Are You Struggling To Overcome Painful Experiences From Your Past?
Have one or more distressing experiences changed the way you think, feel and behave, making it difficult or even impossible to enjoy a sense of security, peace and self-empowerment? Perhaps you have directly felt or witnessed the impact of violence, aggression or fear, and now you are overwhelmed with feelings of worry or dread. Do you experience some of the physical symptoms of trauma, such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath or fatigue? When you encounter situations, images or emotions associated with your painful memories, you may feel like you are reliving the trauma of your past. Or maybe, you go to great lengths to avoid events, places or people because you fear they will trigger traumatic memories. In an attempt to protect yourself, you may have refused new opportunities, stopped doing things you once loved or changed key parts of your routine, such as the grocery store you shop at or how you get to work, no matter how inconvenient. Are you struggling to connect with your loved ones or concentrate at work because you feel distant, distracted and wary of trusting anyone — including yourself? Do you wish you could understand why your past has continued to impact your life, find healing and discover a way to move forward in a peaceful and resilient life?
Living with the after-effects of trauma can be a confusing, overwhelming and frightening experience. You may wake up in the morning feeling anxious about your daily responsibilities and the uncertainties you might encounter throughout the day. At work, you may struggle to concentrate on your tasks or overwork yourself in order to distract your mind from any painful memories or sensations that may creep in. Perhaps relationships with your loved ones suffer because you have emotionally shut down or avoid important bonding activities. You may have turned to alcohol, substances or other unhealthy impulses to numb your senses or take the edge off of your anxiety. At night, traumatic memories or your fears of uncertainty may keep you from getting restful sleep, causing you to feel frustrated with yourself and worried about your well-being. Maybe you feel like your life isn’t your own.
Struggling With Trauma Is Very Common
According to the National Center for PTSD, more than half of adults in the US have experienced trauma at least once in their lives. Individuals can be affected by trauma after alarming, seemingly life-threatening experiences — such as abuse (physical, sexual or emotional), violence, war or neglect —whether they occurred once or over a prolonged period. In addition, one may also feel the effects of trauma after witnessing violence, watching a dangerous situation on television or feeling threatened by an authority figure.
Although experiencing a traumatic event does not always result in PTSD or complex trauma, the lingering memories often cause individuals to form negative patterns of worrisome thoughts and overwhelming emotions.
To make matters worse, people who are affected by trauma commonly believe they should be able to overcome their experiences on their own. Whether they are invalidated by loved ones or face societal pressure to pull themselves out of their pain, individuals often isolate themselves or develop negative coping strategies, such as substance abuse.
The good news is, with the support of an experienced therapist, you can change your perception of painful past incidents and gain the tools, confidence and sense of security you need to live a peaceful, healthy and fulfilling life.
Find Freedom From Your Past With Trauma Therapy
During open, safe and thoughtful trauma treatment sessions, you and I will work together to understand how your past experiences have negatively affected your present life. Throughout therapy, you will guide the session. You can talk about the trauma as little or as much as you would like, at your own pace.
Undergoing a traumatic incident may have ingrained emotional and physical responses that you regularly experience but may be unaware of their connection to your past. After learning more about how your traumatic experiences have caused harmful present symptoms, such as overwhelming worry or impulsive behaviors, I will help you reprocess and move past these experiences through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and brainspotting techniques.
EMDR and brainspotting work in tune with your mind and body to identify and clear the negative feelings associated with your trauma, ultimately helping you let go of the painful emotions from your past.
To strengthen the connection between your mind and your body, we may also incorporate other strategies into our trauma counseling sessions, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness practices and yoga. These exercises will help you feel not only more present in the moment, but also calmer when you are faced with a traumatic memory.
The techniques and tools we use during sessions will be tailored to your personal needs and experiences. For example, if you enjoy hiking or journaling, we can incorporate these activities into your treatment plan to ensure that you feel nurtured, supported and engaged as you explore your past and present thoughts and emotions.
In addition, if you struggle with a substance abuse problem, our sessions can relieve you of the stress and sadness that trigger the desire to drink or use drugs. By addressing the root issues and learning several positive coping strategies, you can slowly work toward a sober lifestyle.
After more than 500 hours of several advanced trauma trainings, including a recent training on sports trauma and physical injury trauma, I have learned that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to trauma. As your trauma therapist, it is my job to work with you as the unique individual you are, helping you understand how your mind and body can work together to move past the pain you’ve experienced.
I have also witnessed the astounding results of trauma treatment in my own life. No matter the severity of your trauma, you have hope to move forward in a peaceful and connected life.
If you have an adolescent child who has experienced trauma, I may be able to help. Not only will your child and I work together through various treatment techniques, but you will also be a part of his or her therapy as a positive support system and model.
You may be interested in seeking treatment for trauma, but still have a few questions and concerns…
Is the trauma I experienced significant enough to seek treatment?
Trauma can arise in your life in a variety of ways. While it is most often associated with war or violent scenarios, you may have also been profoundly impacted by listening to an authority figure yell at you, encountering a dangerous animal or watching a gruesome scene on the news. You may not even fully understand what specific event traumatized you.
No matter what you have gone through or what you are struggling with today, trauma therapy can help. I will work with you so you can process what you felt during the time of your trauma and take the necessary steps to clear the pain that has lingered in your daily life.
I’ve heard about EMDR and brainspotting techniques. I don’t understand how they can help me.
While the science behind EMDR and brainspotting may sound strange at first, countless studies have proven the effectiveness of these techniques. The key to the success of these strategies is their ability to help you tap into your mind on a deeper level, allowing you to process your painful experiences so they no longer need to burden your present life. When you participate in an EMDR or brainspotting trauma therapy session, you are working from the deeper level of the autonomic nervous system and within the limbic system in the brain to promote healing and release trauma.
Will my investment of time and money pay off?
Trauma therapy is an invaluable investment. Not only can you live with less worry, fear and sadness throughout your daily life, but you may also find that unburdening yourself of your past experiences can bring you closer to your loved ones and on the right track to achieve your career goals. In addition, seeking trauma counseling sooner rather than later can save you from spending years struggling to mitigate your pain.
Move Forward After Trauma
If you are ready to work toward overcoming the painful experiences in your past, or if you have any questions or concerns about therapy and my practice, please call or email me to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation.