Sometimes things happen that put life into a tailspin. Trauma can result from many different experiences, from combat or abuse to grief and loss. Trauma can come from a single experience or a series of events that happen over time. Some different causes of trauma include:
- Sexual Assault Physical or Verbal abuse
- Medical abuse or Neglect
- Chronic illness
- Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence
- Childhood Abuse or Neglect
- Witnessing Violence
- Natural Disasters
- Traumatic Grief
- Life and situational difficulties like:
- Financial Uncertainty
- Food Insecurity
Trauma comes in many shapes and forms. They all have a common theme -- a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. You experienced something and you were harmed in some way. A big part of trauma is overwhelm that makes coping difficult.
Trauma has an impact on all parts of your life. It infiltrates your cognitive abilities, your emotional state, your social interactions, your ability to do things and your thoughts about life. Unresolved trauma can make living your life difficult.
Trauma is a normal response to a shocking event. Your desire to stay safe makes perfect sense. Your thoughts and reactions around safety naturally become heightened after you experience trauma. Some things you might experience as a result of your trauma are:
- Constant fear
- Panic attacks
- Difficulty sleeping
- Being triggered by things that others see as safe
- Feeling on edge
- Lack of trust
- Difficulty thinking and concentrating
- Mood changes
- Shame, guilt, and self-blame
- Hypervigilance - always being on guard and hyper-aware and startling easily
- Social isolation and relational issues
- Feeling numb or going outside your body
How Trauma Therapy Works
I specialize in helping people who are suffering from trauma. I have worked with clients who suffer from the impact of violence, sexual assault, verbal abuse, childhood trauma, complex trauma, natural disasters and combat.
If you are suffering from trauma, a normal human response is to experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and difficulty setting boundaries. It’s not uncommon to have difficulty coping effectively with life’s everyday challenges.
Therapy works by trusting that, at the deepest level, you are still you no matter what you have been through. You know what’s best for you and what best fits in your life. You have the ability to bring joy and healing back into your life. You just need some support from someone trained in what you are dealing with.
Some clients wonder if the therapeutic process is only focused on delving into childhood issues and blaming parents for problems and difficulty coping. You may also wonder about processing trauma and talking about your experience over and over.
In fact, recounting your trauma isn’t always useful. Protecting you from additional harm is important to me. I am very careful to avoid retraumatization. If you find it helpful to go over your trauma story or parental relationships, we will. If not, we won’t. We will not do anything you do not want to do. We will only look at things that will lead to your healing.
Each therapy session is yours and you will decide what we consider. My role is to be supportive and ask questions that help you move forward, help you see possibilities and help you find solutions that are right for you.
In the first session, most therapists will do an assessment and ask a list of questions about your life. I work differently. Most of that information is covered in the paperwork. So we can get right down to talking about what will be helpful to you.
I want you to feel safe and comfortable without being forced into anything. We will start with what you want to get out of therapy and will begin to focus on that right away. At the end of the session, you will decide when or if you want to return for a second session. You can decide to come in once a week, every two weeks or when you feel the time is right as you process through our first conversation. Most clients start with weekly sessions and move to every other week as they feel comfortable. Some clients prefer to start with every other week. Trust your instincts at the end of the session. You can always change your mind.
You may wonder if you should make a list of things to talk about or if I assign homework between sessions. While I might make suggestions, you are not required to do things like that. Some clients like to come with lists and if that’s your style, great. If not, that’s great too. I customize all of your sessions to you. Your therapy is about you and how you want to live your life.
Are you struggling to get back to being yourself after a traumatic experience? You can feel better. Therapy can help. I can help you learn to manage your traumatic memories, recover and live the healthy and fulfilling life you want. The therapeutic relationship is important to your healing process. Reach out today for your complimentary consultation to see if working with me is a good fit for you.