Skip to content

Toll Free. Privacy Guaranteed. No commitment.

Explore our Unique Clinical Programming!

Contact Us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Interview With Trauma Therapist Brandon Lutman

“What if trauma is not just what happened to you, it’s what didn’t happen for you?”

Trauma therapist Brandon Lutman poses this question during a recent interview. A program specialist at Beachway Therapy Center, Lutman sat down to discuss the significant role trauma can play in people’s lives. Beyond the effects of trauma, Lutman also touches on the unique steps Beachway takes to help patients overcome complex trauma and regain a sense of peace for good.


What Is Complex PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that stems from experiencing or witnessing a terrifying, often life-threatening event. If left untreated, the condition can last decades and may be triggered by certain images, sounds, or situations.

Complex PTSD, or CPTSD, is a similar condition that can develop as a result of chronic, long-term trauma rather than a single life-threatening event. Lutman equates such experiences to a “psyche rupture” in which a person lacks the emotional capacity to cope over a long period of time.

Rehabilitation centers like Beachway recognize PTSD and CPTSD as two distinct conditions that necessitate different forms of treatment. Both terms differ from trauma, which can be debilitating but is not a condition in its own right. For many people, extreme trauma can lead to PTSD if it is left unaddressed.


What Are Some Symptoms of CPTSD?

CPTSD can manifest in different ways. “You’re scared to go out into the world. You don’t have the motivation to go out into the world.” Lutman says, “You don’t know who you are anymore.”

Those who suffer from CPTSD may experience debilitating flashbacks and often detach themselves from people and events that may trigger an unwanted memory. When a trigger is experienced, they may lash out in anger or shut down completely. Extreme cases can affect intimate relationships and may pose difficulties at work or school.

Negative thoughts and emotions are also common with CPTSD. According to Lutman, “You may have really big highs and really low lows.” These mood swings can be extreme, oscillating quickly and making it hard to feel normal.


How Does Beachway Address Trauma?

There are many ways to address trauma, and Beachway uses a variety of strategies to help patients heal. “We treat the symptoms that are left behind from the legacy of trauma,” Lutman says, “We believe you have to treat the body in order to treat the trauma.”

The right treatment method varies from person to person. Here are some of the techniques Beachway applies to patients enrolled in their Trauma Resolution Program.


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR, is a form of therapy used to help patients process traumatic memories. This treatment mimics the brain’s activity during deep sleep, making it less painful to address disturbing thoughts.

EMDR sessions are guided by a therapist who facilitates the necessary eye movements. The process can help patients manage triggers by reviewing them in a controlled manner. EMDR is often utilized in addition to talking therapy and may speed up the healing process for those who struggle to manage debilitating triggers.


Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talking therapy frequently used to help patients suffering from a variety of mental health conditions. This method provides a safe space for patients to process traumatic events while restructuring harmful associations.

This type of cognitive restructuring often proves useful to those with PTSD, who struggle to escape the cycle of traumatic turmoil. Developing coping skills through this method can also empower patients to shift their thinking.


Dialectical behavioral therapy is another form of talk therapy that uses opposites or dialectics to prompt healthy change and acceptance. This method is particularly useful for patients who need extra help to control intense emotions and negative stress responses. Emphasis on positivity and goal-setting can have a regulating effect that minimizes extreme mood swings.

DBT is often prescribed to patients with a dual diagnosis who need help managing multiple conditions, such as PTSD and depression. In many cases, greater emotional management can aid in recovery for both conditions at once.


How Does Beachway Use Experiential Therapy in Trauma Treatment?

Beachway turns to a variety of experiential therapies to provide patients with a chance to heal through expressive activities. “Psychodrama and experiential pieces bring to life your world on a stage where the other group members get to bear witness with you,” says Lutman.

Trying on new roles or recreating past memories is cathartic for many patients. By facilitating a connection between the mind and body, these activities can help eliminate pent-up emotions for a true breakthrough in the healing process.


What Motivates You as a Therapist?

Like all members of the Beachway team, Lutman is passionate about making a difference in his patients’ lives. He describes the sense of accomplishment that comes from watching them grow from guarded, mistrusting individuals into positive, forward-thinking people.

“To watch them at the end of their treatment before they move on to the next phase of their journey, to watch them say or feel heard, to feel seen, and most importantly to feel understood. And to be able to articulate that to us is one of the greatest joys for me,” Lutman says.

About Brandon Lutman

Lutman has worked in the mental health field since 2016 and joined Beachway in 2020. Working exclusively in the trauma program, he advocates the importance of treating the mind and body as a cohesive unit. Through experiential therapy and personalized, solution-focused treatment, Lutman looks to the past and present to help clients realize their dreams for the future.


Learn More About Beachway's Trauma Program

Beachway’s Trauma Resolution Program is carefully designed to guide patients healing from unresolved trauma and the mental health conditions it may cause. With cutting-edge treatments and client-focused methods, the Beachway team helps patients understand their trauma so they can overcome it for good.

It’s never too late to start your journey to a trauma-free life. Contact Beachway to get started today.