Learning to live after a traumatic event can be one of life's most difficult journeys. Trauma affects our whole being - our body, our mind, our emotions and our belief systems. We tend to view the world as an unsafe place after a traumatic experience. Traumatic experiences are both terrifying and horrific and therapy is a place where one can safely explore these feelings and begin the healing process.
Many of us are told to bury our feelings, "to get over it, it was in the past." When we do that, we become disconnected or “numb” because the feelings surrounding the traumatic event are just too frightening or painful to face.
The problem is that feelings don't disappear. When we shut down our feelings, we also cut ourselves off from the natural healing process.
What is Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy is a three stage process.
The first stage: Safety and Stabilization involves building new skills around coping, affect regulation and strenghtening social supports.
The second stage: Trauma processing/working through trauma involves emotionally and cognitively reprocessing the traumatic experience by discussing the trauma in various ways.
The third stage: Reintegration/Reconnection stage involves reconnecting to your new life, where healing has occurred.
Trauma counseling can help with:
When we don't have a safe, supportive environment in which to heal, the effects of trauma remain for months, years or decades. Sometimes events in life can trigger your traumatic experience causing overwhelming feelings or unhealthy patterns of behavior. Trauma can:
Cause problems with sleep, experiencing nightmares, flashbacks
Cause symptoms of depression, PTSD and anxiety
Cause problems in our belief system about the world and ourselves, self esteem and body image
Cause us to abuse alcohol and drugs to “numb the pain”
Cause problems in our relationship with others
How trauma counseling can help. I know the terrain of trauma well and I'm not afraid of your intense feelings of anger, rage, or fear. I have come to know about living through feelings of sadness, fear, panic, rage, and nightmares. I have been present with people who have been sexually assaulted and involved in near fatal relationships involving domestic violence. I have come to understand, and live through, the rebuilding of a new life.
Whether your trauma is new or from years ago, it can help to have a compassionate, caring person to assist you and provide hope in your healing process. I provide support, education, and a respectful, caring presence. I believe that you can heal from trauma and work through even the hardest feelings and once again live an abundant life.
Because the effects of trauma extend to our loved ones in that they need to know how to cope with someone who has had a traumatic experience, I offer individual, couple/marital and family counseling.