands, etc.. 

miedo-hablar-publicoGRAt that moment, the tools you have learned in public speaking courses are not working; you just want to run to avoid humiliation and keep others from finding out about their truth.

The fear of public speaking can be so overwhelming that many people are willing to give up a management position or a good work opportunity. They end up feeling afraid of their own fear and will do anything: delegate, get sick, go to the bathroom, forget the glasses, etc., to avoid having to deal with the situation.

Psychotherapeutic treatment is aimed at executives; professionals and people who want to speak properly and calmly, either to a single person or to a thousand. Treatment is aimed at increasing their confidence and self esteem, to enjoy what they do, to accept the challenges that work and that life have offered. The person will start to get familiar with their potential and become their own agents of change, rather than ashamed of what is happening to them. 

In therapy, the person will understand that behind the fear of public speaking, there may be many unresolved traumas.  In therapy, we will seek the source of the fear and find the resources of each person.  

If you have any questions, I will gladly answer.

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SEXUAL ABUSE

May 2, 2015
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SURGICAL PROCEDURES

May 3, 2015
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“To be able to heal you must feel calm”

The necessity of undergoing surgery or the great advances that the medical field has undergone, do not matter. For most people being subject of a surgery may be a stressful situation both in the physical and psychological aspects. It is a proven fact that stress can slow down a recovery, affecting the immune system and in certain occasions may lead to a constriction of blood vessels, elevating blood pressure amongst other things, which will all lead to a slower and more painful recovery. If before the surgery a person can explore and work on his/her fears and concerns regarding it, as well as previous surgical experiences that may be traumatic, the person will be able to recover faster, will spend less time in the hospital, pain will be less, analgesics medication will be needed in a lower amount and he/she will be able to go back to daily activities a lot faster.

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