Do you worry that your reactions to trauma will cut you off from yourself, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy life?
Do you find that your body is often on edge, overactive, and tense? Do you struggle with negative beliefs about your self-worth, your safety, or your potential? Do you wish you didn’t react automatically to triggers, and could just respond like your best self?
The Wake Of Trauma
I view trauma as the disrupted or out-of-balance internal experience of the person. In this broad definition, the importance is placed on how someone’s body and mind responded to events such as a medical injury, sexual violence, large-scale disasters, or neglect when they were a child.
Trauma starts with the deeply rooted survival responses of fight, flight, and freeze. These survival responses are meant to protect us and keep us safe, but sometimes our bodies and minds hold on to these thwarted experiences and keep playing them out—even after our rational minds know that the danger is over.
This causes an internal disruption that can then ripple out—like the waves around a rock dropped into water—and touch other areas of our lives, leading to us acting irritable or withdrawn from others, taking actions to avoid triggering situations, or holding negative beliefs about ourselves or the world.
Moving Through Trauma
Most people will experience at least one trauma in their lifetime; some people experience multiple traumas, often starting from early childhood. Trauma can create different challenges for people—from short-term disturbance after an event all the way to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As humans, we are meant to move through our traumatic experiences and incorporate them into their lives, but we sometimes get stuck along the way.
The good news is that counseling is available specifically for helping people deal with trauma. Counseling modalities have grown substantially in the past twenty years to be more trauma-focused and to understand how the brain reacts to trauma, which leads to better therapy outcomes.
I am interested in trauma counseling, but I have a few questions and concerns…
I am worried that if I go to trauma counseling and talk about what has happened to me, I will be overwhelmed or feel out of control.
You may have had the experience of being overwhelmed when looking at your past experiences before, and so you naturally learned to avoid the subject. We will work in initial sessions to lay a groundwork to process your traumatic experiences. The goals will be to grow the therapy relationship and develop tools for stabilization before we decide together how and when to explore deeper concerns. When we work on processing trauma, my goal is to titrate the exposure and have ways to support your system so that you do not get as overactivated as you have in the past or when the trauma occurred.
I think it may take a long time to get through therapy for trauma. I don’t know if it is worth the time and money.
It can be daunting to think of the investments involved in coming to therapy, especially when you don’t yet know the results of entering into this process of change. I see trauma counseling as an investment in yourself, your relationships, and your future. With treatment for trauma or PTSD, you can see improvements in your abilities to connect and feel safe with others, work on your goals in life, and feel more at ease in your functioning. You can also feel a reduction in overall anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties.
Tell me more about how counseling can be successful in treating trauma and PTSD.
It may seem hard to believe that counseling can help you to deal with the trauma in your life. You may have talked about it with others before and not felt much better. Perhaps you have figured out how to push through the effects of trauma enough to get by… but you believe that life can and should be better for you than just “getting by.”
We have to address the way trauma is stored in your body and how it gets activated. This includes looking at the ways that fight, flight, and freeze responses took place and are continuing to play out in your life, and then giving you ways to move through these patterns. To do so, many of my clients and I use tools such as EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, or yoga. It is also essential to focus on areas that are strengths and resources to you, so that these assets can be increased while you are in counseling.
One thing is certain: In counseling, you do not have to go through these experiences alone any longer.
Why should I come to you for counseling for trauma?
This is a very important question, because you need to feel that I am a good fit as a therapist for you. There are several reasons to contact me:
I have over 10 years of specialized experience in providing PTSD therapy . In particular, I started my training at a program for survivors of sexual violence and have worked in multiple agencies with survivors of sexual or relationship violence.
This specialization has led me to obtain trauma-specific training. I realized early in my work that some therapy methods did not seem to help my clients make effective changes in their lives. Often, this is because the body is left out of therapy, and I have come to find that people generally can’t just talk or think themselves out of the ways the body holds responses to trauma. I believe that therapy for trauma and PTSD is most effective when it incorporates the mind–body connection, and so I utilize my training from EMDR, yoga, and Somatic Experiencing. I use these approaches in trauma counseling so that you can integrate the trauma into your life and increase the regulation you experience.
As a Registered Yoga Teacher, I have skills in another modality for creating regulation in the body. Even if we don’t do yoga postures in our work, I can incorporate breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, and yogic philosophy. Learn more about yoga and counseling here.
My clients often give me the feedback that I understand how trauma shows up for them and am direct and compassionate in my approach to therapy.
Call or email me today and we’ll get started on bringing your life back into balance.
To learn more about trauma and PTSD counseling, check out these blog posts.