Have you experienced trauma some time in your life?
Are your romantic relationships an ongoing struggle?
Do you have memories you avoid or repress?
Do you sometimes feel stuck in chaotic emotions?
Are there times when you feel exhausted trying to keep it together?
Perhaps you have been stressed…
to keep your life together. Your family may not know what you have suffered in your past or are not sure what to do to help. Maybe relationships seem strained and you may avoid certain people or at times be reactive with others. It could be that you try to avoid your emotions entirely. Also, you may feel anxious or vulnerable in connecting with others. It may be like you are on high alert when needing to relax. You may find yourself feeling vulnerable to any slight change or trigger that flares up your distress.
In addition, you may have times when your body aches in various places when you feel stressed or irritated. Your body may be holding a whole bunch of stuff you don’t know what to do with. Possibly you may have times of feeling numb but not sure why. You want to be whole but there are times of helplessness or hopelessness. Perhaps you have “holes” in your memory as a child or in certain times in your life. In these experiences, you are not alone. Over the years we have worked with many clients going through these or similar experiences with positive results.
Our purpose in counseling is to bring about help and healing for our clients. We do this through compassion, encouragement, therapy tools, acceptance, and validation. Over the years in our trauma therapy we have seen many clients overcome their mental and emotional distress. Whether you have been sexually or physically abused, neglected as a child, or bullied there is hope. Perhaps you have encountered domestic violence, experienced war, encountered a life altering event, or other traumatic events. We are here for you.
What Is Trauma?
In its basic definition, trauma is an injury or wound. From a mental health perspective, trauma is a significant mental and/or emotional wound with indefinite distress. Further, it is exposure to an event or series of events that are highly disturbing emotionally and/or life threatening. Trauma may occur without warning or with dread over time. Though most people experience various painful moments in their lives, each one receives and responds differently. Many times there is a compounding effect of many events or relational interactions that account for a degree of severity. In other words, you may have experienced a series of multiple wounds that added together increase your distress and incite trauma within. Also, mental/emotional wounds ignored or neglected may negatively impact your self-esteem, morale, quality of life, and relationships with others.
Another way to look at trauma from a mental health perspective is to consider the aftermath. How has your life changed since the trauma? What has changed in how you react towards your family, friends, and co-workers? Do you sense there is a loss of your person, loss of time? Moreover, what are you telling yourself about the trauma and those involved?
Trauma Therapy—How Does It Work?
Trauma therapy is designed to meet you where you are in the moment. The therapist will work at your pace. We generally start with stabilization. Stabilization is confirming your safety in your trauma therapy. We hear your unique story, your struggles, your behavior, current coping strategies, your goals, and your strengths. We help you face your trauma together. Further, we help you to develop and practice therapy tools to help you feel more stable and grounded. Then, we look to challenge distorted believes that have grown out of your trauma and look to restructure them to more positive and realistic ones. Emotional balance is addressed throughout the therapy process as we look to help you regain your sense of self. We also help you determine healthy, supportive resources in your faith (spiritual beliefs), family, friends, or mentors.
Questions You May Have
Do I Really Need Trauma Therapy?
This is a very common and yet realistic question. Many times people try to convince themselves that they are “okay” or not “crazy”. On the contrary, many people who have experienced trauma believe they are not valuable or worthwhile in getting well. However, many times our clients want to be well but start in the overwhelmed. Just the thought of going to a counselor can be scary, unknown and the idea of uncovering the trauma is terrifying. It may take a fearful reminder or trigger that tells you “Yes…you need to go now to therapy”. It takes a willingness to join with a caring, empathetic, accepting counselor who is also willing to walk alongside of you toward your healing. Yes, you are worthwhile!
If I Have a Hard Time Opening Up, Then What?
This is also quite common, especially when you first start your journey toward healing. There may be various reasons why it is hard for you to open up in counseling. Moreover, you have certain shameful trauma that has remained secret for a long time. This is where the counselor will calmly go slow, warm and gentle yet will learn what pace works best for you. You determine when, what, how and to what extent you will share. You are in charge of you. We realize each client is different and so we work within your strengths, pace, and responses. Some may call it a therapeutic dance with flow and movement together through the process of addressing your trauma, your needs and goals. Thus, the beginning starts with just coming, and being in session with your counselor. This takes courage. You may feel emotionally stuck and that’s okay. So remember: you are taking your step forward.
How am I Going to get Past This?
One step at a time may sound cliché, yet it is very true here in addressing your trauma. Not all wounds are created equal nor are their devastations. Therapy is a process. So, depending on the trauma, a bit of will power, along with time, patience and understanding, you will look to get past this. Be there for you. Allow yourself this opportunity to move toward your restoration. Also, this means to focus on your desired counseling goals. Take charge of you!
How Will Trauma Therapy Improve My Relationships?
Over time as you get to know yourself more, you will begin to understand others. For example, it’s like having something in your eye and it bothers you so much that nothing else matters. Once you get that thing out of your eye, you can see others more clearly. As you recognize more of your self-worth, gaining more of a sense of well-being and balance, then you see choices. You muster your responsibility of your own thoughts, feelings, actions and attitude. You may find yourself getting out of the blame or run away mode and seek honorable solutions in your relationships. Further, you will be more empowered to have a voice. You’ll see more clearly in determining your boundaries, invite healthy discussions while practicing active listening and problem solving skills.
How Long Will Therapy Last?
As mentioned earlier, therapy is a process. Keep your objectives and goals in front of you. In other words, as you build on your strengths, support, resources, you become more empowered to move past your trauma and into the healing stages. We want to keep the end in mind. After the first few sessions (5-6) we may review your progress, then a few more sessions review again and see what is working well and what changes we may want to make. We work together with you on your journey.
Will Trauma Therapy Be Worth My Time and Money?
This is a good and practical question. You may wonder if Trauma Therapy could “break” you. Many people feel scared to work though their trauma. Trauma work starts slow as we determine the extent of your mental and emotional wounds. However, many of our clients make great strides in their first few sessions and acknowledge a bit of relief. Their day to day life begins to
become clearer and their relationships noticeably improve. Remember, you are worth your time and money. Trauma therapy is your investment in you. Imagine the relief!
Oh To Be Whole: Hope for Healing, Strength for the Journey
Now is your time to free yourself from the grip of trauma. Learn new and effective ways of coping on your journey toward health and healing. For more information, questions and to get an appointment, contact us at 520-292-9750 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counselors available for trauma therapy are Kim Arnold, Anne Marie Sheffer, Jerimya Fox, Michelle Rucker, Jennifer Foster, Ciara Fleming, and Joel Ackley