Settled in for a deep sleep, 
comfortable in my bed and safe 
in my home the ground begins 
to shake.  I missed the initial 
shaking lost in my slumber.  Suddenly, I awaken to a horrible grinding and growling coming from every direction of my bedroom.  The ground is moving violently and I hang on for dear life to a bed that is trying to throw me off.  Things are crashing all around me.  Don’t let go, just don’t let go.  Oh God, what is happening?  

Flashes of blue light from exploding transformers illuminate the room with rapid brilliance then fade through the curtains of my bedroom window.  Things keep crashing to the ground; floor boards and wall studs creak and moan threateningly as the angry earth throws my home in its fit of rage.   Will it hold?  I’m frightened it won’t.  It feels as if the world is coming to an end.  Its fury is a monster released upon my home and me and it’s out to destroy us both.  No time to think, just hold onto the bed, just hold on.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it stops.  Only the sound of car alarms echoing from within the blackness of the skyline can be heard.  One by one, they too become silent; then nothing.  No sound, no light, just an ear crushing silence blanketing the night on a devastated landscape. 

House to house we begin knocking on doors; “Is everybody alright?” can be heard echoing in the night up and down the street.  Children put in cars, injured attended to; neighbors who have never before spoken to each other standing shoulder to shoulder helping one another.  

When we have done what we can, we gather together in the street dazed and shocked.  We come together to admire the now visible Milky Way whose brilliance, for the first time, can be seen from our street in the absolute darkness.  Like a silent sentry it stands above us giving comfort in the stillness as we wait for the approaching daylight and the dawn of an unknown future.

Earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and all other disasters, natural or manmade, can be devastating on our sense of self and sense of safety.  We are aware that, in Southern California, we live in an earthquake prone area.  However, their lack of predictable activity and the long lag times between them can lull us into complacency.  The same can be said for terrorist attacks as well.  

We must live with an underlying, and reasonable, anxiety that a major disaster could happen.  However, people are very adaptable by nature and in order to live with this chronic anxiety, we learn to turn it off.  Over time, we become less responsive to the anxiety signals that are intended to protect us from danger.  

This is the fight/flight response and we need to dull it to go on with life in a normal way.  A good example of this can be observed in modern Israel where terrorist attacks have become a way of life. Yes, they are tragic, but people adapt and life goes on around them.  We are designed, as human beings, to do this.  We are very adaptable, so we are adapting to our environment of anxiety by turning it off.  An unfortunate consequence of this natural adaptation is to not fully prepare for the possible crisis.  

After a disaster hits, we feel disbelief and shock.  We can become disoriented, have difficulty making decisions and experience feelings of anxious and moodiness.  Often, people will feel apathy and emotional numbing accompanied by depression and reoccurring thoughts about the event.  Insomnia and nightmares are also common.  These are all signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

The two strongest factors influencing and individual’s recovery from PTSD are the intensity of the life stressors that were occurring before the trauma and the social support network they have with others.  Negative social support, such as family members’ critical comments about the length of time taken for recovery, can make a victim’s recovery time drag on even longer.

A trauma victim must start dealing with his or her feelings immediately after the event, or they can become harmful to their mental and physical health.  Here are some tips for handling those feelings.  Talk about the event as much as you want by sharing your feelings with those who are willing to listen.  Spend more time with friends and family.  Make sure to care for yourself by getting enough rest, exercise and proper nutrition.  

As you are able, return to as normal of a routine as possible.  Meaning, if possible, eat meals at the usual time, go to bed at the usual time, etc.  Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t try to cope by yourself.  Receiving help is not a sign of weakness.  Help others.  This can be a wonderful way of regaining a personal sense of fulfillment and empowerment during a time when personal power appears to have been stripped from us at a moment’s notice.  

Allow children to be more dependent than usual.  Often, children and adolescents will temporarily regress to acting younger than their age.  Allow this to occur without shaming them.  And of course, avoid drugs and excessive drinking.  They can ultimately compound the stress by creating additional problems during a time of crisis.

It is common for people to not feel the symptoms of PTSD until after the adrenalin rush of the initial shock has worn off.  It can take from days to months for this to occur.  This is why some people behave as strong, steady, clearheaded heroes during the initial experience of a trauma and end up depressed or suffering nightmares after the event has passed.  

Given the horror of a disaster, there is also opportunity for personal growth.  A disaster can “shake” us out of our old patterns of thinking by allowing us an opportunity to view our selves and lives differently.  By helping others, we meet the real self that lies beneath the surface of our once complacent exterior.  And, like the Milky Way, it is often best seen in the darkest of moments. 


Call today 
to set up a free consultation for more information on Crisis Counseling in Los Angeles
Crisis Counseling 
& Post Traumatic Stress Therapy

Counseling & Psychotherapy in Los Angeles
Individual & Couples Counseling
Dr. James E. Walton, PhD

lic. MFT32040
Helpful pages
Trauma: What Is It?
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Dr. Jim's your source for mental health tips, and  overall guide to wellbeing.  
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Dr. Jim discusses trauma on the Greg Mantel Show
A World of Change at Your Finger Tips
Recognizing the dramatic achievements made by his patients using hypnosis, Los Angeles counselor, James E. Walton, Ph.D. envisioned making his work available to a global audience.  The resulting 'labor of love' is the "Dr. Walton Series," an audio series which is a powerful tool to help people resolve conflicts, change behaviors and improve relationships.
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Available on, iTunes, and CDbaby
Dr. Jim receives the "Best Album" Award from Brian Whitney, founder and chairman of the JPF Independent Music Awards
Dr. Jim giving a speech at the 2009 JPF Awards after receiving 1st place for the Ultimate Weight Loss album
As a winner of a JPF Music Award, you're part of a special club and it never goes away.  Our awards in 2009 will likely stand for a long time as the largest music awards ever conducted in world history.  Because we are returning to a yearly structure, it's unlikely that the 2010 awards will be as large.  So you have a distinction that may well stand for quite some time.  To survive 17 months including 5 preliminary rounds of screening and then rise to the very top of the final nominees is really impressive.   We had entries from 163 countries and nominees from app. 100.  Only 80 songs out of 560,000 won an award and only 93 albums out of over 42,000 won an award.   That's still mind boggling to me.  You should be proud of the accomplishment knowing that there were no industry politics or insider deals or special treatment and it certainly wasn't just a popularity contest.  I've only met a handful of you in person before these awards.   You did this 100% on your own and based solely on your music moving people.  We had over 10,000 judges assigned in the final round alone.  

This is what Brian, founder of JPF, has to say about the JPF Award winners
Dr. Jim receiving the award in Nashville, TN
August 2009
Dr. Walton's Ultimate Weight Loss album won for "Best Album of the Year" in self-help at the 2009 JPF Music Awards.  
The Dr. Walton Series

If you’re ready to unlock the unlimited power of your mind, then Dr. Walton's Self-Help Series is the tool that can take you there.  Dr. Walton has created an amazingly effective series of audio programs based on over 20 years of experience that is unlike any other on the market today.  His years of experience on the radio as host of Shrink Rap and frequent guest appearances on television have gone into making this audio series as entertaining as it is informative.
Dr. Jim specializes in helping people unlock their full potential to live happier, more satisfying and in control lives by combining cutting-edge psychotherapy techniques with the effectiveness of his award winning clinical hypnosis. 
Call today to set up a free office consultation for further information on Individual and Couples Therapy in Los Angeles.
Clinical Member, California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
He will guide you through releasing the blocks and limiting beliefs that have kept you bound to self-defeating patterns and motivate you to achieve the personal changes you've always wanted.

Here's what he has to say about this series: 

"Over 20 years of clinical experience has gone into the making of The Dr. Walton Self-Help Series.  Going back over two decades, I have pulled from my private practice those therapeutic interventions and hypnosis treatments that worked most effectively for my patients.  I now present them to you in the most comprehensive audio series on the market today. 

Experience has shown me that when people are given understanding about an issue from a psychological perspective and then given the tools and strategies to change their behaviors in combination with the immediate effectiveness of hypnosis it has a synergistic effect that can assist in achieving their results more quickly." 

Dr. Jim's powerful hypnosis treatment creates a highly receptive alpha state that works together with the unconscious mind to help you experience a greater sense of your personal power and self-control.

If you program your unconscious mind to have a focused, supportive, positive outlook, you can reach any goal you aspire to.  Dr. Walton's award winning self-help series can help you achieve that focus and get faster results.

In 2006, Dr. Jim was awarded First Runner-Up for Best Album of the Year in self-help from the prestigious JPF International Music Awards.  All the quality and expertise that earned him that award is found in every one of his self-help albums.  Download one right now and start your new life today!

Stress Relief and Deep Sleep
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Feel at peace everywhere. Move beyond the limits of your world and let go of stress. Enjoy more energy, feel more alert, and regain control of your body & your life with this proven and unique relaxation process. Featured on Lisa Gar's "Aware Show."
Fall asleep quickly through hypnosis.  If you've been searching for a better night's sleep, then you'll find it here in this soothing and mind releasing album. Awaken in the morning feeling refreshed, vibrant and ready for a great day. Featured on KCSN's "Shrink Wrap."
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Tension Relief
After Breaking UP: Healing the Heart & Finding Happiness
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Surviving the Wedding
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Anger Management
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Never lose your temper again.  If you've been searching for a way to release anger from your life, then you will find it in this inspirational album. You can gain control over your emotions and find healthier ways of expressing yourself. Share this with your family and friends. Featured on the "Greg Mantel Show."
Stress Relief and Deep Sleep
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Tension Relief
After Breaking UP: Healing the Heart & Finding Happiness
Resolve the hurt so you can move forward again and find happiness in your life. Healing the heart, mind and spirit as you awaken a new inner-strength for living and enjoying life after a break up.
Surviving the Wedding
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, filled with effective insights to help the bride transition into married life. Lift the spirit and center her world for a lifetime of happiness. A wedding is an event; a marriage is for a lifetime. Be prepared for both.
Anger Management
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Stopping Smoking
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Never smoke again.  If you've been looking for a way to stop smoking now and enjoy more energy, greater focus, and regain control of your urges, then this proven, Award-Winning album is for you.
JPF Music Award Winner
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Ultimate Weight Loss
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.
Ultimate Weight Loss
From over 45,000 album entries around the world, Ultimate Weight Loss won "Best Self-Help Album of the Year" at the 2009 International JPF Music Awards, the world's largest independent music awards.
Jeff Tannen – Licensed CA Marriage & Family Therapist
Outstanding! Dr.Walton has made an ideal CD that effectively targets all the weight loss issues whether you want to lose a lot or little weight.

Charles Buell – Financial Consultant
This CD is an effective way to loose weight. It is not a one stop quick fix but something you have to review on a weekly or monthly basis to loose weight and keep it off. I lost about 10 pounds in a month (something I have been trying to do for years). When I notice those few pounds starting to come back, I just listed to the CD again. It really help me to be able to push myself away from the table without wishing for more food.

Jody Yordan – Music Producer
Thank you Dr. Walton for this amazing cd.Your methods and detailed meditation made this an easy way to conquer my compulsive eating habits and I cant thank you enough.This cd is amazing.I have lost 8 lbs in two weeks and I'm blown away.
Never over-eat or binge again with this #1 award winning album. You can lose the weight and have a healthier body.  It’s the only body you’ll ever have. Love it and respect it without judgment. Success at weight loss is not as much about reducing the body as it is about expanding the heart.  
Grief is a necessary part of recovery from a loss. Grief can force us to reevaluate our life; but, sometimes we get lost and can’t find our way out. Gently and lovingly, this album lifts the spirit as it points the way towards a new beginning. 
Healing from Grief & Finding Peace in Your Life
by Dr. James E. Walton, Ph.D.