Is Trauma Holding You Back From Experiencing A Fulfilling Life?
Are you having trouble coming to terms with a traumatic event? Despite your efforts to address what happened, do the after-effects continue to cause emotional pain and create obstacles in your relationships? Wouldn’t you like to finally heal from the past and look toward a brighter future?
Perhaps it feels as though you live under the shadow of perpetual fear. Even though on a rational level your mind knows you’re no longer under threat, your body might feel like it’s constantly on guard. Whether you experience flashbacks, hypervigilance, nightmares, sleep disruption, or bouts of panic, at times, it may seem like your life is not your own.
Unresolved Trauma May Interfere With Your Relationships
Maybe you have difficulty forging an emotional connection with others or maintaining healthy relationships. You might put up walls of protection that make getting close to others problematic or feel as though you have to people-please to earn someone’s affection. Perhaps trusting people doesn’t come naturally to you, leading to a sense of disconnection and isolation.
You may feel guilty or ashamed about what’s happened to you even though it wasn’t your fault. This low sense of self may cause you to mistakenly believe that you are defective in some fundamental way. Rather than looking forward to the future, you may sense your energy draining away, impairing your ability to move forward in life, find your purpose, and fulfill your heart’s desire.
The good news is that you don’t have to feel stuck anymore. Therapy can help you process the trauma that’s been impeding you from living your best life. With treatment at Find Your Shine, you can move on from the past, learn to trust again, and reacquaint yourself with the person you used to be.
Everyone Experiences Trauma
The National Council for Behavioral Health estimates that “70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.” Trauma in its various forms can have a lasting impact, leading to such mental health issues as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Trauma activates our acute stress response—also known as the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response—a biological mechanism that we all have for survival. When trauma is experienced and the stress response is activated, it becomes stored within our bodies at a cellular level. Regulating our nervous system back to its normal state requires more than just applying logic or problem-solving. We have to release the trauma from our bodies to feel safe again.
We Don’t Always Recognize Trauma For What It Is
Although everyone experiences trauma in some form, the reactions it causes can vary from person to person. There are two types of trauma—"Big T" which includes events such as near-death experiences, child abuse, or sexual assault—and "Little T" which includes ongoing circumstances like going through a divorce, experiencing a toxic relationship, or having a hyper-critical or emotionally unavailable parent.
It can be common for us to downplay the trauma that lies in our own life experiences. Many of us associate what defines trauma as only Big T events. Oftentimes, we think that because other people have experienced worse things than we have, we must not have suffered trauma. Unfortunately, this may lead us to downplay our experiences and put off getting the help we need.
However, the fact is that repeated exposure to Little T trauma can cause more emotional damage than one Big T event. Even when an experience goes unrecognized as trauma, you may still be suffering its effects. Fortunately, if you’re living with unresolved trauma or PTSD, therapy can help.
Therapy Can Help You Process The Trauma That Keeps You Stuck
If you have lived with trauma for some time, you might have gotten used to what it feels like when your body perceives a threat. You may become physically and emotionally exhausted so frequently that you’ve forgotten what a stress-free body feels like. Although we cannot change what happened, through therapy, we can help your brain and nervous system understand that the danger is over and that you are worthy of feeling safe again.
The trauma-informed care we offer gives you back the power and control the effects of trauma have taken from you. At Find Your Shine, we respect your choices. You can sit anywhere, move at your own pace, and only broach topics once you feel ready.
Additionally, our therapists endeavor to understand how systems of oppression cause and exacerbate trauma. In particular, we are sensitive to how the “isms”—racism, classism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, sizeism, and ageism—can heavily influence one’s ability to feel safe in the world. When appropriate, we will work with you to examine how systemic oppression may have personally impacted you.
What To Expect In Sessions
Once you feel ready, together, we will uncover the traumas you’ve experienced, both Big T and Little T, and explore how they are influencing your life now. Your counselor will help you work through what happened in ways that honor the effect trauma has had on you while also allowing you to move forward from it and lead a more fulfilling life.
In cases where exposure is ongoing—such as experiencing racial trauma or working as a first responder—we will help you process your past trauma while building resilience toward any future trauma you may endure. By learning to draw from your inner strengths and connect to a supportive community, you will become better equipped to handle these experiences.
The Modalities We Use
Each of our therapists is trained in specific modalities proven effective in the treatment of trauma and PTSD, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Brainspotting, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
EMDR recognizes that traumatic memories get stored in the brain improperly. The way these memories get stuck is the reason why your brain plays them over and over in a futile attempt to process them. The EMDR technique will help pinpoint what is stuck and allow you to process, integrate, and neutralize the memory so that it no longer feels like an active threat.
TF-CBT can help you manage the unhelpful emotions and behaviors that stem from having experienced trauma. And the coping skills DBT offers can help you learn how to live in the present moment and better regulate your emotions and behaviors.
You’re not a failure for needing support to process painful events you’ve experienced. Rather, deciding to face your past may be the bravest decision you ever make and will be a gift to anyone who loves you. Trauma therapy provides you with the tools you need to plot out a
But Maybe You Still Wonder Whether Trauma Therapy Will Be Right For You…
How do I know if I have trauma or not and may need counseling?
Throughout life, we have all experienced trauma to varying degrees. However, trauma is subjective—what one person experiences as trauma may not be experienced the same way by another person, and vice versa. Your experience doesn't have to be “Big T” trauma to be valid and worthy of healing. If you want to let something go or lessen its effect on you, you may benefit from trauma therapy.
How long does trauma or PTSD treatment usually take?
Trauma affects everyone differently and healing can occur fairly quickly for some, and take longer for others. Many people come to therapy to work on a single issue, only to discover they may have other issues to work through as well. You are always welcome to start and stop trauma therapy, take breaks when necessary, and attend at a frequency that feels comfortable to you.
What if I’m not ready to talk about my trauma with a therapist?
Your counselor will honor and respect your pace and never push you to face your trauma prematurely. If you aren't ready to talk about what happened, we will work with you until you are. Fortunately, many trauma therapy modalities, such as EMDR and Brainspotting, don't require you to talk about the details of what has happened to successfully heal from them.
You Can Get Control Back Of Your Life And Find Peace Within
The experiences of your past no longer have to define who you are. To find out more about trauma or PTSD therapy with us, please visit our contact page or call (480) 815-3211 to schedule a free 10-minute consultation with one of our therapists.