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Trauma / PTSD

At Burning Tree Ranch, we understand that unresolved trauma often influences individuals’ mental health even if the person is not diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. When you have an intense, negative experience, it can stick with you. Your body has protective mechanisms to help you process and recover from trauma. However, trauma can cause distressing physical, psychological and emotional effects.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma occurs when you witness or experience an event that causes a distressing emotional or physical reaction. Although gruesome or horrifying events are likely to cause trauma, minor negative occurrences can also result in PTSD reactions.

Your body has a specific way of responding to danger. It may become overactive, putting you in a rage or making you feel like escaping everything altogether. This is a natural way of protecting you from extreme stress. After the threat has passed, your natural coping mechanisms should bring you back into balance, allowing you to process the incident and move on.

However, that doesn’t always happen. If you can’t fully process the experience, your brain and body store the experience. The “residue” from the trauma can result in unsettling, unpredictable and upsetting behavioral, emotional, physical and psychological consequences, including PTSD.

Meghan Bohlman, Clinical Director

“Trauma is one of the leading contributors to our client’s history of relapse.”

— Meghan Bohlman, LPC, LCDC, Trauma-Trained, Clinical  Director

Trauma vs. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In short, trauma is an experience that becomes trapped in your body and psyche. PTSD happens because your central nervous system can’t carry out the necessary processes to purge the distress. It may feel as though you’re unwittingly holding onto the experience.

Trauma can feel subtle or severe. PTSD occurs when the body reacts to a traumatic experience in an extreme way.

If you have PTSD, your brain may have trouble reconsolidating the memories of the event. Instead of stashing the occurrence in the category of “this happened, it’s over and I can continue my daily life,” your psyche may continue to perceive the incident as an existing threat.

Trauma & PTSD Symptoms

Trauma and PTSD symptoms can mimic the signs of other mental health disorders. The main symptom of PTSD is recurring, intrusive and upsetting memories of the distressing event. Less obvious indicators of PTSD include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of certain places or thoughts
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in cognition
  • New patterns of emotional reactions

Trauma therapy can reduce symptoms of PTSD and improve your quality of life.

Jesse Earwood, Executive Director

“We treat co-occurring disorders that have historically prevented our clients from maintaining permanent recovery.”

— Jesse Earwood, Executive Director of Burning Tree Ranch

Trauma and Addiction

At Burning Tree Ranch, we believe it is critical to address addiction and trauma during the same treatment episode.

As a chronic relapse facility specializing in the treatment of underlying mental health conditions, our focus is to address every diagnostic variable that may have prevented an earlier recovery opportunity.

We often discover a simple truth: previous treatment providers lacked the necessary time and expertise to meaningfully address the relationship between addiction and mental health.

As a result, relapse occurred.

Our ability to address trauma and addiction concurrently provides our clients the best possible opportunity to create a life of excellence beyond sobriety.

find recovery,
not just sobriety



LMSW, LCDC | Counselor
Kristina Robertson serves as Counselor at Burning Tree Ranch. Holding both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work, Kristina’s greatest joy is “watching our clients learn to love themselves again.” An avid equestrian, mother to twenty-one horses, and all-around animal lover, Kristina serves as a bright shining example of long-term recovery in action. Her commitment to whole person health: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual makes her an invaluable member of the Burning Tree Ranch clinical team. As a distinguished Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Zeta member, Kristina believes deeply in each client’s pursuit of becoming their best selves.

"who is a burning tree client?"

Beth Legacki, Burning Tree Ranch Alumni