Counseling for Trauma

Here are a few of our favorite quotes on trauma:

"Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you, as a result of what happens to you." -Gabor Mate

“The overload of stress makes your panic button touchier than most people’s, so certain things trigger a stress reaction - or more candidly - an overreaction. Sometimes, the panic button gets stuck altogether and you’re in a state of constant alert, buzzing and twitchy and aggressive. You can tell yourself, ‘it’s okay,’ but your wily brain is already ten steps ahead of the game, registering danger and sounding the alarm. The long-range result is that the peace of mind you deserve in the present is held hostage by the terror of your past.” -Lily Burana

For many people, untended trauma can become the equivalent of an emotional broken arm that has never healed. Just imagine, for a few seconds, how painful that would be. Horrible, right?

Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it's a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, exposure to violence, an emotionally damaging caregiver, or bullying. While some people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover the effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or post-traumatic stress far after the event has passed.

In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist are fundamental to healing from trauma. If we work together on trauma you have experienced, please know the following:

1. You are in control of the ship. We go at your pace and you will not be forced to do or speak about anything you are not ready to talk about.

2. While we cannot change what happened to you, we will walk with you in it, side by side, so you do not have to embark on this work alone. You were never meant to.

Trauma Symptoms

According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5.

Avoidance Symptoms

  • Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
  • Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks

Hyperarousal Symptoms

  • Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
  • Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
  • Sleep disturbances

Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
  • Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
  • Change in habits or behavior since the trauma

Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, I utilize eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to treat trauma.