PTSD and Trauma Therapy

Are you having difficulty getting past a recent or old trauma? Have uncomfortable memories been retriggered by a recent loss, transition or another trauma? Have fears and self-doubt left you questioning yourself or your decisions? Are you worried that stressful or painful memories have taken you off track and are limiting your ability to achieve both short and long-term goals? You might try to avoid stressors and triggers, but feel exhausted, isolated or frightened when even a gesture, tone of voice or smell brings back a flood of emotions and elicits distressing physical responses, such as difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate and intense sweating. Perhaps you constantly worry that you will make a wrong decision and blame yourself for feeling hopeless, insecure or unhappy. You might be dissatisfied with where you are in life, but you aren’t sure if you are ready—or even know how—to make a change.

You may feel like you need help putting your life together after a difficult transition, such as a career change, legal difficulties, the end of a relationship or the loss of a loved one, especially if the stress associated with the change is triggering unresolved emotions. Or, maybe you have been in multiple unfulfilling or abusive relationships that have led to complex trauma and feelings of depression or anxiety. You might feel uncomfortable in your own body and try to avoid painful memories or numb yourself with alcohol, drugs or sex. But, trying to avoid distressing thoughts and emotions hasn’t helped you find lasting relief and waiting for the next time you can “escape” creates even more stress and worry. Do you wish you could make sense of what happened to you, accept yourself and your experience and feel balanced, confident and connected moving forward?

John Lennon

John Lennon

Trauma Is More Common Than You May Think

Almost everyone will experience trauma at some point in their lives in a different way and for different reasons. Because we all perceive danger and process trauma differently, what one person handles easily may be the source of incredible pain and fear for another. You may have been told that you “just need to be stronger” and feel like you are the only person who is struggling, but trauma is incredibly common—it’s just not often talked about.

Trauma can be caused by any frightening or threatening event or transition in which you feel frightened, powerless and helpless to pull yourself or someone else out of what is perceived as a dangerous situation.  Trauma—particularly developmental trauma experienced in childhood—may result from a history or pattern of neglect or abuse. In the US, 1 in 3 women has been abused by an intimate partner and as many as 1 in 4 children are neglected or abused physically, sexually or emotionally.

Many adults and adolescents try to numb their feelings by acting out sexually or abusing drugs and/or alcohol following a trauma. But, avoiding difficult thoughts and emotions can leave you feeling even more insecure, irritable and ashamed.

Fortunately, there is help and hope. We all experience fear, change and loss, and you don’t need to suffer in silence or live with persistent feelings of doubt, insecurity or uncertainty. With the help of a skilled and understanding trauma therapist, you can better understand your experience, manage feelings of distress and lead a more satisfying, productive life.

Trauma Therapy Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And Relief

Throughout the course of our work together, my goal is to help you come to a place where you feel confident in your ability to manage trauma symptoms and triggers. Effective trauma treatment is about finding solutions that work for you and helping you feel better about who you are. I provide a safe, supportive space where you can explore your experience with trauma at a pace that feels comfortable and empowering. Suffering from trauma doesn’t mean that you did something wrong, and I can help you identify and reframe painful thoughts and feelings so you can feel safer, more grounded and better equipped to navigate life’s inevitable triggers and challenges.

No two people experience trauma in the same way or for the same reasons, which is why I will tailor my approach to best support and address your specific type of trauma, symptoms, history, needs and therapy goals. We can discuss coping mechanisms you have used in the past so I can understand what has or hasn’t been helpful and adapt the education, resources and skills I provide to your particular needs.

I incorporate scientifically validated approaches shown to help individuals understand, manage and recover from trauma. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, we can identify triggers and symptoms that are affecting your life and develop practical skills to better manage stressful thoughts, feelings and events. You can learn and practice relaxation and stress reduction techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, journaling, coloring or listening to music. And, by incorporating Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and exposure therapy techniques into your trauma treatment, painful memories can lose their power and you can form a new, more compassionate perspective about yourself and your trauma experience. Instead of avoiding difficult thoughts or feelings, you can recognize that your emotional and physical response to unresolved trauma is natural. And, with the right guidance and support, you can begin trusting yourself and learn how to develop your own practical solutions to everyday challenges, which can help you feel more confident expressing your feelings and getting your personal needs met. Essentially, you can learn that, regardless of what has happened in the past, you still have control over your story.

I have been helping individuals and families understand and cope with trauma throughout my career. Unresolved trauma can impact every aspect of our lives, and I provide parenting skills and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services via VITAL WorkLife in addition to my work as a one-on-one trauma therapist. With therapy for trauma that is focused on healing and recovery, you can learn the skills and tools you need to manage trauma symptoms and live a full, satisfactory, productive and happy life.

But, you may still have questions or concerns about therapy for trauma…

I don’t have time for weekly therapy sessions.

It can be stressful and frightening to think about adding yet another item to your weekly to-do list, and you may not be sure you’re ready to feel vulnerable when you already spend so much time and energy avoiding potential triggers. The truth, however, is that scheduling an initial appointment is often the most frightening step in seeking support. Trauma therapy doesn’t have to be long term or ongoing, and most people find relief in as little as 3-6 months.

I’ve heard trauma counseling can be expensive. Is therapy really worth it?

Questions about your finances can be stressful, and it is natural to be concerned about the cost of counseling for trauma. But, when you attend therapy, you are investing in yourself and your wellbeing. You can feel more confident to make empowered, thoughtful decisions, which can lead to healthier relationships, increased productivity, decreased physical symptoms and an overall improved sense of wellbeing. With the far and wide-reaching benefits of trauma treatment, many clients realize that they are able to feel much more balanced, calm and fulfilled than they were before we began working together. And that is money well spent.

Why should I trust you when everyone else has used or abandoned me?

Negative experiences and feelings of guilt, shame and discomfort can make the world seem like a threatening place. I understand how difficult it can be to trust again after a traumatic experience, and I offer a safe, confidential environment where you can share your experience when you are ready. I have seen how powerful a trusting therapeutic relationship can be in finding meaningful and lasting healing, and I am committed to helping you cultivate understanding, healing and growth. And, if at any point you feel like I am not the right person to help you continue your journey toward healing, I will compassionately help you find the support you need elsewhere.

You Can Find Relief and Healing

If you are ready to start working toward healing and personal growth, or if you have additional questions about trauma treatment at Tranquility Therapy, I invite you to call 320-259-4051 to schedule a 10-minute free phone consultation. We can discuss your needs, goals and my approach and, if you would like to try working together, we can schedule a time to meet - schedule a time.

“Caring for your inner child has a powerful and surprisingly quick result: Do it and the child heals.”
— Martha Beck