Trauma Therapy

Has a past event or experience left you feeling fearful and anxious?

Is it hard for you to feel safe or trust others?

Trauma PageAre you struggling with intense, unpredictable feelings or mood swings? Do you feel numb or disconnected from those around you? Do you experience recurrent nightmares or disturbing memories? Perhaps, you have difficulty concentrating or a persistent sense of danger that occupies your mind. Or, you may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and confusion.

It is possible you may be experiencing the symptoms of trauma or traumatic stress. Sometimes, when bad things happen to us, it can be difficult to recover from the pain, shock or powerlessness of the experience. In fact, the more fearful, overwhelmed or vulnerable you may have felt during the experience, the more likely you are to experience emotional and physical symptoms in the weeks, months or even years following. However, there are ways to help you heal and recover from these painful symptoms.

How do I know if I have had a trauma?

A trauma is any event or experience that impacts your ability to feel safe and connected—both to yourself and the world around you. Often, people think of traumas as life threatening events, such as being physical assaulted or in a serious car accident. However, anything that causes you to feel frightened overwhelmed and powerless can be a trauma.

Abuse (emotional, physical, sexual), neglect, loss, natural disasters, and even daily stress can create trauma responses in the body. Traumatic responses can be triggered by a single event or by ongoing, persistent stresses, such as struggling with a debilitating disease, ongoing domestic violence or abuse, or living apart from a parent for a child.

What causes traumatic symptoms?

The body’s nervous system has a natural way of responding to traumatic and fearful experiences. When it senses danger, it activates your fight or flight response to help you cope with and move through the experience. Sometimes, however, this natural response gets blocked or prevented in some way. For example, if your flight or flight response gets activated too often or for too long (persistent trauma), or if a threat feels too overwhelming (a sudden trauma), your nervous system can become unbalanced. That is, it can get stuck, and as a result, painful emotional and physical symptoms can emerge.

How can I begin to heal?

As part of the healing process, it is important that you be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to mourn the losses you’ve experienced and feel your feelings, without guilt or judgment. Trauma therapy can help you through this process. With the right support, you can grieve, process your experience, and ultimately regain your sense of safety and balance.

As part of my approach to trauma therapy, I incorporate the techniques and philosophies of Attachment-Focused EMDR and the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM). EMDR is a well-researched and highly effective trauma treatment that helps you process through and heal from the many negative effects of traumatic experiences. TRM is a somatic or mind-body therapy that utilizes your body’s innate ability to heal. Rather than just concentrating on thoughts and memories, TRM focuses on sensations and restoring balance to your nervous system. That is, it helps get your flight or flight system unstuck, so that you can live a balanced, peaceful and fulfilling life.

I’m not sure . . . I have more questions about trauma therapy.

I’m worried that therapy will make me relive the agonizing details of my trauma.

It is not necessary for you to discuss all of the painful details of your trauma in order for healing to take place. Sometimes, for some individuals, recalling some memories or feelings can provide helpful understanding and relief. However, it certainly is not a requirement of trauma therapy. Healing can happen through the regulation of the nervous system.

I don’t have memories of a specific trauma. Can therapy still help me?

In order for healing to happen, you do not need to know the exact cause of your traumatic symptoms. Commonly, our minds block painful memories to protect us, and it is not necessary to connect with those blocked memories for healing. Trauma therapy focuses on reducing symptoms, re-balancing the nervous system, and restoring a sense of safety, trust and connection.

I’m not sure trauma therapy can help me. What if there is just something wrong with me?

When you’ve had a trauma or are struggling with traumatic stress, it is normal to feel hopeless, as if things can’t or won’t get better. Feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness are symptoms of traumatic stress. However, in truth, therapy is very effective in trauma recovery, and can help you begin to live your life again.

What makes you unique as a therapist?

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and specialize in working with clients struggling with the painful symptoms of trauma. I have a gentle, non-judgmental approach, which helps my clients feel safe, heard and understood. Although I believe that past experiences can impact our present experience, I do not believe it is necessary to relive past events to heal from trauma. However, I believe, at times, understanding the past can be helpful.

I work collaboratively with my clients to determine the best treatment plan for their individual needs and experience. I follow their lead and desired pacing, while focusing on helping them regulate and restore balance to their minds and bodies. I provide my clients with practical tools help in this process. I also encourage the use of meditation and mindfulness to support the healing process, if this feels comfortable for the client.

How can I connect with you to learn more about trauma therapy?

If you want to learn more about dealing with trauma, check out my blog. If you are ready to begin your healing now, I am here to help. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation if you would like to learn more about trauma therapy or my practice. If you would like to set up a full appointment, you can call me at 818-538-9548 or click here to send me an email.