Have You Been The Victim Of Multiple Traumatic Experiences? 

inside dark room looking out a window

Do you live with overwhelming, distressing and seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, emotions and sensations connected to trauma? Perhaps you were physically or emotionally abused as a child or as the partner of a violent individual. Or maybe, you experienced multiple unrelated traumas, and your pain continues to build up and deepen as time goes on. Do you fear to venture outside your comfort zone because a certain smell, sight, sound or taste might bring back haunting memories from your past? Are your fears of triggering a painful memory holding you back from trusting others and fostering healthy relationships with your loved ones? Do you live with some physical side effects of trauma, such as chronic pain, chronic illness, migraines, sweating, shortness of breath, increased heartrate, digestion problems or rashes? Do you wish you could find the expert support you need to process the past and move toward a peaceful and rewarding future?

After you experience trauma on multiple occasions – whether it was repeated over the course of your childhood or spread out among unrelated incidents throughout your life – it’s very common to struggle to feel at ease and connect with others on a daily basis. Painful memories and nightmares may keep you awake at night, ultimately causing you to feel exhausted and disengaged throughout your day. You may distance yourself from your friends and family members either because you feel socially numb or because you fear spending time with them outside of your safe zone. Maybe it seems as though they can’t understand what you are going through. Fears may also hold you back in your career life. For example, you may often arrive late or call in sick to work when you are faced with a flashback or worry that you might be triggered while away from home. It’s possible you long to forget the past altogether and have turned to drugs, alcohol or compulsive behaviors to escape your volatile emotions and memories, only to find that dependency on your addiction has compounded your pain, stress and sadness. You might feel lost and alone.

Feeling Overwhelmed By Trauma Is Very Common

According to the National Center for PTSD, more than half of the U.S. population will experience trauma at some time in their lives. Many of these individuals will face more than one traumatic incident, potentially developing complex trauma – a condition that may arise after exposure to a number of painful experiences, such as childhood abuse or neglect. While complex trauma is not always a cut-and-dry diagnosis, it is clear that the effects of repeated trauma are often deeply debilitating. Individuals who have experienced more than one traumatic incident often have many painful memory triggers and a long list of physical symptoms – such as chronic pain and chronic illness – that can cause them to feel even more powerless and helpless. Complexly traumatized people may also attempt to cope with these symptoms through the use of drugs and/or alcohol, which can result in heightened stress and even more volatile or disconnected personal relationships.

The good news is no matter the extent or depth of your trauma, you always have hope to move forward in a peaceful life. With the help of an experienced therapist during complex trauma therapy, you can work with both your mind and body to safely process your past experiences and find lasting relief.

Complex Trauma Therapy Can Help You Heal The Pain From Your Past

In our compassionate and calm trauma therapy sessions, you and I will work together to gain a better understanding of how and why the trauma you have experienced continues to harm you in your daily life. We will develop a plan to relieve you of your fears and overwhelming emotions so you can begin to enjoy your life more fully.

I want you to feel as comfortable as possible during our time together, so I will not ask you to recount any of your specific experiences or harmful thoughts. Instead, you and I will focus on identifying your current symptoms, such as flashbacks, unpredictable fear or anger, chronic pain or feelings of hopelessness. We will also assess how external factors, such as certain images, sounds, smells and tastes, may be triggering your symptoms.

man with head down in dark place

During complex trauma therapy, you will have the chance to utilize mind-body techniques to clear the effects of your trauma and boost your resilience to potential future triggers. We will incorporate scientifically-proven therapy approaches, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, brainspotting and mindfulness techniques. EMDR and brainspotting are two empirically proven tools that we can use to help you access and process your memories and related emotions in a healthy, noninvasive way. Mindfulness practices, such as breathing techniques, can relieve you of immediate symptoms of anxiety and fear as you focus on feeling present in the moment, where the dangers associated with your trauma no longer exist.

In my experience, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to trauma. Because of this, I will work to tailor the techniques we use during sessions to your personal needs. For instance, if you struggle with substance abuse issues, we can focus some of our EMDR and brainspotting therapy sessions on relieving you of harmful dependencies.

Because of the lack of treatment for veterans with complex trauma and PTSD, I have also started a nonprofit organization, which is devoted to helping homeless veterans in Colorado get the shelter, support and mental health services they need.

As an experienced complex PTSD therapist, I know you may have felt vulnerable and hopeless for a long time, but the truth is no matter how much you have suffered through trauma, you always have hope to regain control of your life. If you have lived through multiple traumas, trauma treatment with trusted mind-body techniques can help you can move forward in a new, brighter way.

You may be interested in seeking treatment for complex trauma, but still have questions and concerns…

I worry about revisiting a terrible time of my life. I’d rather just leave the past behind me.

Therapies that rely on talking about and revisiting the details of your pain, such as traditional talk therapy and exposure therapy, often do not help complexly traumatized individuals find long-term relief. One of the most important features of our mind and body-centered trauma therapy sessions is that you do not need to recount the painful experiences from your past. While you may believe that trying to ignore or forget the past altogether is the best way to alleviate your pain, it is very common to live with hidden triggers that may be contributing to your daily struggle. By approaching our treatment for complex trauma with well-rounded techniques, such as EMDR and brainspotting, you can eliminate these hidden triggers, resolve deeply buried pain and live without the fear and anxiety of reliving your trauma.

What will my loved ones think about complex trauma treatment?

Our sessions are 100 percent confidential, so no one needs to know about your treatment sessions if you do not want them to. That said, if you decide to tell your close loved ones about your decision to seek therapy for your past trauma, you have the opportunity to look to them for extra support. It’s common for individuals with complex trauma to fear being invalidated by their closest friends and family. Sometimes this fear is warranted if you were abused by a family member. However, reaching out for extra support can often bring you closer to the important people in your life and ultimately help you participate in more activities – an important step in the healing process.

Is therapy worth the money, time and energy I will put into it?

By investing your time, money and energy into therapy for complex trauma, you have the potential to improve almost every area of your life. Relieving yourself of trauma triggers and healing the root cause of your pain can allow you to enjoy a fulfilled personal and professional life. If you have resorted to unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking, drug use or dissociating yourself from the world around you, our mind-body techniques can also help you stop your compulsive behaviors and replace them with positive mechanisms, such as mindfulness, that can help you live presently with more peace of mind.

Find Relief From The Traumatic Experiences Of Your Past

If you are ready to heal your mind and body of lingering emotions and sensations rooted in past trauma, please call or email me to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation. I am happy to answer any questions or address your concerns about therapy and my practice.

 

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