trauma therapy

Is A Past Experience Keeping You From Being Present In Your Life?

Do you find yourself unable to move forward from past pains or memories? Are you constantly living in a state of fear, worried that something bad might happen? Has an instance of abuse, assault, or agony caused you to struggle with post-traumatic stress? 

Perhaps you experience intrusive or ruminating thoughts and nightmares. No matter what you do, you feel as though you have to be on high alert. As a result, you may struggle with acute anxiety or a panic disorder that attacks without warning.  

You may experience an immense amount of guilt or shame associated with the distressing event, feeling as though you somehow caused it or didn’t do the right thing to keep yourself safe. Maybe you constantly develop exit strategies in uncomfortable situations, which ultimately prevent you from ever being present. 

Due to the degree of hypervigilance with which you likely live your life, you probably haven’t been able to maintain your relationships or responsibilities the way you’d like. Perhaps you’ve withdrawn from others or experienced disassociation. Or maybe you feel hopeless that you’ll be able to live a joyful life again, free of worry. 

If you’ve survived a traumatic experience, you may wish that you could flip a switch to keep you from remembering or go back in time to avoid the event from happening altogether. In therapy, however, you can learn to accept your trauma as a part of your story as you begin the process of healing and moving forward from it. 

All Of Us Carry Some Form Of Trauma

Trauma is, unfortunately, an incredibly common element of being human. And while many people think that trauma only manifests in a dramatic, life-threatening event, it’s essential that no trauma is minimized. Any situation that leaves us feeling alone, fearful, panicked, or unsafe is a traumatic experience. But because we maintain a misconception that trauma by definition only involves serious injuries or crimes, we can often overlook some of the more subtle traumatic experiences happening around us. 

For instance, many non-white individuals can experience daily traumas that come in the form of microaggressions, racial biases, and a system that upholds white supremacy at every level. Or to use another example, for those who survived childhood abuse or an assault, a simple word or image has the power to retraumatize. Not to mention, this group is often condemned with a verdict of weakness or shared guilt and complicity with the crime’s perpetrator. 

The truth is that many of us live in an unconscious state of trauma our entire lives, never noticing and therefore missing an opportunity to identify our experiences as traumatic. And while we may be tempted to leave the past behind, trauma can fester into anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a host of other mental health challenges if left untreated. 

In therapy, however, you have the chance to take control of the narrative and begin the process of healing from trauma. 

Therapy Allows You To Get To The Root Of Your Trauma And Begin The Process Of Overcoming It

Though unresolved trauma can be both disruptive and painful, many forms of therapeutic treatment have been demonstrated to effectively target and resolve distressing memories. These methods can correct distorted thinking patterns and increase coping skills so that traumatic memories become less disturbing.

As a trauma-informed therapist, I believe that so much of how you behave and respond to adversity stems from the distressing experiences you have undergone in life. Therefore, we will use the therapeutic process as an opportunity to understand the core of your trauma so that you can begin healing from it. And because you may not characterize your experiences as traumatic, I will work with you to understand what constitutes trauma, what it has done to your brain, and what your response says about the coping mechanisms you have in place. 

Once you’ve been empowered to identify your traumatic experience(s), I will likely incorporate Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into our sessions. This gentle approach to therapy was initially developed to help veterans struggling with PTSD and has since been expanded to help those grappling with any disturbing life experience heal from painful symptoms and emotional distress. In addition, I will incorporate breathing and grounding techniques to enhance your coping skills. 

During our therapy sessions, you can expect to build your tolerance for distress while readjusting your relationship to your traumatic memory. Over time, your self-soothing techniques and ability to set boundaries will improve, and you’ll have a stronger sense of how to navigate uncomfortable feelings as they arise. And hopefully, you will see that you’re worth the self-care it takes to promote healing in your life. 

If there are traumatic experiences from your past that you have yet to work through, chances are that their impact on you did not just fade over time. But healing is possible! You deserve to move forward from the pain, shame, and unnecessary guilt that you have put on yourself. And the first step begins in trauma therapy. 

Maybe you’re ready to try therapeutic treatment for unresolved trauma, but you have some concerns…

I just think therapy will make me feel worse if I bring up all the past trauma that I haven’t discussed all these years. 

If you’re struggling with unresolved trauma from the past, then you know by now that not talking about it hasn’t healed you or made the experience any less painful. Having a chance to discuss your experience with a therapist can actually help you move forward and make the memory less uncomfortable. And as you begin the process of healing, you’ll see that taking away the power from your trauma, in turn, gives power to you. 

I’m concerned that my employer will see my medical records and find out about my traumatic experience. 

Your privacy is incredibly important to me, and your records will never be shared with anyone unless you give me permission to grant them access. In addition, if you’d like, we can spend time at the beginning of trauma treatment going over my confidentiality statement in further detail.

There is so much trauma to unpack that I don’t know where to even start in therapy. What’s the point?

The point is that you deserve to feel better. Therapy gives you an opportunity to step outside of your trauma and figure out where to start telling your story. I’m here to offer support every step of the way, ensuring that you’re never alone throughout this process. 

You Have The Power To Heal Your Past Pains

If you’re struggling to move forward from a distressing event or memory, therapy can give you the support and voice you need to conquer trauma. To schedule a free, 15-minute consultation or to learn more about how I can help, email me or call (858) 342-2646.  

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