“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” ~Kimberly Jones-Pothier
When something bad happens, it can stay with you for a long time.
Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by a single incident, like an assault, betrayal, or accident, or several events that build up over time, such as abuse, bullying, and bad relationships. Smaller events that we often underestimate can have big impacts, too. You’d be surprised at what constitutes trauma – we ALL have experienced it in one form or another.
Trauma and PTSD can sound like…” I’m not good enough,” “Nobody likes me,” “I have to be perfect,” “I’m powerless,” “I can’t do anything right!” We have countless experiences and memories that would prove differently. However, our subconscious can’t kick ‘em.
Trauma symptoms can be psychological or emotional: self-doubt, hypervigilance, irritability, self-hatred, flashbacks, lack of focus, panic attacks, upset stomach, chest tightening, nightmares, etc. For example, you can feel not being good enough that may stem from being picked last for group projects in school. You can be overly alert – even paranoid – constantly looking over your shoulder after being the victim or witness of an attack. You can also be ultra-perfectionistic due to having attended a high-pressure school, being on a demanding sports team, or being criticized regularly at a competitive job.
Trauma can often manifest in destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, codependency, and the list goes on.
“Time heals all.” We wish this were true, but, often, it’s not.
Sometimes we think we’ve moved past these experiences, but our alarm systems keep going off for no apparent reason. Your stress response system is a natural human method for protection in actual situations that require them – and this is a good thing that protects you when needed.
However, sometimes this system continues to remain on high alert long after the triggering event. We need to help neutralize the stressors and regulate your system again to help you find the middle ground when navigating your current situations.
You try to put it out of your mind, but there are constant reminders…
Perhaps the trigger is hearing a voice or a name. That panic feeling surges through you. Your body interprets danger, and your shields go up – whether you need them to or not.
Sometimes, you keep seeing the events on repeat in your head like a broken record. It may be hard to get through the day, make decisions, or even complete simple tasks. You may be flooded by feelings of confusion, anger, shame, or disbelief. You may even view the world differently and doubt who you can trust.
On the other hand, many traumas aren’t even recognized. We frequently find that the first part of therapy is unraveling and discovering the hidden hurts – these memories were not understood to be actual traumatic events – lessening their perceived validity.
It’s important to know that things affect us ALL in our lives that we may not think of as traumas, but they truly are. If our body’s stress response was at all triggered, then it counts as trauma. It can absolutely affect our current lives – relationships, work performance, you name it!
Avoiding the triggers can seem like a great fix.
Unfortunately, avoidance usually leads to isolation, anxiety, and depression… and then the triggers still manage to sneak in – it’s like an annoying fly you can’t shoo away!
The more you think nobody likes you or you’re afraid of failing, the further you withdraw, cut friendships, and avoid opportunities. Suddenly, you find yourself depressed – you’re lonely, you lack a support system, you have no confidence, and the world looks pretty bleak.
In therapy, you get to take control of your healing…
… and define what your life looks like moving forward.
Therapy is a space for you to tell your story and begin to understand its effects on you fully.
We will incorporate a variety of modalities to reveal the deep wounds and work to heal them. When appropriate, we may utilize EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is proven to naturally release uncomfortable memories to allow your brain to process them more fully. The safe space we create in therapy allows this to happen.
Through treatment, we’ll enable you to look at situations and relationships with a different lens. You’ll reclaim your power so you can feel at ease again.
As we work together, you’ll learn self-compassion and how to reshape the negative self-beliefs that have held you in their grip. We’ll get your stress responses under control.
You’ll be amazed how liberating this process can be!
It’s time to stop hiding from the trauma and the pain.
You were once put in a position to feel powerless and out of control. It’s important to realize that you didn’t choose what happened… it happened TO you.
Unprocessed pain and beliefs that lie beneath don’t just go away. We’ll listen and work hard to understand you. We’re not afraid to hear the difficult truths about what you’ve experienced.
We know it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. But you are here, you’re ready, and we’ve got you.
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s time to heal the core. Call today and let’s have a complimentary conversation: (480) 485-8824.