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Many factors are involved in the wide range of response to threat. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sometimes these symptoms resolve within a few days or weeks of a disturbing experience. That may relate to a variety of issues, and could include genetic make-up, earlier trauma experiences, or even somebody’s family dynamic. Traumatic early childhood experiences and attachment problems are well known precursors for someone’s ability to process trauma successfully. When many symptoms persist for weeks or months, or when they are extreme, that professional help may be indicated.


Traumatic experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust. This is so far away from what we would expect to feel about certain experiences, that it provokes reactions in us that feel strange and "crazy". Perhaps the most helpful thing we can say here is that even though these reactions are unusual and disturbing, they are typical and expectable.  These are mostly normal responses to abnormal events.      


PTSD Symptoms

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common diagnostic category used to describe symptoms arising from emotionally traumatic experience(s). This disorder presumes that the person experienced a traumatic event involving actual or threatened death or injury to themselves or others -- and where they felt as fear, helplessness or horror. Three additional symptom clusters, if they persist for more than a month after the traumatic event and cause clinically significant distress or impairment, make up the diagnostic criteria.

Louise Van Zee, Ph.D, MFT
Clinical Director
Tel: 626-812-0055

Garry van Zee, Ph.D, BCBA
Executive Director

Tel: 626-812-0055