Trauma Recovery

“Just like the lotus we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.” 

– Unknown

It feels so real… as though it happened yesterday.

It doesn’t matter that it happened weeks, years, or even decades ago. You can’t forget… no matter how hard you try.

You remember how it felt when it first happened, but, even worse, you can STILL experience it: You can feel it on your skin, taste it in your mouth or throat, hear the haunting sounds, smell the scene, or even see the looks on peoples’ faces.

Your sleep is awful. It gives you nightmares, and you wake up in a cold sweat feeling helpless… your heart racing.

Concentration and focus are tough, and you might find yourself irritable from time to time. You might have trouble managing your moods as they swing all over the place.

Home doesn’t always feel safe, either. Even watching certain movies reminds you of the past. You might watch with sweaty palms feeling panicked… even terrified.

You never used to react the way you do now.

Do you jump at unexpected sounds?

Does your body feel as if it has been taken over? Do you shake, bite your nails, or experience ringing ears or dizziness?

Have you started avoiding situations where you feel as though you might lose control… maybe even shutting yourself up in your home?

Are you always on edge, waiting for something bad to happen or for bad news to come?

You’ve probably prayed or begged for an answer to this.

Will I ever feel normal?

Why do I still think about it?

Other people experience tough things, so why can’t I just get over it?

If you have had an experience that overwhelmed your nervous system, we call that a traumatic experience. It may have been a series of experiences, like abuse, or a onetime experience, like a car accident… or even your boss yelling at you.

The experience doesn’t have to be a “big” trauma like war. War veterans frequently have experiences like these, but, no, you don’t have to have been in a war for your body to react this way. It comes from any experience where you felt as though you didn’t control the situation and felt fear or terror.

Exposure to an invalidating or unpredictable environment can also cause trauma over a long period. Many people don’t realize the effects of their earlier environment on their current situation. Perhaps they were raised by a challenging personality or a mood-disordered, addicted, explosive, overly critical, or absent parent. Maybe it was a terrible relationship or your first love who contributed to this trauma.

Regardless of the cause, your body is telling you it needs help.

The body has built-in systems for making sure you stay alive, and one of those involves stress hormones. You may have heard of the “flight, fight, or freeze response.” The stress hormones help you get away from (flight), flee from (flight), or hide from (freeze) a threat. You have little control over this system once it is activated, and the bodily sensations it produces can be very intense.

Memories of it still come up, and you feel you are back in that scary situation… or something happens that reminds you of the experience. It could have happened months, years, or even decades ago, but the images are so vivid… you feel as if you’re reliving it. Of course, it’s tough to manage your thoughts, emotions, and body when this happens.

But there is hope, and I’m here for you.

Therapy provides the safe, healing space you’ll need to understand your emotions and experiences better, as well as why your body reacts the way it does. You’ll learn specifically what about the past is getting in the way of your present enjoyment of life (or even just normal functioning). Understanding and knowledge go a long way toward decreasing your fear and frustration.

When we work together, I will make sure you have the tools and skills you need to help manage the uncomfortable bodily sensations, images, and emotions.

You will understand the bodily processes that are happening INSIDE you. This understanding is vital for your healing. Knowledge can be power, right?

I will teach you ways to calm your nervous system, which is critical to giving you control and making you FEEL more in control.

I will teach you grounding activities to keep you in the present rather than feeling like you are back in the awful experience from your past. You will also look at thought patterns that might keep you trapped in your traumatic state.

Most importantly, you will use your inner strengths. That’s right! Just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, you have some tools that have been available to you all along. I will help bring them out so you can make use of them.

We will use all these methods to regain control over your thoughts, body, and emotions. The great thing is that once you learn them, these tools and skills will be available to you anytime and anywhere.

We will be able to rewrite the scary story, so you come out as the survivor you are… strong and capable!

We can also use EMDR, a special technique for treating trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a type of therapy that can help you heal from painful experiences so you can move on with your life. It results in faster recovery time compared to just talking about it. In fact, there isn’t much talking that happens when we start to process your past with EMDR, so you don’t have to talk endlessly about all the painful details of your experiences.

Brain scans show us that traumatic memories seem to get stuck in the right side of your brain, disconnected from the left side. When a traumatic experience is cut off from the left side of your brain, it is often difficult to explain the experience with words, make sense of it, and realize that it is over and in the past.

EMDR helps you activate your normal information processing system in a way that talk therapy can’t. When that system is activated, your memory gets fully processed. The right and left parts of the brain work together to reprocess the memory and related experiences so that it no longer feels as upsetting.

The memory of the trauma gets appropriately filed away into your long-term memory, just like the rest of your non-distressing memories of the past.

It requires a trusting therapeutic relationship for you to feel safe enough to look at your most painful experiences. We will be sure to build that, and that is why it is important for us to be a “good fit” to work with each other. It will also require your commitment to show up and do the work… and be patient with yourself during the process. I am there to help guide you through every step of it.

If you would like to read more about EMDR, please visit that page on my website.

Don’t let trauma run your life. Remember, it’s never too late to heal!

If you are ready to sleep better without the nightmares and feel more comfortable in your skin…

If you want to stop avoiding certain places, people, or things because they remind you of unpleasant experiences…

If you’re ready to put an end to unwanted memories that show up for no reason…

… then therapy for your trauma is what you are looking for.

During our 15-minute consultation call, I will ask you questions to see what you are looking for, and you can ask me questions, too. By the end of the call, we’ll know if working together makes sense for both of us, and we will schedule your first session.

Isn’t it time to stop the suffering? Let’s work on this together so you can get your life back.

Call today. Let’s schedule your free 15-minute consultation:
(720) 466-5667.