As a health care professional, I dedicate myself to helping those learning to live with the tormenting effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) generally due to a onetime direct or indirect exposure to or witnessing of a traumatic event. This includes individuals who have experienced a life-threatening event such as a violent military combat experience, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, a gunshot wound, a serious accident, or a physical or sexual assault — even emergency responders who help victims during such traumatic events.
I also help those suffering from another form of PTSD, Complex PTSD (C-PTSD), also known as Captivity Abuse or Chronic Inescapable Trauma. This form of the disorder is due to repeated/ongoing interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape resulting in emotional shutdown, exhaustion, depression, despair, and the loss of self-regulation. Cases of type of this disorder include those exposed to childhood sexual abuse or abandonment, domestic violence, victims of forced prostitution, kidnapping, sex trafficking, or those who have been held as hostages, prisoners of war, or people who have survived living in concentration camps.
The impact of this form of trauma is very different from the onetime or short-lived trauma seen in PTSD. The effect of the repeated/ongoing trauma, caused by another person, changes the structure and function or the brain at a core level, thus altering the way the survivor views the world, other people, and themselves in profound ways.
The changes primarily affect areas of the brain* that play a big role in both our memory function and how we respond to stressful situations.
* the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex
My approach to helping these individuals is to teach them mindfulness-oriented interventions, which are now known to create positive structural and functional changes in the brain ~ in other words, fix the affected areas of the brain through the process known as neuroplasticity.
Regarding my background, I hold a Ph.D. Experimental Immunopathology and am a Certified Mindfulness Interventions Instructor and Consultant, a Certified Life Coach, and Registered Yoga Instructor. I am also trained in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. Furthermore, I served as a Medical Service Corps Office in the United States Navy during the Vietnam Conflict. I am the published author of Chaos & Bliss ~ A Journey to Happiness, Anguish and Joy ~ a Journey to Serenity, Mindfulness for the Common Man to Survive Trauma, Abuse and Recovery, as well as numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles.
I am a frequent speaker at the Betty Ford Center for Addiction Treatment and the University of California, San Bernardino County.