Dr. Janie Lacy is a Licensed Relationship Trauma Psychotherapist with over a decade of experience. She helps women break free from toxic relationships, creating breakthrough experiences from the inside out. She's a nationally recognized expert and the creator of Woman Redeemed, an intensive experiential group experience. Janie has been featured on Good Therapy, Your Tango, Daily Buzz, Fox, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Spectrum News, Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Fox Soul and the Bill Cunningham Show. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She is the host of the syndicated VoiceAmerica Show "Let’s Talk About It with Janie Lacy." Her accolades include Onyx Magazine's 2020 “Woman on the Move,” Orlando Magazine's 2019 “Women of the Year” and African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida 2018 “Enterprise Business of the Year.”
Relationship trauma is the psychological effects of experiencing distressing or harmful events within close relationships. It can include anything from emotional, physical, sexual, neglect, betrayal, abandonment, and any form of interpersonal trauma. The impact of relationship trauma can be significant, including symptoms like PTSD, anxiety, depression, difficulty trusting others, and problems with attachment. Therapy can help treat these effects and develop healthier relationship patterns. Transcript: "Relationship trauma is also known as relational trauma. And what this is, is it refers to psychological effects of experiencing distressing or harmful events within close relationships. This can include anything from emotional, physical, sexual, neglect, betrayal, abandonment, any form of interpersonal trauma within a relationship. Relationship trauma can occur between romantic partners, family members, friends, or even in professional or community settings. The impact of relationship trauma can be significant and can include symptoms that we would refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, difficulty trusting others, and problems with attachment. Therapy can be very helpful in treating the effects of relationship trauma and developing healthier relationship patterns. This is Dr. Janie Lacey and until next time."
To reduce anxiety and manage stress, try out different strategies such as mindfulness techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, physical activity, talking to a trusted friend or therapist, using relaxation techniques, and avoiding avoidance behaviors. Find the ones that work best for you. Transcript: "When you are feeling anxious and in stressful situations, there are several strategies that you can do to help you manage and reduce your anxiety. Number one, mindfulness techniques. This is where you're practicing mindfulness and you can use deep breathing, meditation, things to calm your mind, which can reduce the feelings of anxiety. Number two, cognitive behavioral therapy. This is what we call CBT. This is a type of therapy that helps individuals understand and change their thoughts and behaviors related to their anxiety. And the goal here is that these techniques can help you promote positive self-talk and help you reframe your negative thoughts so that you can help reduce the anxiety that you feel. And number three is physical activity. Exercise can help reduce feelings of anxiety, promote physical and mental well-being. Even a short walk, a few minutes a day, or stretching can help. And number four, you can talk to a trusted friend or a therapist because talking through our feelings of anxiety with someone that we trust, like a friend, a trusted friend, or a therapist, can help relieve the stress and can help us gain perspective on stressful situations. And number five is using relaxation techniques. The techniques such as guided relaxation, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation can all help relieve and relax the body and calm the mind. And number six, avoiding avoidance behaviors. Let me say that again, avoiding avoidance behaviors. Avoidance behaviors only worsen our anxiety. So instead of avoiding stressful situations, it can be helpful to face them head on and develop healthy coping strategies for managing the anxiety. But remember this, the different strategies work better for different people and situations. So it's important to try out different methods and find the ones that work best for you."
There are a number of professionals who can assist with mental health challenges, even if there is no specific diagnosis. These include therapists, life coaches, support groups, employee assistance programs, and religious leaders. It is important to find the right fit for your individual needs in order to get the most benefit out of the service. Transcript: "There are a number of professionals who can assist with mental health challenges, even if there's no specific diagnosis. So here are some options for you. One, therapists. Therapists are trained mental health professionals who can help individuals address a variety of issues. Doesn't necessarily mean that there has to be a diagnosis. It could be everyday stress, anxiety, to be more complex mental health concerns. We have life coaches who can help individuals set goals, improve self-esteem, develop strategies for overcoming obstacles just in life in general. They're not licensed mental health professionals, but they can be helpful for individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives. And then you have support groups. Support groups usually are free, so you can provide, they provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, to receive support from others who may have gone through similar situations. And then you have employee assistant programs that you can get through your employers. Many workplaces offer EAPs as a benefit to employees. And then number five, you have religious leaders. You can have your churches or religious leaders for spiritual guidance and support during times of stress or crisis. But it's important to find a mental health professional or support system that works best for you and your unique needs, because it may take some time and effort to find the right fit. But the benefits of taking care of your mental health can be lifelong. I'm Dr. Janie Lacey. Until next time."
Relationship trauma is common and can cause a range of physical and mental symptoms. If you think you're experiencing it, seek help from a mental health professional so that you can heal and build healthier relationships in the future. Transcript: "Relationship trauma is very common and it affects people of all ages, stages of life, gender, backgrounds. People who have experienced childhood trauma or abuse are very vulnerable to experiencing relationship trauma later in life. Relationship trauma can show itself in your life in a variety of ways, including PTSD-like symptoms, such as feelings of fear and anger towards an abusive partner, difficulty trusting others, feeling overwhelmed, not being able to regulate your emotions. It can cause physical symptoms too, such as headaches, fatigue, or digestive issues. So it's important that if you think you're experiencing relationship trauma, that you seek mental health support. A mental health professional who can provide support and guidance to help you heal from that trauma and build healthier relationships in the future. This is Dr. Janie Lacey. Until next time."
There are several warning signs or red flags that may indicate someone is experiencing relationship trauma. These can include changes in behavior, emotional dysregulation, fear and anxiety, low self-esteem, unhealthy relationship patterns, physical symptoms, and isolation. Transcript: "Yes, there are several warning signs or red flags that may indicate someone is experiencing relationship trauma. So it's important to recognize these signs as early as possible to address the issues and seek appropriate support. But here are some common warning signs. It could be changes in behavior, a sudden change in mood or becomes withdrawn or exhibit increased agitation or irritability, emotional dysregulation. They can become difficult managing their emotions, leading to frequent emotional outbursts, intense mood swings, things like that. And number three, fear and anxiety. They can experience excessive fear or anxiety around their partner within the relationship. And you can see it can manifest as clinginess, jealousy, constant worry about the relationship ending, difficulty trusting. They might struggle with trust issues, find it hard to believe that their partner's intentions or actions are what they say they are with no evidence of deceit. And low self-esteem. They can display a lack of self-confidence, constantly seeking reassurance from their partner or feelings of unworthiness or love or affection, and then unhealthy relationship patterns. They can engage in destructive behaviors such as manipulation, controlling tactics, passive aggressive communication, and can even be physical symptoms. They can manifest as headaches, stomach aches, sleep disturbances, which is triggered by toxic stress and anxiety. And isolation. A person can become increasingly isolated from friends and family that they don't do the things that they used to do. Those are just some ways or some signs that someone may be experiencing relationship trauma. Until next time, this is Janie Lacey."
Relationship trauma can cause symptoms such as anger and fear towards an abusive partner, flashbacks, self-medicating, obsessing over different types of behavior, difficulty trusting others or socializing, loneliness, jumping into a new relationship too quickly, shame, guilt or self-blame, difficulty concentrating, questioning reality, blaming yourself for the abuse, feeling on edge or guarded, lower libido or sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and hypervigilance. Transcript: "Relationship trauma can cause a variety of symptoms. This can include feelings of anger and fear toward an abusive partner, flashbacks, repetition around different types of behavior, self-medicating, blowing things out of proportion, obsessive thoughts, difficulty trusting others or socializing or isolating yourself, loneliness, jumping into a new relationship to get over, to get under someone new, shame, guilt or self-blame, difficulty concentrating, questioning reality, blaming yourself for the abuse, feeling on edge or guarded at all times, having a lower libido or sexual dysfunction, insomnia, hypervigilance. Someone who's experienced relationship trauma can be easily triggered and full of doubt. This can also include jumping back into another relationship too quickly, attaching to people prematurely. Those are a few symptoms of relationship trauma."