“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”
Are Symptoms Of Trauma Or PTSD Holding You Back?
Are you troubled by thoughts and feelings related to an upsetting past experience? Do unwanted memories often arise seemingly out of nowhere? At night, are you plagued by recurring nightmares or other sleep disturbances?
Perhaps you’re frustrated by your apparent inability to control your feelings and behaviors. Or maybe you have unwanted repetitive, fearful, or anxious thoughts every time a sight, sound, or other trigger reminds you of the traumatic experience. Your chronic stress and anxiety may also have led to gastrointestinal issues, headaches, tension, or other physical symptoms.
Have you been feeling lonely or misunderstood because you tend to avoid going out? Perhaps you’re nervous around people, fearing what might happen or what they might think of you if you are triggered or lose your cool. It could be that your general distrust of others and discomfort with vulnerability is disrupting your relationships or causing angry outbursts that push friends and loved ones even further away.
If you’ve been struggling to move past a traumatic event without success, you might wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” or blame yourself for what happened. In reality, though, there is nothing “wrong” with you. With help, you can learn to take back control of your thoughts and behaviors and move forward.
Trauma Is A Normal Response To A Threatening Experience
Trauma, which can be triggered by a wide variety of causes, is extremely common. In fact, up to 90% of Americans will be exposed to a traumatic event at some point in their lives.
Some cases of trauma result from situations that are physically threatening. Domestic violence, rape, and other violent acts are common causes for trauma, especially among women, children, minorities, and other vulnerable groups. Psychological abuses and microaggressions are even more common and can be felt deeply as well. Even incidents where no one is at fault, including natural disasters, car accidents, illnesses, and injuries, can also lead to trauma symptoms.
Unfortunately, our society has historically done a poor job of helping trauma sufferers heal. Survivors of rape and other crimes are often questioned or blamed for their part in what happened, exacerbating the tendency many survivors have to blame themselves for what has happened and leaving them feeling more alone than ever.
Many people also find fault with their own inability to heal more quickly. But trauma isn’t something you can just “get over” by toughening up or putting on a brave face. Trauma is a biological condition that must be addressed at the subcortical level of the brain before lasting healing can occur.
Fortunately, researchers have identified the most effective trauma treatments for rapid healing. Licensed trauma therapists who specialize in these treatments can help trauma survivors heal, repair relationships, and move forward with their lives.
PTSD Treatment Can Help You Find Peace And Healing
I use a variety of tools and techniques in my work with trauma survivors. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based trauma treatment for adults, is one of them. Our brains have the ability to naturally heal themselves—such as the healing that occurs during REM sleep, for example. Traumatic experiences short-circuit these mechanisms, but EMDR can reactivate them through various forms of bilateral stimulation, removing the emotional charge from traumatic memories.
Because EMDR accesses the parts of the brain where painful memories are stored, it works quite quickly, with clients beginning to feel better in as few as two or three sessions. I’ll also explain how PTSD affects the body and mind to help you better understand what’s happening to you. When you’re able to recognize how your thoughts and emotions affect your body and behavior, you gain greater understanding and control over how you respond to trauma triggers and symptoms, and the rest of your life will become more manageable.
I will also teach you skills and techniques to help cope with daily triggers, so you can effectively reduce distressing thoughts and harmful self-beliefs before they take control. Customizing your treatment plan to your unique goals and preferences, I’ll incorporate a variety of techniques to help you stay calm and present, including guided visualization, grounding techniques, and mindfulness meditation.
Just as many other people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, you may tend to have a black and white thinking pattern (seeing everything as either dangerous or safe, innocent or guilty, etc.). Looking at the world through the lens of a painful or traumatic memory can often generate a pessimistic and distrustful world view. If unhelpful thinking patterns are holding you back, I can help you view life from a new perspective through a technique called cognitive restructuring. This process teaches you to objectively weigh the evidence for and against certain perspectives and, over time, helps you to start seeing the world with greater clarity, fairness, and optimism. You’ll become aware of the many shades of grey that exist in every circumstance and in every person, which can be extremely helpful in boosting your self-confidence and building stronger relationships.
I have more than eight years of experience as a licensed trauma therapist, so I know that no two people are alike or will respond to the same treatment. Depending on your needs, I can pull from a variety of modalities and techniques including mindfulness, stress management, cognitive restructuring, solution-focused problem solving, narrative therapy, and positive psychology.
Past clients have rid themselves of unwanted thoughts, reduced painful emotions, and started sleeping better, allowing them to live with greater autonomy and optimism. I have seen people who previously struggled to get out of bed in the morning go back to work and even start support groups to help others. And I have helped people who had isolated themselves from their families reconnect and foster greater understanding and support from their loved ones.
Even if you are a busy professional or prefer to avoid public outings, you can still reap these benefits. I offer PTSD treatment sessions exclusively via “teletherapy” technology, which allows us to meet virtually via a secure and private online web conference room. I provide a non-judgmental and fully accepting atmosphere for you to process your past experiences from the comfort, privacy, and convenience of your home or office.
As you consider PTSD therapy, you may be wondering. . .
Am I ready for this? I’m reluctant to face what happened to me.
I have heard stories of PTSD therapists pushing their clients to talk about traumatic experiences before they were ready, but I want to assure you: that is not how I work. Therapeutic relationships are built on trust and respect, and that takes time. If you’re not ready to talk about your trauma right away, that’s OK! We can start with stress management techniques, assertiveness skills, or work on other areas of your life. You might also find comfort in knowing that EMDR, the post-traumatic stress disorder treatment I often recommend, can be adapted to your individual style and preference, and you won’t have to talk any more than you are comfortable with.
Does EMDR really work? It sounds like some kind of “woo woo” alternative medicine.
Many people are skeptical about EMDR—until they actually try it. There is still some uncertainty as to exactly how the treatment works at the neurological level, but numerous scientific studies have confirmed its effectiveness. In fact, a scientific review of multiple studies that compared EMDR to other therapies found that in the vast majority of cases, EMDR therapy provided more rapid and/or more effective results for PTSD sufferers.
Do I really have time for trauma therapy?
Because I offer PTSD treatment sessions exclusively via web conference, you won’t have to gas up, sit in traffic, or fight for a parking space to get the support you need. Virtual trauma therapy is just as effective as in-office PTSD counseling, so you will get all of the benefits with none of the hassle. To connect with me via my secure, HIPAA-compliant web conferencing tool, you’ll just need an internet-capable device equipped with a webcam, speakers, and a high-speed internet connection. Visit my video therapy page and download this guide on Getting Started with Telehealth (444KB) to learn more about this private and convenient form of therapy.
Free Yourself From Trauma And Get Back To The Real You
Don’t let your past hold you back from reaching your full potential. Take the first step toward greater stability and freedom by contacting me for a free, 15-minute consultation.