Trauma Treatments

Is PTSD Holding You Back From The Life You Want?

Are you unable to move beyond a traumatic event? As much as you’d like to unburden yourself from the past, do you feel stuck or become triggered when something reminds you of what you experienced? And when your emotions or physical sensations become too intense, do you turn to substances, risky behavior, or other unhealthy habits as a way to avoid painful memories?

As a trauma survivor, you may be dealing with unresolved memories that keep you frozen in the past. Although you might feel okay for long periods, any reminder of your trauma might cause upsetting memories that flood your mind without warning, derailing your focus and productivity.

You Might Blame Yourself For What Happened

When you’re affected by trauma, the glass always seems half empty. You might perceive life through a negative lens, not fully realizing how your thoughts and assumptions about the world influence your experience. Or perhaps you blame yourself or others for what happened, leading to feelings of guilt or strained relationships.

Avoiding anything that reminds you of your trauma might be impacting your quality of life, causing you to disassociate from your emotions or isolate yourself from others. Physical symptoms—like nightmares, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, or a heightened startle reaction—may cause you to feel like something terrible is about to happen at any moment.

The good news is that trauma therapy recognizes how resilient and deserving of emotional healing you are. With different treatment options available, you can process unresolved trauma and find a positive direction forward.

Not All Trauma Is Easily Recognizable To Us

Most people experience some form of trauma at one time or another. As a result, “One in 11 people will be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives.” Although trauma is often associated with “Big T” events, such as living through war, sexual or physical abuse, a natural disaster, or a catastrophic accident, “little t” trauma events can also be harmful to our well-being.

If, for example, our parents worked long hours or were emotionally unavailable to us, this may have caused trauma in our childhood. However, we often minimize the effect these more subtle circumstances had on us, comparing our experience to those who had it “worse” than we did. By downplaying the impact distressful events have had on us and not realizing how we’ve been affected, unresolved trauma becomes a blind spot in our lives that can hold us back.

A Lack Of Adequate Support Can Exacerbate Trauma

Living with trauma is rarely a linear journey. We may have experienced a traumatic event as a child and recovered without intervention, only to have a more recent event trigger distressing symptoms. There are several reasons the trauma we experience later in life may impact us more deeply. For one, inadequate social and emotional support following a traumatic event can make it vastly harder to recover. Furthermore, as adults, cumulative trauma becomes harder to process, causing self-blame and rumination. 

Unfortunately, we may be afraid to share our traumatic experiences with others, fearing that we won’t be believed or that our experience will be diminished by others. Or, perhaps, in the aftermath of what happened, we neglect to prioritize our emotional well-being.  

But making time for trauma and PTSD therapy is your first step on the path to healing and transformation. Whether you have experienced “Big T” trauma, like war or childhood sexual and physical abuse, or “little t” trauma like bullying or emotionally unavailable parents, counseling can help you move forward.

Therapy Can Help You Move Beyond Trauma And Heal

Once you decide to attend therapy to address unresolved trauma, we will be here to support you through your journey with compassion, validation, and support. With our expertise and training, we can determine the modalities that will be a good fit for you.

Therapy is set at a comfortable pace. Working collaboratively with you, your therapist will help you arrive at an informed decision about the form of trauma therapy you decide to work with. They will ensure that before getting underway, you are emotionally ready to engage in the deeper work that will aid in reducing your PTSD symptoms. 

What To Expect In Sessions

After completing a thorough assessment of your personal history and determining what symptoms of PTSD impact you most, your therapist will provide you with some psychoeducation about trauma. With a better understanding of how trauma interrupts the human desire for control, trust, safety, and connection with others, you will gain valuable insight into how your experience has affected you. 

How ongoing sessions look will vary significantly based on which PTSD treatment you and your therapist decide will be most beneficial for you. By utilizing evidence-based therapy that suits your needs, we can reduce the impact trauma has on you, allowing you to heal and focus on other life goals and aspirations.

The Therapy We Offer To Treat Trauma And PTSD 

Our therapists are trained to provide you with gold-standard treatments for addressing trauma and reducing PTSD symptoms. Based on your circumstances and preferences, we may offer you Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), or Somatic Experiencing®, (SE). 

With CPT, you will explore how trauma has impacted your life by writing a statement that serves as a conversation starter for exploring your thoughts and feelings associated with what happened. By challenging your distorted beliefs, you will begin to dismantle the negative emotions that are intertwined with your experience and restructure your worldview.

By creating a safe and secure therapeutic space, PE allows you to re-experience trauma in a controlled environment. By identifying the sights and sounds that you associate with your trauma, real-time exposure will help gradually diminish the effect these stimuli have on you so that you no longer have to resort to avoidance as a way to keep fear at bay.

And with SE, we will focus on your body’s fight, flight, or freeze response to direct the release of “survival energy” that remains trapped in your nervous system long after the trauma occurred. By taking a bottom-up approach, you will first process trauma through your body before addressing the mind.

PTSD is a treatable condition. With effective therapy, you can resolve PTSD and feel more comfortable in your own skin. When you’ve reached the point when you’re thriving instead of surviving, life will feel lighter, easier, and full of new possibilities. 

But Perhaps You Wonder Whether Trauma Therapy Is Right For You…

During treatment sessions, will I have to re-experience my trauma?

For each of the treatment modalities our therapists are trained in—CPT, PE, and SE—a certain amount of recalling your trauma will be necessary. However, recalling your trauma won’t be the same as having to re-experience it. Additionally, before embarking on any targeted trauma treatment, your therapist will ensure that you are emotionally prepared for the process by teaching you grounding and mindfulness techniques.

Ever since experiencing trauma, I can’t relaxI doubt PTSD counseling can help with that.

A common symptom of PTSD is hyper-vigilance, which makes relaxation elusive. In PTSD treatment, your counselor will explain how trauma affects you physically and mentally and why, despite being your body’s form of self-protection, hyper-vigilance doesn’t create the feeling of safety you desire. In therapy for trauma, you'll learn techniques that will help you safely let your guard down and relax. 

My PTSD symptoms are out of my control and nothing I do helps.

Although you may feel helpless right now, the good news is that working together, there are different approaches you and your counselor can take to address your trauma. Because PTSD is a treatable condition with various effective evidence-based interventions to choose from, once therapy is completed, you can expect to experience a dramatic decrease in symptoms which can improve your quality of life. 

You Can Feel Like Yourself Again

Seeking therapy to heal past emotional wounds can be a transformative experience. If you would like to find out more about trauma and PTSD therapy, please visit our contact page to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.