Are You Being Defined By A Painful Past Experience?
Have you experienced a traumatic event that has affected the way you think and feel about people and the world around you? Were you ever the victim of a violent attack, a life-changing accident, or sexual assault? Do you feel overly on edge, hypervigilant, or anxious for apparently no reason? Perhaps you were abused or neglected as a child and that experience is now preventing you from trusting or forming intimate connections with others. Or it could be that you have a child who has gone through a traumatic life event and you want to make sure you are protecting their development and well-being.
Trauma can manifest in many different ways. You may be overly controlling, easily angered, irritable, or prone to lashing out. Or you might feel emotionally and physically exhausted yet still unable to go to sleep or sleep soundly through the night. It could be that you are having negative, intrusive thoughts or vivid flashbacks that cause panic or general anxiety. To try and take control of negative thinking, you may withdraw from friends and family, or perhaps you engage in acts of self-medication to help numb the pain. However, nothing seems to create lasting relief, and the desire to avoid potential triggers can leave you feeling even more isolated.
Trauma can be a complicated and deeply entrenched subconscious belief that changes the way you think, act, and feel about yourself and the world you live in. However, you don’t have to let trauma define you or your future. With trust and commitment to change, you can process trauma, let go of the pain, and become stronger and more resilient than ever before.
Trauma Can Affect Absolutely Anyone
If you have suffered a traumatic event in your life, you are not alone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, it is estimated that 51 percent of women (61 percent of men) have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Children are especially susceptible to trauma with estimates indicating that by the age of 16, two-thirds of children have experienced a traumatic event. Whether in the form of bullying, abuse, neglect, injury, or a traumatic loss, children who have unresolved trauma are much more likely to develop emotional, mental health, or substance abuse issues later in life.
For adults, it can be tempting to suppress the memories and emotions of a traumatic event, but that prevents individuals from processing and healing their pain. In some cases, unaddressed trauma can develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, the Department of Veteran Affairs found that in any given year over 8 million American adults suffer from PTSD. Moreover, women are much more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD (10 percent of women versus 4 percent of men).
While trauma is often associated with a violent accident, injury, or assault, the initial cause can also be more complex, resulting from prolonged exposure to adverse childhood experiences, emotional abuse, or toxic relationships. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from trauma or PTSD do not have a support group or mechanism that will help them work through it.
The good news, however, is that a gentle and compassionate counselor can help you work through the pain, give you greater self-awareness, and free you from the past.
Trauma Therapy Offers You Internal Strength And Peace
As we grow and develop, all of us eventually experience some form of trauma. But that doesn’t mean everyone experiences trauma in the same way or for the same reasons. Just like getting a physical splinter, it’s important to understand the emotional injury of trauma before trying to treat it. Some splinters (trauma) are small enough that you can dig them out yourself. However, some splinters are much bigger, or too deeply embedded to see clearly on your own. It’s in those times that you need someone skilled to help you—to give you clarity and a fresh perspective that can slowly and gently remove the problem so you can feel healthy and secure again. The purpose of trauma focused therapy—whether for children or adults—is to provide you with expert care that can root out and eliminate the source of your distress.
My first task is making sure that you have a safe and comfortable environment in which to work through the more challenging aspects of your experience. It takes time to address a wound that’s been covered for so long. So first, we need to unblock or unbury the issue and bring it into the light so you can see it, understand it, and address it.
The intervention method I primarily use is called Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) therapy—a research-driven and science-based approach to quickly treating trauma and PTSD. When we are exposed to a traumatic event, that experience can imprint itself upon us and becomes a part of our identity. That painful experience acts as a sort of energy source for which there is no outlet, so it manifests emotionally as anger, depression, anxiety, or aggression. TIR can help you overcome unwanted emotions and memories by giving that energy an outlet. By unraveling the experience and its related emotional impact, we can begin diffusing the power that the trauma has over you.
Coping with the effects of trauma can be a lonely, isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Working with a skilled therapist can give you the tools, emotional support, and knowledge needed to break the cycle of fear and doubt and begin living your life again. With your trust and a desire to enjoy life free from the specter of the past, you can become stronger, happier, and more engaged with the world.
Perhaps you are considering trauma therapy but still have some questions or concerns…
I’m worried that I will feel worse.
The point of therapy is to make you feel better, not to make you relive the worst part(s) of your life. Trauma Incident Reduction is unique from other traditional therapies because it represents a rapid way of decoding and treating trauma effectively. Although you may feel challenged at times, I will always be respectful of your comfort level and desired pace. If you have been struggling with trauma on your own, working with a compassionate and empathetic therapist can offer unparalleled relief and healing.
I’m scared I will be judged.
“No Blame” is my middle name. Naturally, it can be difficult to open up about repressed experiences or buried memories. There is often a lot of residual guilt, shame, and even self-loathing after a traumatic event, especially if it involved childhood trauma or sexual abuse. However, all of those emotions are a direct result of the negative experience; it’s not who you are. Right now, you may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of tumultuous emotions, but you don’t have to navigate this difficult time alone. With my help, you can learn how to assume authority over your experience and transform it into an opportunity for personal growth and liberation.
I’m worried that others will see me differently if they find out I’m seeing a trauma therapist.
Many people who were the victims of a traumatic event worry that others will behave or regard them differently once the truth comes out. However, what you decide to divulge to others is strictly your prerogative. Emotional trauma therapy also has the added benefit of being able to help you navigate and/or repair relationships that may have been damaged by a traumatic experience. Whatever your needs and concerns are, therapy is meant to change how you see yourself, not how others see you.
Let Me Help You Become You Again
If you would like to break free from a traumatic past, I can help you along your way to recovery. Please click here to schedule your consultation to see how trauma and PTSD treatment may be able to improve your quality of life.