Has Trauma Negatively Changed The Way You Think, Feel And Behave?

boots, rucksack, flag and civilian pants and shoes

Have you witnessed or been the victim of violence, abuse or excessive aggression? Perhaps you are a military veteran and were exposed to life-threatening situations – either during combat or your training. Even though you no longer face danger, do you continue to relive the memories and heightened emotions tied to a specific distressing, frightening incident? When even the subtlest sounds, smells, sights, tastes or other sensations trigger painful memories, do you feel flooded with anger, fear, sadness or frustration? It’s possible that you experience some of the physical effects of PTSD, such as a racing heartbeat, breathing problems, chronic pain, digestive issues or excessive sweating. Do you wish you could safely and efficiently clear the lingering effects of your trauma and work toward living a peaceful and meaningful life?

Living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often a confusing and debilitating struggle. At night, memories, flashbacks and nightmares may routinely keep you from getting restful sleep. Throughout the day, you may experience sudden mood shifts or angry outbursts, ultimately harming your personal and professional relationships. You might struggle to communicate with your loved ones because you believe they do not understand what you have lived through. At work, arriving on time and staying on task may be difficult because your mind is overwhelmed with worrisome thoughts. Perhaps the fear of re-experiencing your trauma holds you back from attending important family events, maintaining a regular job or running daily errands. To cope with the negative thoughts, emotions and physical feelings related to your trauma, you may have turned to alcohol, drugs or unhealthy impulses for comfort or numbness. As a result, your dependence on substances might have added another level of stress to your life and your relationships. Maybe you wonder if there’s a way to find deep, lasting relief. 

Many Individuals Affected By Trauma Develop PTSD

The National Center for PTSD estimates that more than half of the U.S. population will experience trauma at some time in their lives, and 7-8 percent of all Americans will develop PTSD. While going through a more intense trauma may predispose an individual to develop PTSD, a lack of support and validation may also cause people to feel less safe and intensify their painful symptoms. Even among military veterans, the group most likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, those who were not directly exposed to combat may feel like they do not deserve treatment or sympathy. In fact, many veterans have developed PTSD through traumatic experiences from boot camp.

The good news is that no matter how much you struggle with the fear, anxiety and frustration of PTSD, you have hope to resolve trauma within your mind and body in order to live a calm, present and fulfilling life. 

PTSD Treatment Can Help You Stop Reliving Your Painful Memories

During secure and nonjudgmental PTSD therapy sessions, you and I will work together to understand how traumatic experiences have impacted your life and develop an individualized plan to relieve you of painful memories and powerful negative emotions that may be creeping into your day. Throughout our sessions, we will work to connect your mind and your body for a well-rounded approach to resolve your symptoms and empower yourself to be resilient in the future.

When you experienced trauma, you had a physical and emotional reaction to the event. So, in order to fully resolve and release painful memories, you must heal your body as well as your mind.

soldier on top of a building

Instead of asking you to recount your experiences and dig into the details of your trauma, we will uncover the hidden connections between your current thoughts and emotions to your past experiences. In sessions, you will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what the traumatic event meant to you at the time of its occurrence and contrast that with what it means to you now. Through this approach, you can develop a healthier identification with who you are now and begin to move forward.

Another crucial part of PTSD treatment is addressing and resolving your painful daily symptoms of re-experiencing trauma, as well as the accompanying anxiety and fear. I will teach you how to be in tune with your body’s cues and expand your window of tolerance to outside stresses so you can live a calmer and more connected life with your loved ones and colleagues.

During PTSD counseling sessions, I will use effective therapy techniques, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, brainspotting and mindfulness approaches. EMDR and brainspotting work on a neurophysiological level to help you access and process your memories and related emotions. I will tailor these cutting-edge strategies to your personal needs and experiences. For example, these techniques are also very effective at treating addictions, so if you struggle with substance abuse, we can focus a portion of our work together on relieving you of harmful dependencies.

I have helped many individuals overcome the physical, emotional and social turmoil of PTSD. Because of the lack of treatment for veterans with PTSD, I have also started a nonprofit organization, which works to help homeless veterans in Colorado get the shelter, care and mental health services they need. 

I know you may feel hopeless and worry that there is no such thing as “safe” anymore. As an experienced PTSD therapist, I can tell you this is very normal, but the truth is you can move forward after living through trauma. PTSD treatment can provide you with the proven tools you need to find lasting relief and peace of mind. 

You may be interested in seeking treatment for PTSD but still have questions and concerns…

I’ve tried talk therapy before. It doesn’t help me.

Traditional talk therapy often falls short in identifying and treating the triggers that fuel PTSD.  Instead of working to resolve trauma through talking, reflecting on painful experiences or focusing only on your thought process, you and I will dig deeper and use mind-body techniques, such as EMDR, brainspotting and mindfulness, in order to address the hidden areas where trauma may linger – even after treating it cognitively.

I don’t want to drag up the past. Can’t I just try to forget it?

Chances are you have already tried to forget, but the thoughts, emotions and sensations related to your traumatic experience continue to plague your life. During our PTSD therapy sessions, I won’t ask you to drag up the details of your past experiences. You can talk about your experiences as little or as much as you want. Once you invest your time and energy into treating PTSD, you may notice yourself feel freer and calmer – an effect that can improve your relationships with your loved ones and your career life.

My trauma is not a big enough problem to spend time and money on PTSD treatment.

Even though therapy requires an investment of your time, money and energy, the potential results far outweigh the costs. If you rarely experience many telltale physical or emotional PTSD symptoms, you still may live with anxiety, anger or substance abuse issues that you never linked to your trauma. Also, by taking the time to address your trauma now, you can stop the negative coping patterns that continue to harm your life and end up saving yourself years of heartache and pain.

Free Yourself From The Lingering Effects Of Trauma

If you are ready to integrate your mind and body to find lasting relief from PTSD, 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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