Counseling for Trauma
You’re always on guard. You’re anxious, on the verge of panic.
You may be troubled by intrusive thoughts or memories.
You have experienced trauma in your past.
But there is hope. Healing is possible.
Our clients who have experienced a trauma in their past know the toll it can take. A traumatic event – anything that overwhelms your normal ability to cope – can have effects that last for years. Survivors of traumatic events may suffer from anxiety, lack of sleep, feelings of hopelessness, or other symptoms.
While it can feel overwhelming to even begin to address past trauma, the good news is that freedom is possible. You do not have to live with the effects of a traumatic event forever. Research demonstrates that therapy is the most effective form of treatment for trauma. And at Wellspring Therapy Associates, we have seen our clients heal from the effects of trauma and be set from the shame, low self-worth, and negative coping skills that often accompany it.
In the counseling process, we have seen our clients experience calm where there was once panic, inner peace in the place of anxiety, and hope instead of despair. Clients begin to practice self-compassion and learn to be kind and respectful to themselves. They rediscover their sense of self worth and learn they are deserving of freedom.
This journey to healing can begin when you call us at Wellspring Therapy Associates to make an appointment with a trauma therapist.
What is Trauma?
Wounds of all kinds take time to heal. In fact, the word trauma comes from a Greek word meaning “wound.” Some wounds heal quickly. Some heal on their own. Others take more time. Serious wounds require special treatment and care in order to heal.
The same is true for psychological traumas. When you have experienced a traumatic event – such as the death of a family member, a major illness or physical injury, intimate partner violence, childhood abuse, the loss of a child, a rape or sexual assault – it deeply impacts you. It can leave you with long-term feelings of anxiety or panic, nightmares, or it can lead to a sense of shame and low self-worth.
Just like with physical wounds, you can heal more thoroughly when you receive treatment. That’s where a trauma therapist can help.
Signs of Trauma
Each person experiences trauma and its lasting effects differently. However, we notice that many of our clients who are trauma survivors share one or more of the same common symptoms.
Hypervigilance – When we are in danger, our minds and bodies put us on “high alert” for threats around us. Trauma survivors report experiencing a constant state of hypervigilance, of being on guard. You may be unable to resolve this state, and become jumpy, jittery, or anxious even in relatively safe situations. Extended periods of hypervigilance can make you irritable, angry, or even aggressive.
Difficulty Sleeping – Related to hypervigilance, many of our clients who have survived trauma struggle to fall asleep or remain asleep. You may lie awake with racing thoughts, or you may experience nightmares about a traumatic event. Lack of sleep can often exacerbate the other effects of trauma such as anxiety, anger, or depression.
Self-Destructive Behaviors – Traumatic events overwhelm our normal coping skills. Whatever you were doing to cope in the past may not be working anymore. For this reason, sadly, many trauma survivors turn to negative coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol. Those who have experienced trauma are also more likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
Low Self-Worth/Shame – If you are living with past trauma, you may find yourself struggling with diminished feelings of self-esteem. Survivors of traumatic events may blame themselves for what happened to them. You may feel shame about the event, or shame about how it has affected your life.
Healing from Trauma
Your journey to healing from a traumatic event can begin or continue when you call to set up an appointment with one of our therapists. At Wellspring Therapy Associates, you can expect to find a counselor who is both compassionate and skilled. Our therapists are well-trained to provide trauma therapy and skilled in effective ways of treating trauma such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).
A therapist can help you tell your story. It may seem daunting to revisit painful memories and experiences, but the counseling office is a safe place to do this. Our clients find that once they can tell their story for themselves, feelings of shame begin to recede. You blame yourself less. The memories no longer trigger panic and anxiety. You own your story and put yourself back in charge of your life’s journey.
Our therapists may use expressive techniques such as art or music to help you process. We can also teach you new coping skills to better equip you to handle symptoms like hypervigilance or anxiety.
A Better Life is Possible
Facing past trauma can seem intimidating, but the good news is that you will get better. In fact, most of our clients report significant improvement after the first few sessions. Here are some of the ways our clients experience healing in therapy:
Restored Self-Worth – If trauma has robbed you of your sense of self-worth, then therapy can help restore that. Instead of feeling shame, our clients begin to love and value themselves again. No matter what, you are valuable and deserving of freedom. Therapy can help restore that sense to you.
Inner Stillness and Peace – You don’t have to live with all that “noise” inside your head – anxious thoughts, racing thoughts, hypervigilance, suspicions. Through therapy, you can experience inner peace. You can become calm and grounded.
Live in the Present Moment with Hope for the Future – You can’t change the past or forget it. But the past doesn’t have to affect you in negative ways. You can learn to live in the present moment and have hope for a bright future.
Above all else, you can live each and every day with a sense of hope. A better life is possible!
If you or someone you know is struggling with the symptoms above and would like to explore trauma therapy, we are confident that we can help. Contact us today for a consultation.