What is trauma therapy? What is resilience and more importantly, what is the goal of trauma therapy? Today I talk with trauma specialist Dr. Alexa Altman about all things trauma therapy and wellness. We decided to start by defining trauma. Trauma is when we are bumped out of our resilient zone, meaning that we do not have the tools to calm ourselves back down and keep moving forward. Instead we may go into fight, flight or freeze in order to get through it. Our fight and flight responses are what mobilizes us to protect ourselves. It helps in the moment, but if that response continues for a long time and we don't get any reprieve from it, that would be when we would diagnose PTSD or C-PTSD. If we are unable to run away or fight back we may go into a freeze response. Alexa explains this as dissociation or feeling like we are cut off from all that is going on. Just like fight or flight, this helps us survive what is going on because the other 2 options are not available. The whole goal of trauma therapy is to practice bringing ourself out of fight ,flight or freeze and back into the resilient zone. The more we do that the better we get at it and the larger our resilient zone gets. Then we are able to handle more and more life stressors without getting thrown off or bumped out of our resilient zone. I hope this was helpful, and as always please share! Alexa and I filmed many more videos that will come out each Monday this month! My hope is that her expertise helps you better understand trauma and how we can work to overcome it. xox
My video on EMDR: mnsoft.info/hd/video/e5zFuqqPe5h7h3uuERCH!
I'm Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos!
Every Tuesday & Friday I post a journal prompt to help keep you motivated and working on yourself. mnsoft.infojoin
Ordering my book "Are u ok?"
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  • Kati Morton
    Kati Morton

    Please share the video on your social media (twitter, facebook reddit etc) By sharing you never know who you might be helping :) Thanks for watching! xoxo

    • X X
      X X

      Kati Morton this is amazing!! I didn't realize I had this ,I thought I was weird 😔😂

    • Paul M
      Paul M

      Very informative 👌🏼

    • sneakysheepyNZ447

      Can being bullied badly in the past be trauma? I was beaten down my first year at a boarding tertiary school about my looks and personality it got pretty bad to a point I was generally scared for my safety at the time I got really depressed and even got to the point I was ready to take my own life. I got referred to I think a therapist/medicaly qualified person (I don't know the name) I was put on medication that if I'm honest I never took. But was never really given the chance to tell them what was happening this ment I felt trapped where I was I was and unable to get out and spent the rest of the year being a punching bag for other students. There was also the added pressure of feeling I couldn't quit and go home because I didn't want to fail my parents . I feel that I'm paying a heavy price for my past experience but I just don't know how to talk to any one about it, I've being seeing a therapist and they are awesome but personally I feel I'm slamming my head against a wall because I'm just to scared to speak up. Why would any one care now when in my past they gave me meds and then moved on to some one else it's a very conflicting feeling. Any advice ?

    • S. C.
      S. C.

      1001 Ways To Wonder ]

    • Tasha Hocking
      Tasha Hocking

      You have helped a lot of people. I've learned so much about psychology thanks to you.

  • angela ross
    angela ross

    I live my life in hyper vigilance and freeze. And flight. I was trying to shop for groceries this week. It was 8pm, hardly anyone was in the store, but when I went into the cereal aisle hit overwhelm start balling and I had to leave the store. If I’m at home I have fog brain where I dissociate. Feels like Rick asked me to fold myself 12 times.

  • Laura Grant
    Laura Grant

    Just wanted to say you are both beautiful and have amazing hair

  • Soumia Moujane
    Soumia Moujane

    Hi I have suffered from being jealous and envious around the women my age. And I stopped going to social events where I felt small and like a child around them. I realised I have panic attacks, nightmares, bad dreams and feel sweaty and hyperventilating and flashbacks. When I was around them. As I was mollicoddled by my family as a child. And they weren't. Now in my adulthood I can't stop reliving my childhood as I was mollicoddled and my family didn't have any belief that I can do anything and they use to call me horrible names associated with my health. And my family say I can't do things for myself. And I avoid places and the women my age that bring on memories and flashbacks and nightmares and trembling. And my family didn't let me grow up. And every time I go to a social event where the women my age are I end up having a panic attack at nights after the event when I am a sleep.

  • Vilely Blue
    Vilely Blue

    lol I need help :)

  • Opinunate ted
    Opinunate ted

    The part about freezing was super helpful. I know that I do this. I know that it springs from stuff that happened in childhood, where I could neither fight nor run away, where I was asked questions and every possible answer would be wrong. There has been plenty of stuff before and since, but that seemed to be a pivotal event, framing my experiences after that. So what happened since is, if I get into a conflict with a partner or friend or something like that, I start to feel like there is no right answer, that anything I say will be wrong. I can't focus on the moment, and I just start to shut down. I know what is going on around me, but I can't talk, and I can't move. It is very frightening to not be able to talk because using words is pretty much the only thing I do well. Frozen, unable to talk or move, feeling trapped. One at least once occasion, I bit my hand just to keep me from drifting away completely. As an adult, I worked on it, but then I had some difficult health problems and hospital stays, which added another trauma layer. I am glad to have it confirmed that freezing is a disassociation and a trauma response. Sadly, my Medicaid covers only basic talk therapy (which just makes me anxious, talking about problems but getting no solutions) or med management (I do now take anti-depressants and they help somewhat.) Frankly, I think that trauma is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, and every therapist should be trained to treat it. But this is not so, and the poor often do not have access to the specialized therapy need. I may or may not be on the autistic spectrum. I think I am, but one therapist thought that all my symptoms could be explained by trauma alone. She did a form of Somatic Experiencing which is the only form of therapy that I have ever found really helpful.

  • Peregrination

    I appreciate that chronic illness was mentioned. I developed an autonomic neurological condition at 18 and had to move back in with my parents. But basically, over those years I kept trying to treat my parents as partners to help fight the situation--I had all sorts of disabilities, and I had to predict and prepare for situations, and usually with help from them. Only, often I didn't get that help, not on a mental level. So I'm bouncing between hypervigilance and desperately trying to zone out, and I never know when my parents are going to be helpful, interfere with something that works for me, or belittle my concerns. I was overwhelmed, and it built for those 10 years. I didn't know how to dial it back, and between finances, the stigma of mental health (often used as an excuse to invalidate less chronical physical illnesses), and basically at a point of being triggered by well-meaning people that offer advice that completely ignores the role of the illness (many depression coping guides bring up everyday activities that weren't an option for me at the time), so I was super pent up. My stress range was so narrow, and I always felt it narrowing more, even as my physical health improved some. Incidentally, when I took a chance to live somewhere else for a few months, it was amazing how quickly I became a different person, physically and mentally. I was completely within a new range. When I had to go back to my parents, it took a few months but my range went back down--mental and physical issues easily trigger. At least now, though, I know that I'm capable and what coping mindset to find when I go out of range. Unfortunately, when you've been out of school and work for so long and still have some medical disabilities that limit your career choices, it takes time to become financially independent and find a safe space to turn to. But I'm working on it. It's a massive war that batters me periodically and slows progress, but I'm clinging to the memory of how well I did and all I need to do is make enough money to leave.

  • Madison Drew
    Madison Drew

    It's super scary to turn off survival mode

  • Madison Drew
    Madison Drew

    Wow you made dissociation so much more sense cuz I been stuck in freeze

  • Lowana Maxwell
    Lowana Maxwell

    Thank you so much for making this video things are starting to make sense to me now I've lived my entire life trying to figure out what is wrong with me I lived a traumatic childhood it started from when I can remember till I left home, I moved in with an alcoholic who had two beautiful girls I worked really hard to take care of them financially there were some beautiful moments with me and the girls but for the most part I can remember it being very tumultuous because he was very angry with me all the time he was mentally abusive and yes physically abusive I didn't share that with the girls of course they saw the mental abuse but the physical abuse they didn't 10 years later I went back to my home place after he cheated on me in my mother's house I remarried a man I did not love but my mother and he decided I was too sick to be alone and he loved me and said he would love me and I would fall in love with him because he would treat me kind. My mother fell ill and I try to care for her for 5 years he told me he didn't love me anymore and I wasn't attractive to him anymore because I was taking care of my mother, eventually he went to church and said that he had punished me for every year and fell he should come clean because he had went to the altar some of the things that he said he was doing to me we're so amazing that my brain could not even wrapped around the fact that he could do those things on purpose I hang in there 10 years again and I kept questioning myself why the first one I had a reason I couldn't take the children with me they weren't mine but why 10 years for the second one? and you just answered my question. today I am 46 years old celibate for 6 years had a boyfriend after my second marriage thought he was knight in shining armor because he was kind never experienced that before. Didn't last what you answer for me is this I have never found that person that makes me feel safe a person who does not lie scream, hit, belittle, Etc there has never been a safe person in my life at this moment I am in the shutdown mode I never understood it quite the way you put it thank you so much it explains everything I never feel safe

  • I W
    I W

    Has anyone done studies on large families? B/c I notice the first 4 kids seem better able to cope, compared to the last 4 of 11 kids. My nervous system was hijacked. Thank YOU both for the helpful video.

  • Joe OConnor
    Joe OConnor

    Balance no flames

  • Joe OConnor
    Joe OConnor

    Even social energy is in constant distribution and transformation

  • Alexis Reid
    Alexis Reid

    You and Alexa gave me the courage to talk my counselor about trauma

  • The Soft Glow of Brightly Burning Hope
    The Soft Glow of Brightly Burning Hope

    I'm really glad my therapist doesnt talk like Alexa, I think that would probably bother me on therapy

  • Savanna Harness
    Savanna Harness

    Can u truly heal from trauma and toxic relationships?

  • YowzaKat

    Brilliant, thank you!

  • Barbara Heffernan
    Barbara Heffernan

    Thank you Kati and Dr Altman. I really liked your metaphor of "bumping".

  • X X
    X X

    This is so true ,thank you ladies xx

  • Dave Duvalier
    Dave Duvalier

    Maybe working on your own resilience and not blaming others might be more helpful? This sounds like made up nonsense for snowflakes :)

  • laura c
    laura c

    FIRST you need to feel free and be safe not trapped in a,trauma provoking situation.

  • kimmi w
    kimmi w

    Wow..skulls and bones dont lie..long neck..thin arms..big hands..wow

  • Denise Locke
    Denise Locke

    I really enjoyed this clipboard and how you broke down the fight or flight experiences. I'm someone who suffers from dissociation and ptsd and anxiety. This episode was so helpful. It explains what I'm going through. Thanks so much. This was helpful

  • KMaggi 3
    KMaggi 3

    Wow. This is the best description I've ever heard. You just explained my whole life in less 14 mins. I've been living in High Zone/Low Zone for as long as I can remember. I'm just now beginning treatment for PTSD. Thank you guys.

  • Abigail Walton
    Abigail Walton

    Like if you’ve been raped

  • Abigail Walton
    Abigail Walton

    This was super helpful because I’m looking into trauma therapy to come to terms with my rape. I’m gonna do it. Thanks so much

  • junaidesse

    This helped me IMMENSELY You're changing lives Kati So grateful! 💚

  • Iris Starker
    Iris Starker

    Wow it was crazy informative, thank you.

  • Yo Yoyo
    Yo Yoyo

    omg I need this so bad right now, ive just been through an extremely stressful month of non stop emotional abuse by my mom and exposure to my parents and their extremely toxic relationship. one day i just couldnt physically look or speak to my mom anymore, and i started just flinching at her sight. I have to put it into perspective and recover

  • Butterfly Magic with Hot Tea
    Butterfly Magic with Hot Tea

    Yes! Subscribed!

  • Pacer

    Very good video.

  • up 3
    up 3

    FROZEN.... NO safe place ever... no help in sight.?

  • Areli Miranda
    Areli Miranda

    Thank you so much for this video!!🙌❤ The presentation and explanation of the information was amazing!! Will share for sure

  • Diane Diane
    Diane Diane

    Amazingly helpful! 🌟 What is the last name of the guy who does Somatic Treatment- Peter ?

    • Dr. Alexa Altman
      Dr. Alexa Altman

      Diane Diane Peter Levine. 🙏

  • Melissa

    Do you know anything about brainspotting? Could you do a video about that? Is it the same as EMDR? My therapist wants to do this with me and I'm scared...

  • Adele G
    Adele G

    Informative though the delivery is a bit giggly, animated and high schoolish. Makes it difficult to watch and listen to this deep subject.

    • Wolf Gang
      Wolf Gang

      Adele G keep in mind high schoolers and younger also face trauma. This is for all audiences.

  • Celestial Guardian Alliance
    Celestial Guardian Alliance

    This is very helpful at my stage of therapy to understand what’s going on. I wish you could collaborate with her again in DID.

  • skione n
    skione n

    Excellent stuff, thanks for sharing

  • Kristina Wojtaszek
    Kristina Wojtaszek

    I don't know if you would call it trauma exactly, but I wonder if those with Autism and high functioning Autism spend more of their time above or below their natural threshold because they have a much smaller threshold-- simply because they are not as socially adept, and spend so much of their time trying to logically work out things that come automatically to the rest of us, and thus they are almost always in a highly charged and defensive mode, and often feeling quite socially vulnerable. Could this model be adapted for the social stress experienced by those on the Autism spectrum?

  • Alice Edmunds
    Alice Edmunds

    Can one be on "freeze" for a number of years? Only to jump to action on the other spectrum for a limited period of time and then down to "freeze" again. Like when one used to have a lot of vitality, but its gone? Add to that loss of husband, loss of job and a country about to go into civil war? - living on the edge financially and on a wing and a prayer after living in fear in other ways before the freedom of leaving a toxic relationship? I go from frantic super focus to sleeping for days and I feel guilty. But I know what happened to us was not normal and what we're facing is not normal. But then .... define normal in an insane world? If I forget to pray in the morning, I'm done! But I do go from total "freeze" to "frenzy" and would appreciate a website or information I can research on what it is I'm supposed to be looking for to help me understand. Many thanks.

  • Amy Anderson
    Amy Anderson

    Alex's voice and words are very soothing. Helped me titrate.

  • Cora

    Watching Kati's videos is my way of getting back into my 'optimal zone', its like a way of coping in between therapy sessions for me.

  • Ketikatz

    The whole "freeze" aspect really spoke to me. I notice that I tend to do that a lot when I'm in situations I feel I have no way out of. I can't move and my mind basically says "if I just stay still maybe everything will stop" of course I'm normally never right. But the way you guys talked about it made me feel a little less alone that I do it. I always thought it was stupid of me to respond that way and that no one else would do that

  • 20 20
    20 20

    It’s all interesting, till it’s yours. It’s hard and exhausting. I’m so tired. I just keep checking in with my resilience. Sigh

  • Boyd W
    Boyd W

    Traumas like: at age 5 being with my parents when they found a guy who committed suicide. A cow trying to trample me at age 7 and at age 8 our family Doctor getting really really aggressive with a suction device as they tried to clean out my digestive system for stomach x-rays. Add to that two parents with explosive tempers. And there’s more. God forgot to insert care and empathy when he made my family.

  • Being Your True Self Coaching
    Being Your True Self Coaching

    The high zone looks like anxiety. Kati do you think that this is misdiagnosed often as anxiety?

  • H Factor64
    H Factor64

    THANK YOU......you two. Believe me.......thank you. I'm at the beginning......but it's a start.

  • Ashish sharma
    Ashish sharma

    450 injection 15 month blood miss(bad m bimari ka ghar 10 lakh se upar kidney opetation m or hajro m diab thyra dwai , comma, paralysis problem

  • pngila

    good stuff Kati! Big Up Dr. Alexa.

  • Not just another guy
    Not just another guy

    I think I’ve lived in the high zone since I was a kid, because I constantly ”attack” people. Not like physically or anything, I juat mean that I get super defensive and go from 0-100 in a second. It’s not like I’m mad, I just REACT to EVERYTHING. Critisism, injust treatment, sometimes even just being looked at or bumbed into by accident. Turns me on like a light switch and BAM! BACK OFF. I feel really bad about it because I’m really a very chill and tolerant person, but then something happens and people thing I’m crazy. I’m barely aware of it, and I can’t control my emotions if someone or something triggers me. I can even take it out on random stuff (which is better of course) so like if I hit my toe on a chair, I would pick up the chair and throw it against the floor until it’s broken. Anything that HURTS me physically or emotionally triggers these reactions. I’ve been like this since I was abused by my parents for 10+ years. It was emotional/mental abuse, a complete emotional neglect, bullying, some physical abuse, there was alcoholism involved, late nights with strangers in our house and loud parties all the time, I couldn’t sleep or do my homework and I was basically hiding in my room 24/7, frozen from fear and anxiety, and that was the state pf mind I was in for all of those years. Constantly scared or worried and on the lookout for ”the predator”. Still to this day I avoid those people all together, as much as I can. Undortunately I’m forced to meet them at some family occasions and that just makes it worse. I would like to avoid completely, but nobody understands, and they don’t believe me and I’m pretty much still being treated like a pile of dog shit by most in the family. I don’t know why. I’ve never hurt anyone. When I ask them they tell me it’s because I am weird, difficult to understand and because I’m not as social as they are. I’m think I’m starting to learn to stand up to them though. It’s a fine balance between not exploding and throwing stuff, and not quietly tolerating it, but I’m trying to learn to just say it like: ”That is not a proper way of speaking to someone” or ”I dont’t like it when you say that, so please respect that.” or simply ”Why are you treating me like this?”. But I’ve also shut many of them out completely, and it feels good actually. Like a ”ENOUGH” statement. Then they can talk about how weird I am with each other, but I won’t be a part of that anymore.

  • Fideo Vilm
    Fideo Vilm

    I'm so, so glad I've found out about freeze and dissociation/derealisation. Fight or flight didn't fit my responses and I've always felt like my mental ill health didn't fit into any of the categories I was hearing about which was really upsetting in itself. I feel like there is hope!! Thank you so much for your videos x

  • The_Jedi_ Priestess
    The_Jedi_ Priestess

    I need her as a psychologist please

  • Storm Aurora
    Storm Aurora

    Thanks so much for this. I had 4 years of big T's as a child. Over the past few years I have had 3 more big T's which seems to have tipped me full time into the high zone. I am terrified of everything, any noise, people outside, my toaster popping up! I can only eat 4 foods as I feel that others will poison me! I am severely agoraphobic, have GAD and panic disorder amongst other things. I cannot go to sleep until 4 or 5 am incase someone breaks into my house. I cannot have any medical treatment even though I desperately need some, as I am too scared. My life is a living hell. I have never been offered any treatment for my PTSD.

  • Pauline Fisher
    Pauline Fisher

    What if you have a ton of big events over a long period of time without ever feeling safe?

  • Bambi Pardis
    Bambi Pardis

    I quit my Mental health job

  • EmuEmi

    Thank you so much for sharing these videos to the world. I have been suffering 24/7 depersonalization for 7 years. I also developed very specific phobias at the same time. After watching your stuff, I realized that there might actually be hope for me in getting out of this brain fog/high. I found someone and was diagnosed with PTSD about a week or so again. And I’m weirdly happy to know that I’m not dying or insane. I’m starting trauma therapy now and while I know it won’t be an instant fix, I feel hopeful that I just might be able to reconnect to my surroundings and feel awake again. Thank you.

    • Steam Curator: Missi the Achievement Huntress
      Steam Curator: Missi the Achievement Huntress

      EmuEmi it Will get better with help, life can become normal (again). Speaking from my own experience. Good luck with the therapy, and don't Lose hope!

  • Skywise

    Ive been depressed or meh and stressed most of my life if not all of it. Certainly feels like it sometimes.

  • The Ordinary Girl
    The Ordinary Girl

    Amazing video, I never got help for my traumatic past and have been dealing with hypervigilence for years. This makes so much sense to me, the feeling of not feeling safe. Thank you now i feel i can take some steps to heal. Any other books or videos you recommend that dives deeper into this topic of safety and how to get there?

  • Nina Rhoades
    Nina Rhoades

    Wow! This is so informative. I've had various traumas in my life but a month ago I had a traumatic experience at the dentist and I still haven't recovered. Followed closely by another panic attack and fainting episode last week:(

  • Ray Wood
    Ray Wood

    I'm starting EMDR next week and the zone visualization was very helpful. I have gone off the cliff with my trauma. I mean that literally, I really went off a cliff in a car and into a trauma ward. But I did find out my last words would be 'oh, shit!' Big T for sure. I hope this therapy helps me get into the zone.