Living Peacefully in a Violent World


This intervention has been studied on a limited basis with post-deployment veterans with initial positive results.

Clinical hypnosis can sometimes be used to reduce the symptoms of PTSD, and they have found that people who have PTSD are easy to hypnotize. This can put you into a relaxed state and help you begin to change your thoughts about the experience. There is limited research that shows the effectiveness of hypnosis alone for full healing of PTSD symptoms.


Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people to identify the negative thoughts and emotions and replace them with more true self-statements. There are several books available for self-help. A great book that helps replace old negative thoughts with more true beliefs while reviewing all the options for healing is “Healing from Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life.”

Many can complete the process of changing their thought patterns on their own if they are focused, motivated, and their symptoms are mild. When symptoms are more severe, professional assistance can be powerful. Look for a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or Psychologist with trauma expertise.

Bilateral stimulations (SB) can provide relief. SB can include sounds, tapping, or eye movements that require the activation of the left and right portions of your brain. Going for a walk in the woods can access SB naturally, while the ocean naturally produces SB. SB music including “UpLevel” can be purchased from Amazon. People will often report a great relief through pairing meditation with this special kind of music, although little research has been done to confirm reports. Again, with more chronic symptoms you made need support.

At a professional level, bilateral stimulation is included in EMDR. EMDR has been found to provide permanent relief from symptoms in fewer sessions or with less outside homework than other therapies. It has been approved for use at the Veterans Administration. For complicated or chronic trauma, this is the treatment of choice. People who have been through traditional talk therapy unsuccessfully are often amazed at the progress they can make with this type of therapy. Again, a LMFT, LCSW or psychologist can administer EMDR.

This is just a brief overview of the impact of trauma on living peacefully and some options for healing. I hope that this article give you an overview view of trauma, its symptoms and their impact on living in peace, and available treatments, so you can get healing yourself or be a support to someone else that is ready to heal. People do not have to suffer forever, there are many options available based on a person’s unique needs and preferences.

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