Our Approach To Education

Project Hope education services sends the message that trauma symptoms are not an indication that we are flawed, rather that we have been overwhelmed with disturbing experience.  We respond to highly stressful events with predictable and understandable symptoms that we can learn to manage, reduce, and often eliminate with proper self-care and professional help. 

Project Hope services provide participants with an overview of how we can help our mind body system to learn to put the trauma events solidly in the past.  We are then free to move to a brighter future, relieved of the symptoms that keep us connected to past trauma. 

Project Hope services are a helpful complement to psychotherapy.  They are also useful for those seeking to support a loved one or for anyone seeking a better understanding of trauma recovery.

In the last twenty years there has been increasing understanding that many of the problems we face with our health, relationships, work lives, and emotions stem from the way threatening and disturbing experiences are stored in our bodies and minds.  Rather than being stored as "past events," these distressing experiences generate uncomfortable body sensations, emotions, and beliefs as though the event were still a present-day threat to our well-being.  We may become avoidant, fearful, depressed, and prone to self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.  We don't recognize these symptoms as "left-overs" of a traumatic event.  Typically we label them as evidence that there is something wrong with us or our current life situation.  

Often we have many things that happen to us in life that we say, " I got over that,or that didn't affect me." Yet we often experience loops of disturbing thoughts and experiences that reenact the event and will not let up.  We may feel keyed up or emotionally numb and shut down.  Our sleep, eating, and daily interactions with loved ones may suffer as a result of how this stress has now been stored in our nervous systems as trauma. In our daily lives we are often prone to intrusive memories, disturbing dreams, and general feelings of anxiety and panic.  In an attempt to lesson symptoms, we may find ourselves avoiding more and more activities.  These are just some of the symptoms that often stem from having experienced a highly disturbing event or series of events.  


Understanding Our Painful Experiences
A Class
Monday, January 12, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fee: $35/per person (sliding fee available)

Orange Hill Wellness Center
401 Orange St. 
Charlottesville,  VA  22902
Call 434 - 987-1818 to register

This class creates an informal and supportive atmosphere to explore the current understanding of how distressing events can lead to a range of symptoms impacting our quality of life.  Understanding the basic neurobiology of how these symptoms develop helps lift some of the self-blame and begins to restore hope.  We will explore the many paths to healing, and what to look for in your own recovery process as "road signs" indicating you are on the right path.  We blend science, heart, and our own experience as trauma therapists (and fellow human beings) to celebrate the universal potential for restored well-being.  

This class serves as in introduction to upcoming trauma recovery groups.  Traumas may be connected to abuse, neglect, problematic familial relationships, accidents, violence, medical issues, work experiences, natural disasters, or war experiences.