Unfortunately, trauma is all too common. While some people have experienced horrific events, such as abuse, injuries/accidents, and natural disasters, it’s important to note that cumulative, less pronounced occurrences can also affect us negatively. Neglect, psychological maltreatment, abandonment, betrayal, and lack of attunement from caregivers, as a few examples, can have a traumatic effect on our body and mind. Oftentimes, this latter form of trauma goes unnoticed, yet the person that has experienced it is left with the consequences–fear, rage, detachment, shame, relational issues, and/or somatic distress, among other symptoms.
I believe each person has the potential for resiliency. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to adapt over time, as it is influenced by our experiences and environment. Trauma is devastating because of the very way it affects our neurochemistry and bodily functioning. Trauma survivors often find themselves experiencing deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, long after the event has passed–continually reliving trauma in a way that prevents them from being able to fully engage with the present. If this describes you, I want you to know there is great hope in your body’s ability to heal and be restored to a healthy way of living.
My approach focuses on restoring trauma survivors’ ability to live grounded in the present so that they can experience a healthy range of emotions, exercise their imagination, and engage in meaningful relationships–rather than continue to be trapped in reenacting their trauma.
While the list below is not comprehensive, it may be a helpful indicator of trauma:
According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks
- Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
If you are experiencing any of the above, your life does not have to be defined by such symptoms–you should also know that you are not weak if you are struggling in this way. Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma and helping clients rediscover vitality and joy.