Trauma is an experience or situation that causes pain or distress. Many events can cause trauma, including abuse, accidents, natural disasters, assault, violence, and more. Trauma challenges our safety and well-being as it can be a life-altering experience. Oftentimes, trauma can make you feel disconnected from the people and world around you.
Traumatic experiences can cause us to recoil from those we love and try to manage our feelings and experiences on our own. Some people might turn to drugs or alcohol, reckless behavior, or dangerous activities to try to mask the pain they’re feeling inside. But with proper counseling and support, these experiences can truly become a thing of the past.
Whether your trauma happened recently or years ago, Grief Recovery Center in Houston can help you heal and take back your life. We offer trauma therapy counseling and create custom treatment plans to help our clients heal.
What are the Symptoms of Trauma?
What makes trauma difficult to spot and treat, is that some people don’t consider their experiences to be traumatic. But as the years pass, symptoms and side effects can bubble up and leave you feeling a little lost, scared, or quite literally traumatized.
For others, the experiences of trauma are all to recognizable and the effort needed to overcome and manage those traumatic experiences is too much for some to bear.
We experience many forms of trauma in our lives – at all stages of life – and yet, it is still under recognized and under treated in today’s society. People hide behind closed doors and don’t think there is any help out there.
Regardless of the trauma you have experienced, the symptoms can be overwhelming at times. Depending on the type, frequency, or fallout of the event, some people may continue to experience symptoms and side effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And while some don’t want to acknowledge that they have this condition, accepting that you have been through a traumatic event can lead you on the road to recovery.
Some of the signs and symptoms of PTSD include:
- Recurring, vivid nightmares
- Intrusive memories or feeling like you can’t escape your thoughts
- Recurring feelings of fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame
- You may find yourself withdrawing from those around you, especially if they’re trying to help
- You may become irritable or aggressive toward others
- You may try to hurt yourself
- You could become hypervigilant and avoid going outside for fear of getting hurt
- Your sleep and appetite might be impacted
It’s important to note that just because you have experienced a traumatic event does not mean you will automatically develop PTSD. Everyone is different, and every traumatic experience is different. If you find yourself struggling with day-to-day activities or you have lost interest in parts of your life that normally excite you, you may be developing signs of PTSD and should seek counseling as soon as possible to help you manage those symptoms.
Trauma Therapy Approaches That Will Help You Heal
At Shanthi, I provide a safe and therapeutic environment to help you heal from the trauma you have experienced. Though there are many different types of traumatic events, we can help you learn new skills to cope with the symptoms of trauma. I will work with you to reestablish a sense of safety and control in your life.
Evidence-based treatment methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are a common form of therapy used to help trauma clients. CBT is provided by a licensed therapist and focuses on an individual’s cognitions and behaviors, in relation to the trauma. This type of therapy is used to help clients identify disruptive cognitions, which will help modify the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the trauma. It is also common for therapists to educate clients on PTSD to increase knowledge and awareness.
Another evidence-based method that can be used is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). EMDRis a form of therapy that helps people heal from trauma or other distressing life experiences. It has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. After the therapist and the client agree that EMDR therapy is a good fit, and begin to work together, the client will be asked to focus on a specific event. Attention will be given to a negative image, belief, and body feeling related to this event, and then to a positive belief that would indicate the issues was resolved. While the client focuses on the upsetting event, the therapist will begin sets of side-to-side eye movements, sounds, or taps. The client will be guided to notice what comes to mind after each set. They may experience shifts in insight or changes in images, feelings, or beliefs regarding the event. The client has full control to stop the therapist at any point, if needed. The sets of eye movements, sounds, or taps are repeated until the event becomes less disturbing.
What Can You Expect From Trauma Therapy?
Throughout therapy, you and your therapist will work together to explore how the trauma has impacted areas of your life. Trauma therapy also focuses on how to regulate your life, better understand yourself, and adjust to the traumatic experience.