Unresolved trauma can make everyday life challenging. Some find themselves unfulfilled in their careers and/or relationships without knowing why. It may be difficult to trust yourself or others. You may find it hard to communicate what you are feeling or thinking effectively. You may experience anxiety, such as panic attacks, restlessness, racing thoughts, or severe fatigue, depression and emotional instability. You may feel badly about yourself and struggle with low self-esteem. Whatever the case may be, when trauma is unresolved you may suffer emotionally, mentally and physically feel nervous system dis-regulation.
You are not alone. Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life threat or an accumulation of stress from a series of events. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function emotionally, mentally and physically. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the ongoing stressors of fear and conflict.
Many adults with a history of trauma take the blame for their unhappiness and often struggle to feel secure in their relationships and within themselves. Even if the traumatic event occurred years earlier, it is common to feel anxious, on-edge and self-conscious most of the time.
After experiencing trauma, we develop coping skills to help us survive but these strategies may not be healthy, and instead lead to communication and relationship issues, unhealthy boundaries, anxiety, depression, addiction, and other challenges.
During safe and compassionate trauma therapy sessions, you and I will develop an individualized plan for your healing process, which can include one or both of effective trauma treatment methods: Somatic Experiencing® and EMDR Therapy.
Somatic Experiencing® is a form of trauma therapy that can provide the help and support you need to better understand your painful memories, resolve them and move forward with your life. It is a body-awareness approach to therapy that has been proven to alleviate and reduce the daily effects of stress, tension, depression, anxiety and trauma.
In Somatic Experiencing® sessions, you and I will gain a deeper understanding of how your body reacted under previous circumstances that created dis-regulation. We will track what is happening in your body through sensation and support the release of nervous system activation and bound up survival energies that contribute to negative symptoms.
SE trauma resolution does not require an individual to re-tell or re-live the traumatic event. Instead, it offers the opportunity to engage, complete, and resolve—in a slow and supported way—the body’s instinctual fight, flight and freeze responses. This ultimately resets the nervous system, restores inner balance, enhances resilience to stress, and increases ones vitality, equanimity and capacity to actively engage in life.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy is another treatment approach we may explore to heal your trauma symptoms. EMDR is one of the most effective treatments for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research. EMDR can also help those with high anxiety, depression, war or police experience, fears and phobias, unrealistic feelings of guilt and shame, low self-esteem, a difficulty trusting others, relationship issues, chemical dependency, grief symptoms as well as those who have undergone surgery or lived through a major accident.
In our EMDR trauma therapy sessions, we will use bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which will activate the opposite sides of your brain. This can allow you to release the emotional experiences and trauma that are “trapped” in your nervous system. After successful treatment, your body can free itself from these blockages and heal.
EMDR is a natural process. It removes blocked energy and frees up energy that was bound up by trauma. Once this energy is released, your system can settle, and you can feel more grounded, calmer and more relaxed. As a result, you may notice the improvement of your relationships with yourself and others.
No matter the trauma therapy treatment method we decide to use, you are in good hands. I have worked with trauma for the last 20 years.
What about the memories I can’t seem to forget?
Pushing your painful memories away or trying to bury the past can often make your symptoms worse. Identifying the ways in which it continues to disrupt your life may feel overwhelming. However, through trauma therapy, you will begin to move forward with greater confidence, trust and connection with yourself and others. Together, as we explore these challenges, you can develop a deeper understanding of the effects of trauma and gain more insight about your experiences and how you can heal and grow from these experiences.
How do I know which trauma treatment would work best for me?
Together, we will look at what issues you are struggling with, what your symptoms are and the goals you have for treatment. Through our work together, I would recommend a trauma treatment method that would be appropriate for your needs. After a few sessions, this may change because we can make any adjustments needed to support your process. As treatment continues, it may be appropriate to combine different trauma therapy treatments and utilize them at different times. By exploring a variety of options, you will have the opportunity to treat your symptoms in the most effective way possible.