Therapy for Trauma and PTSD
Have you suffered through traumatic events in your life and you aren’t sure if you will ever be able to move past them? Do you struggle with painful memories and body sensations and aren’t sure how to manage them? Do you feel depressed, irritable, detached, and anxious, and blame yourself for how you react to people and situations? Do you engage in destructive patterns of behavior, such as recurrent unhealthy relationships, drug or alcohol abuse, social isolation, disordered eating, or self-harm?
Therapy is a safe space for you to work through your distress and gain freedom from your past. Using a collaborative mind-body approach, I will work with you to discover your individual path towards healing and trauma resolution.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is the result of living through terrifying or life-threatening events, which leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless. It is normal to feel afraid when we experience something traumatic. Our bodies have a natural “fight-or-flight” response that activates when we are in danger and helps keep us safe. When these reactions continue beyond the life-threatening event, they can lead to difficulty with a number of areas of daily functioning.
Unresolved trauma negatively impacts our views of ourselves, others, and the world around us. Whether you experienced a single event that dismantled your ability to feel safe, or endured years of long-term neglect or abuse, you may be affected by post-traumatic stress symptoms.
What are some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
- Flashbacks–feeling like the traumatic event is happening all over again
- Difficulty sleeping, including nightmares and insomnia
- Frightening and intrusive thoughts
- Physical symptoms, such as heart racing, sweating, muscle tension, etc.
- Being jumpy or easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge” most of the time
- Mood swings and angry outbursts
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt, self-blame, and low self-worth
- Feeling numb or losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Feeling emotionally cut-off from from family and friends
- Feeling dissociated and detached
Even in the absence of a PTSD diagnosis, if you’ve suffered from traumatic or stressful life events, you may still have great difficulties in your ability to trust others, be in healthy relationships, cope with feelings, or manage various life areas. If you are experiencing any of these issues, working with a trauma therapist is an essential step in aiding and restoring your physical and emotional well-being.
Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness.
– Peter Levine
How Can Therapy Help?
Trauma therapy is not just about retelling your trauma story. Trauma is stored in our implicit memories, also known as body memories, which means that words alone are not enough to reach the depth of the trauma’s impact. In order to experience lasting relief from symptoms, it is important to access the body and release the painful memories and experiences that are held there. Once our nervous systems are able to self-regulate, as they are designed to do, we are more resilient and capable of making changes to our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.
I am trained in Attachment-Focused EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a client-centered approach that uses bilateral stimulation to process and release stuck traumatic memories, and Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM), a somatic approach that helps restore balance to the body and mind after traumatic experiences. I use these therapeutic modalities in my work with clients to achieve meaningful and long-lasting relief from symptoms.