Are You Struggling To Move Forward Following Trauma In Your Life?
Has your involvement in frightening events that threatened your sense of safety left you feeling numb, shocked, on edge, or helpless? Have you begun avoiding people or places that remind you of your trauma? Perhaps you are struggling to connect with loved ones, finding it hard to trust others or even yourself. Or maybe you are triggered back into the very real experience of traumatic events by certain sights, sounds, smells, touches, or tastes. Perhaps these triggers make it frightening to venture out into the world. Have you experienced flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, or other startling and uncomfortable memories of your trauma? Have you turned to drugs, alcohol, or another means to numb yourself? Do you wish you could find a way to function in the world without fear and claim the life you want to have?
Living through the aftereffects of trauma can be frightening, confusing, and deeply lonely experiences. You may feel disconnected from the world around you one moment and highly triggered and on alert the next. Vacillating between intense emotions may have you avoiding activities you once enjoyed and disconnecting from the people you love. Depending on the nature of traumatic events, you may be experiencing feelings of shock, disbelief, fear, anger, sadness, grief, numbness, despair, worthlessness, guilt, shame, embarrassment, isolation, distrust, and more.
When Trauma Becomes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Trauma is prevalent in our society. According to information provided on the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website, about 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience some form of trauma at least once in their lives. Some people experience trauma during childhood through abuse or neglect. Others experience trauma in adulthood through sexual assault, accident, disaster, war, or other catastrophic events.
Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. Further information provided by Veteran’s Affairs suggests that roughly 10 percent of women and 4 percent of men will develop PTSD in their lifetimes and that roughly 8 million people will suffer from PTSD in a given year, which is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma. The chances of developing PTSD increase if you were directly exposed to trauma as a victim, a witness, or learned that loved ones were seriously hurt during traumatic events; your trauma experience was long-lasting or severe; you believed that you or a loved one was in danger; you had a severe physical reaction during the event; or you felt helpless and unable to help yourself or others. “Women, young people and those with a mental health disorder, a weak support system, or who experienced earlier trauma experiences are also more susceptible to developing PTSD,” according to U.S. Veteran’s Affairs statistics.
While each person experiences trauma and PTSD in different ways, three main symptoms characterize PTSD: re-experiencing traumatic events, avoiding reminders of trauma out of fear, and suffering from increased physiological arousal. The good news is that there is help available. An experienced PTSD treatment therapist can help you process your trauma, cope with symptoms, and find a healthy path forward.
PTSD Treatment Can Help You Gain Control Of Your Life
Many people with PTSD tend to avoid feelings, thoughts, and memories of their trauma as a way to cope, which is adaptive for a while, but eventually becomes problematic. For example, addictions, dissociation, self-injury, suicide attempts, risk-taking behaviors, and venting anger are all common ways that people try to cope. These unhealthy coping mechanisms, however, will not resolve trauma and likely create more problems. While PTSD can have a considerable effect on your wellbeing, if you have the willingness to change the course of your life, there is hope for relief. Through working with a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist, you can experience improved functioning and gain control of your life.
In safe, confidential PTSD treatment sessions, I will work with you toward change and growth. The relationship we develop over sessions will form a basis for safety and exploration. Together, we can explore reoccurring issues and challenge the problematic thoughts that are keeping you stuck. By reframing negative thoughts, you can embrace a more positive and healthy way of being. I model, facilitate, and teach healthy emotional regulation and expression, which can help you connect with the people in your life and cultivate meaningful relationships. In sessions, you can also learn new ways to cope with distressing symptoms. I will assist you with desensitizing to your fears related to traumatic events. You will have opportunities to practice many new skills, such as identifying triggers, grounding skills, and reality testing, as you begin facing and processing your story. As scary as it may sound now, addressing your feelings and increasing your distress tolerance can provide relief. You are not alone. I will meet you where you are emotionally, offer you support, and help you learn new ways of interacting in the world.
Throughout our work together, I’ll facilitate the integration of trauma information; however, the goal is not for you to re-experience the trauma. Rather, we’ll acknowledge the trauma related thoughts and feelings. Throughout the process, you can better understand your experience and develop a deeper self-understanding. With increased awareness of yourself and your situation, you can begin to view yourself through a different lens and see yourself as a more empowered and resilient person with new, effective ways of coping. I’ll encourage you to implement new behaviors, set goals for the future, and enact ways to accomplish your goals.
Regardless of what you experienced or how long ago your trauma occurred, you can find relief from your symptoms and possibly heal from your trauma. PTSD treatment can help to change the course of your life. Under the guidance of an experienced therapist with a cognitive, holistic approach to healing, you can better understand and address your issues. You can learn healthy ways to cope, manage symptoms, challenge negative thoughts, and begin feeling better while functioning with more ease in the world.
Although you may feel that you need help navigating this challenging time, you still may have questions or concerns about PTSD treatment…
I’m afraid that talking about my trauma will be like opening Pandora’s box and I’ll totally melt down.
While it’s common to fear talking about painful thoughts and feelings, you most likely can do this. You are a survivor and although it will take work and willingness to experience discomfort, there is hope for healing. Many people have recovered from PTSD, and with the right therapist and approach, it’s possible for you to experience relief. PTSD treatment is a process. You will set the pace of our sessions, and I will not push you to discuss anything until you feel ready to do so.
I feel shame about my trauma. I think I’ll be judged.
I practice acceptance, empathy, and restraint from judging my clients. It’s my role to support and guide you through your healing process. And, while it can feel scary to divulge secrets, share feelings, and challenge thoughts, I see you as a survivor. For the past decade, I’ve been helping people work through trauma in a warm, safe, and confidential space.
I’ve heard that trauma therapy is expensive and takes a long time.
If PTSD was left untreated, it may cause problems in many aspects of your life. Insomuch, PTSD treatment is often necessary and can help you experience the relief you seek. Also, note that your motivation and willingness to participate in sessions directly impacts the quality and length of therapy. If you’re ready to face your trauma, it’s possible to recover from PTSD and gain control of your life.
PTSD Treatment Can Help You Process Trauma And Experience Improved Functioning
I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about PTSD treatment and my practice.