Dirk Stemper

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Childhood trauma reactions: worksheet REST strategy

The REST strategy After having identified self-destructive and problematic behaviours — as well as their costs — there are needed distress tolerance strategies, the first of which is described there: the REST strategy. REST stands for:Relax,Evaluate,Situational intent, andTake action. Changing any habit is difficult. It requires knowledge about the action to be changed, a resolve …

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Childhood trauma: Self-defeating Coping Strategies Worksheet

The Self-defeating Coping Strategies Worksheet helps you to see the cost of unsuitable, though understandable, coping strategies. When emotional and physical pain feels more intense and occurs more frequently than it does for other people, the ensuing distress comes on more quickly and feels like an overwhelming tidal wave, and it never seems to end. …

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Childhood Trauma Disorder (cPTSD): free ACE test online

ACE test on childhood trauma “ACE” in ACE Test stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. This was the name of a study to assess childhood trauma among more than 17,000 adults in the USA. The study clearly showed the connection between childhood trauma and the mental and physical health of those affected in later life. A …

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Childhood trauma: thought-stopping against shame and fear

Thought-Stopping: stop your inner critic in his tracks A constant stream of thoughts, worries, perceptions, and information rushes through our minds like “internal noise.” Occasionally, we must interrupt this noise flow, particularly if it turns into vicious attacks from a toxic inner critic. A technique called thought-stopping can interrupt any chain of unwanted, nagging thoughts.  …

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Hope and resilience after childhood trauma

In 2008, the American Psychological Association published “The Road to Resilience” to help people deal with difficult events that change their lives. The death of a loved one, loss of a job, serious illness, terrorist attacks, and other traumatic events are very challenging life experiences. Many people react to such circumstances with a flood of …

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Childhood Trauma

The ugly secrets of childhood trauma

Unfortunately, suffering through childhood trauma can have many faces. All faces of childhood trauma are equally ugly, as they hit vulnerable human beings when we cannot cope with poor parenting. Yet, not all of these faces are easily recognizable to trauma survivors and the environment. There are four forms of childhood trauma: physical (including sexual), …

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Dealing with fears or loss of control

Bilateral stimulation with “butterfly embrace” and “reorientation in the present” against overwhelming anxiety Anxiety: butterfly hug (BLS) Note: Please only perform the butterfly hug for as long as it feels good. If anxiety, negative associations or negative emotions arise, stop the exercise by opening your eyes. Anxiety: reorientation in the present  It is often unavoidable …

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Zoom Boy Mirror

Confluence & conflict

Many people seem to regard harmony and peace as fundamental values, especially in their relationships. And sometimes cultures endorse a particularly low-conflict or conflict-averse interaction. Yet, it is precisely the argument, the conflict, and possibly even the tangible dispute that enables us to grow and feel as “we” ourselves. Now that doesn’t mean we have to fight …

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Breast cancer – What happens in the brain with a cancer diagnosis?

Insights from trauma therapy help us understand what goes on in our brain when we receive a cancer diagnosis. The inner and outer images perceived in a particular situation, the noises, the smells, the body sensations are initially stored on a “primitive” level in the so-called limbic system. The amygdala (almond kernel), in particular, is …

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