Is Trauma Causing Emotional Distress or Daily Disruptions?
- Has an adverse life experience affected your or your child’s quality of life?
- Do you struggle with nightmares, flashbacks, or emotional triggers that impede your ability to feel relaxed and/or functional?
- Are symptoms of anxiety or fear causing you or your child to feel out of control?
Being stuck in hyper-awareness or fight-or-flight mode is exhausting. And if you or your child have survived a traumatic experience or situation, a toxic cycle of reactions is likely forming around triggering memories. There are, however, many ways to process trauma and regain a sense of safety—and therapy is the first stop on that journey.
You can benefit from trauma therapy if you are the parent of a child who was adopted, placed in foster care, or otherwise disrupted in forming healthy attachments at an early age, you may worry if your child feels safe and secure. Perhaps an event of domestic abuse or violence has affected your child’s ability to cope and adapt. Or maybe you are struggling with your own unresolved trauma as a parent and worried about the effect that your fear and anxiety are having on your child.
Alternatively, you may be an adult with unresolved trauma stemming from childhood abuse, assault, or injury. Or perhaps you are in an occupation, like the military or First Response, and you are regularly exposed to high-stress and emotionally intense situations. You may feel stuck in the past, when the traumatic event took place, and unable to focus on the present or maintain hope for the future. And as a result, you may be feeling as though you are constantly on edge and need to avoid certain situations, environments, or people.
Unresolved Trauma Can Impact Your Quality of Life
Trauma is both incredibly common and extremely personal to those who experienced it. The way trauma looks and feels will vary from person to person, resulting in a wide range of emotions, reactions, and coping mechanisms in response to the event or situation. What is universal, however, is that trauma can make ordinary tasks and experiences increasingly difficult and emotionally charged.
For adults in high-risk jobs faced with life-or-death situations, trauma is almost inevitable. Due to the intensity of their profession’s circumstances, they are more likely than most to encounter extreme stress, difficult decisions, and disturbing scenes on a daily basis.
However, daily exposure to trauma is not the only thing that puts a person at risk for post-traumatic stress (or PTSD). Those who survived emotional or physical abuse, sexual assault, illness, or injury at any age are also susceptible to the long-term consequences of these adverse experiences. And mothers who struggled with a traumatic birth or loss of a pregnancy can also be subjected to PTSD, or extreme emotional, physical, and mental discomfort following the event.
Moreover, so many children are born into environments that pose certain risks or dangers. Even in scenarios devoid of abuse or disruptions in attachment, birth, infancy, and childhood can be both traumatic and overwhelming. Children born into high-stress situations may pick up on the emotional cues of parents or caretakers who are distressed and/or reactive and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms as a result.
The sensations and scenes that trigger traumatic memories can be extremely debilitating.
And the exhausting nature of living in constant fight-or-flight mode can easily cripple our brains into thinking irrationally, causing us to make decisions based on fear as opposed to logic.
It is important to remember, however, that the feelings associated with trauma are manageable and can be reduced and understood using the objective and supportive guidance of a therapist’s perspective.
Therapy Can Help You Develop the Coping Skills Necessary to Overcome Your Trauma or PTSD
While the outside world can be filled with so much judgment, expectation, and uncertainty, therapy provides you with a secure and supportive space to navigate your experiences and emotions week after week.
Whereas feelings of judgment or shame may prevent you from feeling safe to explore your trauma with friends and family, a professional specially trained in the effects of trauma can help you to understand what is happening in your brain during triggering moments and how to find relief from those triggers. By reducing the symptoms and feelings associated with your trauma, therapy can help you to breathe again.
For parents moreover, if you are the parent of a child who is struggling to overcome trauma, therapy can help you to see life through your child’s eyes. With a therapist as your guide, you will become educated about the development of your child’s brain during and after a traumatic event and taught methods for positive reinforcement along with the healthiest ways for coping.
The initial goal in therapy trauma cannot be processed if the brain is activated and overly stressed. As such, the initial goal of trauma counseling will be to get you or your child to a place where feelings of calm and safety offset those of fear and uncertainty. Throughout the process, we will work together to establish a safe environment and a strong therapeutic relationship, beginning with a basic intake that honors your unique experiences.
From there, we will explore your or your child’s symptoms, resulting behaviors, and the impact both are having on your daily life. Eventually, we will identify the core self-beliefs that guide your perceptions of yourself and the world around you. Depending on what your or your child’s main emotional triggers are, I will incorporate individually tailored therapeutic modalities, mindfulness techniques, and calming methods to regulate the nervous system during moments of distress.
My Therapeutic Approach
Borrows from both body-based and evidence-based behavioral methods to help you reduce triggering symptoms of stress and discomfort. Using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which incorporates audio, physical and/or visual methods to engage both sides of the brain, I will help to clear neural pathways and relieve you of uncomfortable associations with specific memories or images. In addition, I will apply aspects of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) so that you can better identify how your thoughts and behaviors have affected your self-perception in order to have a clearer view of trauma’s impact on you.
+[Seeking counseling for trauma or PTSD will give you or your child an opportunity to gain the confidence needed to not only navigate the adverse experience but also remove the control that triggers have on your everyday life. While surviving a traumatic experience or situation can cause feelings of hopelessness and despair, I believe in the ability of counseling to provide a meaningful and healing perspective.
With the right kind of help and hard work on both sides, I am confident that therapy can help you to feel better and wrench your life away from the clutches of trauma.
The first thing you need to do is find the right therapist or counselor who can help you navigate your trauma and/or PTSD because you will likely be confronting some very uncomfortable feelings and memories. While it may feel overwhelming now, these feelings and memories can be processed to a point where they are less harmful—but it will require both courage and vulnerability. You do not have to embark on this process alone; to effectively cope with your trauma, it will be very important to seek professional help.
If you do the work in therapy—facing, processing, and coping with your trauma and/or PTSD—I am confident you will be able to manage your triggers in such a way that they’re no longer as potent or disruptive to your daily life. That being said, new triggers may arise throughout the course of your life. However, therapy provides you with the skill set, tools, and confidence required for an uncertain future. While triggers surrounding your trauma may not ever fully disappear, therapeutic treatment will help you understand how to cope with them for the rest of your life.
I aim to make therapy as accessible and affordable as possible. Thus, I accept most major insurance plans and offer a sliding scale on a case-by-case basis. Contact me to learn more about ways to offset the cost of therapy.
Let Me Help You Feel Empowered to Navigate Your Trauma and Reduce the Triggers Surrounding it
If trauma or PTSD is impacting your or your child’s well-being or ability to function, therapy can provide you with coping skills and relief.
If you are or your child is struggling with distress, outbursts, or cognitive disruptions as a result of abuse, trauma, or PTSD, therapy can guide you in developing strategies for coping.