Has A Traumatic Event Or Experience Impacted Your Quality Of Life?
Are you or your child struggling with intrusive thoughts or nightmares? Do either of you tend to have emotional outbursts or disproportionate reactions to conflict or disappointment? Has a specific incident or long term history of abuse contributed to feelings of sadness, isolation, anger, and shame?
Perhaps you or your child grew up under the circumstances of a chaotic divorce, moved multiple times, or were neglected or abandoned by parents or caregivers. Or maybe one of you is a survivor of an assault or bore witness to a disturbing event or acts of violence.
As a child, you may have been raised in an environment where you were subject to verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and subsequently suffer from the effects of that abuse. If you are now raising children of your own, you may be surprised to find a similar pattern repeating itself with their upbringing, or on the flipside, a adamence to avoid repeating the same patterns of abuse so strongly that you may be sheltering your children from danger to a degree that it interferes with typical developmental milestones.
Trauma can cause intense feelings of isolation due to feelings of shame, guilt, and depression, and anger that often result from it. You or your child may have been conditioned to believe that no one is safe or reliable, and subsequently, you now find that interpersonal relationships are difficult to maintain or not much of a priority.
Because traumatic memories can be difficult to process and ten remain at the forefront of our minds, a history of trauma can cause survivors to be avoidant of the aspects of life that can provide happiness, fulfillment, or healing. Fortunately, however, treatment exists for adults, teenagers, and children alike to help those affected by the impacts of trauma and to reconcile their emotions in the context of therapy.
Trauma Survivors Struggle With Emotional And Physical Symptoms Associated With The Memory Of A Traumatic Experience
Trauma, in all of its forms, is more common than people think. The term PTSD has oftentimes been synonymous with veterans and combat, but the reality is that most of us will experience some sort of traumatic event in our lifetimes. We may not always show symptoms of trauma until repressed memories resurface, or sometimes, not at all. However when symptoms manifest, life can become difficult and painful.
There are many reasons why we may choose not to confront our trauma. For example, if we experienced childhood trauma, it may be difficult to understand what happened to us without a metric for comparison or a vocabulary with which to discuss the event or series of events.
For specific instances of sexual abuse or assault, the effects of guilt, shame, depression or even anger can cause survivors to repress their memories or choose not to report the crime. There can also be the fear of repeating the story or being judged by others, especially if the perpetrator is well-respected in the community. Many people commonly hold the unfortunate fear that even if they do come forward with their traumatic experience, that they will not be believed.
Trauma is deeply ingrained in the chemical make up of our bodies. Experiences of trauma change the way the nervous system functions, which in turn impacts the functioning of the rest of the body and can lead to hormonal imbalances, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, and even death. We know from research such as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs) that traumatic events or abuse during childhood creates many risk factors for that child’s future. If left untreated in therapy, trauma can have long term health consequences, and may even impact our DNA structure as well as the health of future generations.
The more we know and talk about trauma, the more the stigma and shame around it can wear off. With counseling available for adults, teens, and children who have suffered the consequences of trauma, there is hope that long-term effects can be greatly reduced with the help of a therapist.
Therapy Can Provide You Or Your Child With A New Perspective On Trauma
While the effects of trauma can be difficult to confront or predict, those impacted by trauma have the opportunity to be empowered to safely process the experience with the guidance of a counselor or therapist. In creating a narrative of your trauma, you or your child will be able to identify certain triggers while learning to desensitize thoughts and feelings around the memory. Over time you will increase your ability to emotionally regulate, and your typical day to day may no longer be interrupted by intrusive thoughts or flashbacks.
Our therapists foster a safe environment where trust and community are built before uncovering painful memories from the past. In developing more awareness of the dialogue between mind and body, you will be empowered to confront your trauma, build distress tolerance, and learn to self-soothe. As a result, you or your child will become more present and less reactive and impulsive, helping to strengthen your most meaningful relationships.
Using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), the counseling team at New Beginnings Psych aims to teach mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness skills to reduce symptoms of trauma such as startle response or hypervigilance. You or your child will gain a better understanding of what exactly is occurring in your body during triggering moments by increasing and gaining more awareness of the mod-body connection. You will begin to see troublesome symptoms dissipate as we desentize memories associated with the traumatic experience, and negative coping mechanisms will soon be replaced by positive ones.
Trauma therapy provides an opportunity to gain better self-awareness and understanding. It can help you realize that your thoughts and feelings matter and that you or your child do not have to be defeated or defined by trauma.
You have the power to validate yourself and your story. By changing the negative core beliefs you or your child maintain, a life of happiness, positivity, and harmony is possible.
Perhaps you are considering treatment for trauma, but you have some concerns…
I do not have time to invest in trauma therapy.
Therapy is a chance to carve out time every week for healing and growth. Trauma treatment is an investment in yourself or your child, and there are lifelong benefits to confronting and processing the painful experiences that are creating hurdles in your life. If you or your child is struggling due to trauma or PTSD, counseling will help you to be more functional and empowered to foster positive thinking.
I do not have money to invest in trauma treatment.
As we at New Beginnings Psych like to say, there is no price tag on your mental health or well-being. With therapy, you and your child have an opportunity to gain more self-awareness and acceptance of difficult circumstances. You are likely to save time and money in the long run by investing in trauma therapy in the present.
I am afraid of what I will feel in confronting my trauma or PTSD during treatment.
Trauma stays inside of your body and mind and may be expressing itself in ways you may or may not recognize. In confronting and processing what happened, you or your child is healing parts of the mind and body that are in pain. Like with any injury, it is important to heal with the guidance of an expert who can help with understanding the traumatic experience so that it will not continue to create disruptions in your life.
You Can Change The Beliefs You Maintain Around Your Trauma
If you or your child are struggling with the effects of trauma or PTSD, therapy at New Beginnings Psych offers the chance for a new perspective and positive thinking. To find out more about our team and approaches to trauma therapy or to schedule your first appointment, visit our contact page today.