WHAT IS TRAUMA?
There are many definitions of trauma but the most common theme is that trauma is any event which overwhelms a person’s ability to cope with it. Trauma affects your mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health and can make it difficult to live your life as you did before the trauma came into your life. Trauma can come as either a one-time event or as a prolonged series of events (called complex trauma).
Different forms of trauma include:
Sexual Assault & Abuse
Intimate Partner Violence/Domestic Violence
Childhood Abuse and/or Neglect
WHAT YOU MAY BE EXPERIENCING
It’s important to know that the symptoms that you may be experiencing following trauma exposure are actually a very normal and natural response to a very abnormal situation. Some of these symptoms include:
Psychological & Emotional:
Anxiety, fear, & panic attacks
Depression & feelings of hopelessness
Shock, denial, or disbelief
Confusion, difficulty concentrating
Mood swings, anger, & irritability
Shame, guilt, & self-blame
Hypervigilance, or a feeling of always being on edge
Feelings of numbness or dissociation
Social isolation and relational issues
Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
Being jumpy or getting startled easily
Difficulty concentrating on normal tasks
Unexplained muscle tension
Aches and pains
HOW WE CAN HELP
Insight-Oriented Therapy (Psychodynamic)
Insight-oriented therapy is based on the belief that through increased consciousness we can create new life experiences. This therapeutic process involves the therapist and client exploring and gaining a better understanding of how feelings, beliefs, actions, and events from the past may be influencing our current mindset and circumstances. The goal of insight-oriented therapy is to empower you with a sense of clarity so that you have the freedom to make new, adaptive, and healthier choices that support your continuing growth.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This process is focused on addressing thought patterns, physical symptoms, and behaviors. Research shows that CBT is a very effective form of treating a variety of issues. Through compassionate and supportive care, we hope to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable in starting the process toward growth and reducing the feelings of depression and anxiety you may be feeling. CBT can be used alone or combined with mindfulness/meditation.
Through consistent practice, like meditation, we become more focused on the present and understand our experience in the here-and-now. Mindfulness teaches us to shift our attention away from negative thought patterns that lead to the unsatisfactory and problematic thoughts and behaviors and move toward positive and meaningful growth. Mindfulness can used alone or combined with insight-oriented therapy and CBT.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR is a research-backed integrative therapy that uses our understanding of neuroscience to help the brain reprocess traumatic memories more effectively. It works by helping to reprocess traumatic memories to make them less emotionally charged and overwhelming. EMDR uses visual, auditory, or tactile rhythmic side-to-side movements in order to stimulate the brain bi-laterally and stimulate reprocessing of help it reprocess the memories in a more adaptive way. EMDR has been shown to not only reduce negative trauma symptoms like intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks, but also help clients to feel like they are able to let go of past events that have been keeping them stuck. While originally developed as a treatment for trauma, EMDR has also been shown by research to be an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, grief, eating disorders, and addiction. For more information from the APA, click here. For more research on EMDR, click here.