Signs of Impaired Integration (aka Trauma!)

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What is Integration?

Integration occurs when a traumatic memory has been properly stored in your brain. It means that the traumatic memory gets properly stored, so that you no longer get affected by it in your day-to-day experiences.


A traumatized brain struggles to integrate traumatic experiences into correctly stored memories. This is why so many survivors are trauma report feeling “stuck”. The memory (or memories) is quite literally stuck in it’s raw, unprocessed form.

The result? Symptoms of PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, anxiety, avoidance, depression, difficulty with managing relationships, etc.

Signs of impaired integration


Things always need to be done a certain way. As a result, this creates difficulties with mental and emotional flexibility. Seeing things in black and white. All or nothing thinking.



Being in a constant state of chaos feels like you’re always in crisis management mode. When stuck in a constant state of chaos, you’re unable to access calm, which can have a significant impact on your physical health, too.


It’s important to remember that PTSD is a brain injury, so trauma focused therapies, such as EMDR, work to promote integration of traumatic memories so that they are correctly stored on your brain.


The result? Changes in your thoughts, feelings and behavior. No more black and white thinking. No more constant crisis. Finally feeling about to access and maintain a calm state.

Emotional Reactivity

When you have a strong, intense reaction to a present day event, and that reaction feels stronger than what the situation calls for, you may have impaired integration.

Ideally, we want to be able to thoughtfully respond to situations that are stressful, instead of “over” reacting.  It’s important to note that these overreactions do not happen intentionally. They are almost automatic, because your brain does not realize that the trauma is over.  Therefore, it’s reacting as if the trauma is still happening with that intense reaction.

How To Help Those With Impaired Integration?

Impaired Integration is a hallmark sign of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Thankfully, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is the #1 Treatment for PTSD.  Finding a skilled EMDR Therapist will be the best way to help you integrate those memories so that your present is no longer affected by your past.

Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling in Scarsdale, NY

Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, PLLC, is a wellness and counseling center in Westchester, NY.


Our therapists specialize in the most evidenced-based treatments for children and parents, teens and adults and first responders. Furthermore, our services include therapy for: anxiety, trauma, behavioral disorders, improving relationships and eating disorders.


Lastly, our approach includes EMDR, CBT, DBT, CPT, and Mindfulness.


Contact us today for more information.

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