“Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside of you as a result of what happened to you.” – Gabor Mate
Trauma is a reality that many people will face in some form at some point in their lives. It can take many forms. It may be a car accident, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war or a natural disaster. It might also be the experience of abuse or neglect over the course of many years, being faced with chronic illness or disease or living a pattern of abusive relationships. At its core trauma occurs when an individual faces a situation (or series of situations) that overwhelms their ability to respond and process adequately.
While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.
In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.
According to the DSM-5, four major symptoms fall in the following categories:
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks
- Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
Many types of psychotherapy can be used to help people struggling with trauma. Some people need to find a safe space in which to tell their story of trauma and begin to process it. Others find that a therapy such as Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) can help them to begin processing their traumatic experiences without needing them to retell their experiences in detail.
My focus is on meeting you where you are at, hearing what you need and finding the best and most effective ways to help you to find healing and peace.
If you feel as if you are struggling to move forward and feel stuck because of trauma in your life, I invite you to contact me today for a free consultation.