Therapy for Trauma
Trauma is a broad word that covers many life experiences. We often think of major traumatic experiences such as being involved in combat or being physically or sexually assaulted as the only type of trauma. However, there are many events in life that can be traumatic. The reality is that most adults have experienced some type of trauma in their lives. Some examples of traumatic events that are often overlooked include:
-having a critical or narcissistic parent
-frequent moves as a child
-conflict between parents
-emotional neglect or abuse
-physical needs not being met as a child
-being involved in an accident
-witnessing a traumatic event
What is PTSD?
PTSD (Posttramuatic Stress Disorder) is a psychiatric diagnosis that is characterized by specific symptoms following a traumatic event. These symptoms include:
-Flashbacks (including emotional flashbacks)
-Hypervigilance (the state of always being on alert for potential danger in your environment)
-Avoidance of environments or situations that remind you of the event
-Difficulty remembering the traumatic event
-Feelings of detachment from others
You do not need to be diagnosed with PTSD in order to be affected by trauma. Although traumatic experiences are part of life, it’s often difficult to "just get over" them. You may notice you’re having trouble sleeping, finding it difficult to think about anything else, isolating from others, losing interest in activities you used to enjoy or generally just not feeling like yourself lately. If this is the case, you may benefit from the added support of therapy.
How Therapy can Help Heal Trauma
In therapy you will learn coping skills to gain control of your thoughts and your emotions. You will learn concrete methods to calm your nervous system and feel grounded. You will be able to process traumatic events and understand the ways these events have impacted your life. You will be able to heal and move past these events. You will begin to trust yourself. You will feel empowered to thrive in your life.
One of the most effective forms of treatment for processing trauma is EMDR therapy.
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