How PTSD Affects Family Members

As a society, we are finally realizing that trauma survivors need help. I’m glad to say that help is more forthcoming and that the medical and mental health professions are taking trauma more seriously. However, we often don’t see the subtleties, or the less obvious. What I’m addressing here are the secondary effects of trauma on…

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The Trauma of Racism

I grew up as a Chinese-American in NYC, starting in the late ’40s. It was the time after WWII where Americans were still smarting from the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. One of the first stereotypes I faced is that all Asians look alike – “Jap” is what they hurtled at me! Then, in the…

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The Terrifying Impact of Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Harsh words can kill your soul. It killed mine! The rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a boldfaced lie. It also discounts the impact of emotional abuse, minimizing its harmful effects on the victim. My dear friend and cohort, Adele, sent me a video link (now…

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What Happens in the Brain During Flashbacks

At the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) conference, I had the opportunity to see presentations and learn about the latest research in healing trauma. The first keynote address was The Healthy Aging Brain, presented by Lou Cozolino, Ph.D. He is a professor at Pepperdine University, has a private practice in…

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Healing Trauma Through Qigong

Qigong saved my life! This self-healing complementary modality built up my immune system following my bout with cancer. Aside from cancer, qigong has also helped me heal from other traumatic experiences.  My story and how I healed will be in another post. First, I want to give you a foundation for understanding qigong. This article, therefore, will…

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Child Sexual Abuse: My Story, Part 2

I had already been through years of my own therapy as well as therapy training. I had already worked through issues of physical and emotional abuse, the trauma of escaping from Communist China, racism, pre-cancerous malignancy, and two childhood respiratory illness in which I nearly died. One more thing was almost more than I could…

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Child Sexual Abuse: My Story, Part 1

Child sexual abuse, or incest, is one of the most insidious types of violence perpetrated on innocent children. Sadly, the statistics bear this out: * One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. 82% of all victims under…

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Children of Trauma Survivors

As a mother, I’m appalled when I realize what I had done to my daughter, even unknowingly. To this day, she still recalls having to keep quiet and tiptoe around me when she was just four years old because I would flip from numbness to rage in a split second.  Most of the day, however,…

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Bankruptcy as Trauma (and a Healing Meditation)

I’m feeling very grateful that my family and I are together, live in a lovely home, and are able to put food on the table. This wasn’t always the case in my family of origin. People don’t necessarily think of going through bankruptcy as trauma. But, not understanding U.S. laws, my parents didn’t even know they could…

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The Essential Piece to Healing Trauma

FORGIVENESS. But, what does it really mean to forgive? What I’ve learned for myself and working with others as a qigong healer/psychotherapist is that “forgiveness” is one of the most difficult things to do. Yet, in my opinion, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary in the healing of trauma – whether it is to forgive another, forgive…

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