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 Trauma-Focused Counseling

What exactly is trauma and how can trauma-focused counseling help?


Has your life started to feel more rigid because you have to stick to your routine to feel stable? Do unexpected events in your day cause a lot of irritability? Maybe painful memories bubble up and make it hard to think clearly, and put you in a mental space where it's hard to get things done.


Trauma can result in some common patterns: distracting yourself to avoid anything that could bring back a traumatic memory or bring on charged feelings; withdrawing and self-isolating because it's just too hard to make conversation and you may believe no one can really understand what you're going through.  

You may feel as if your life is lacking any color or joy because you are so used to feeling numb, or on the other hand you're easily startled and overwhelmed by big feelings from the past.  Experiences of big and smaller traumatic events can lead to preparing for the worst-case scenario and struggling to let go of tense feelings and racing thoughts, even when you try to sleep at night.  

 You may wonder what it would be like to trust others and have more flexibility in your daily life. You may feel disconnected from yourself and others as the days, and even months pass by.  You most likely want to connect with people and form stronger relationships, but feel too vulnerable to get close.

Dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic experience can be difficult to handle. This is true whether you are dealing with a big trauma, smaller trauma or complex trauma. 

A big trauma is a single traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a car crash, death of a loved one, rape, etc. A person's life or the life of someone he or she cares for is threatened, and the person is helpless to effect change in the situation while it is occurring. 

A smaller trauma can look like interpersonal conflict, infidelity, divorce, legal trouble, financial struggles, a job loss, experiencing bullying, or a sudden move to a new location. When these smaller traumas accumulate over time, a person can experience similar symptoms as a big trauma.

Complex trauma is an accumulation of trauma within the context of family and other intimate relationships that happen repetitively over time. Some examples include: chronic family dysfunction, emotional neglect, abandonment, child abuse, attachment issues, domestic abuse, chronic illness of a family member or prolonged work stress. 

Trauma-focused therapy is in fact one of the top reasons people seek out therapy. Whether a single event or a long-term stressor has impacted your life, trauma-focused therapy is known to be effective.


You Can Find Your Way Back to Yourself

Trauma treatment can help you process complex, painful feelings and events so you can open up to life again. We are here to help you heal from the past so you can be present for your life and relationships now. We understand the emotional pain trauma can cause and are here to help you recover from whatever you have been through.

Whether you have experienced a single trauma or complex trauma, trauma of any kind affects your quality of life and can create a daily struggle to cope as well as a struggle to show up for your relationships with family and friends the way you want to. We want you to know that it is possible to gain a sense of safety in the midst of strong emotions and memories. Freedom from the heavy burden of trauma is possible!


How Does Trauma-Focused Treatment Work?


During counseling sessions, you are free to share openly and honestly without any fear of judgment. We provide a safe and accepting environment regardless of gender, cultural or spiritual orientation.  In addition to providing a supportive environment, we can help you learn and use new coping skills and mindfulness techniques. Our therapists are trained in evidence-based treatments including cognitive-processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, EMDR and Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping).

By using these positive coping skills, you can learn to manage and respond to stress in a more healthy ways. Our approaches help you to increase the connection between mind, body and emotions, and learn to distinguish between what is a real threat and what is not. As your anxiety calms down over time, you will feel more confident that you can get through the challenges life brings. As a result, you will feel able to handle stress and live your life with more harmony and freedom.

​Some common questions about trauma-focused therapy include: 

Will I have to relive my trauma in order to heal?

Our top priority is for you to feel safe during sessions. We will never force you to do anything you're not comfortable with, and our goal is to help you regain the ability to speak your truth. Most individuals need to revisit the traumatic event in order to heal, which can involve retelling the story and reprocessing it in new ways. However, that isn't always the case. The good news is that our bodies know how to heal from trauma and can release the stress without having to talk about it. This can look many different ways.

Sometimes, all it takes is feeling safe and accepted in a relationship. Other times, healing may come from the process of bringing awareness to habitual thoughts or emotions that are keeping you stuck. 

How Can Trauma-Focused Counseling Help Improve my Relationships? 

We help you gain more insight into your relationships and focus on you gaining more effective communication skills to help you express your feelings and needs in healthy ways.

You might be wondering if facing past traumas could "break" you. Many people feel scared to work though their trauma. We will go very slow to ensure you can handle the pace and I get my cues from you as to what you are ready for. We will start out slow. Most people make progress in the first 6 sessions and say they feel in the end that it was worth it. Their daily life is easier and their relationships improve significantly.

Interested in counseling for trauma and think we might be a good fit? Contact us for a free consultation or to set up an initial appointment.

Happy Family
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