We help individuals who have experienced trauma reclaim their lives.
Trauma can take many forms whether it be: witnessing/experiencing domestic violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, community violence or tragic loss of a loved one- to name a few. For many, the end result is flashbacks, nightmares, dissociation, irritability, low-self-esteem and feeling disconnected from yourself and those around you.
Our clients have seen and been through some serious stuff. Despite being determined, caring and hard-working, they feel like they cannot get back to life before what happened- well happened.
When they first come in, they report feeling like they are disconnected from their loved ones, despite their desire to be close with them. They struggle to trust others and open up about what is going on with them for fear of judgment and shame associated with what has happened to them. They want the chronic anxiety and negative self-talk to just stop. They report feeling on edge chronically, being quick to snap back at others, despite knowing there are no real threats present. They feel disconnected from their bodies, like their bodies don’t belong to them at times. They say over and over how they just wish “it” never happened and many discuss how they tried to forget “it” or “bury it” or “ignore it”- to no avail.
The intrusive thoughts and memories get in the way of the life they want in so many ways. They aren’t the kind of person they were before. They feel like they’re failing in their relationships, at work and/or in school. And their confidence in in their ability to overcome what has happened to them is tanking.
Before they came to see us, they feared they would be judged for what they had been through, as they believed deep down it was their fault. They worried they would be judged by how they behaved after what happen- because nothing could possibly justify the mess resulting from the actions they took after. They were pretty certain that no one would be able to break down the walls they worked so hard to build up, and they were not so sure they wanted to let those walls come down. Trauma has that effect- that loss of control makes you feel as if there are no ways to move forward.
Like our clients, you deserve to have your life back. You deserve to put your head on the pillow at night and not fear sleeping will ensue some horrid memories. Reclaiming your control, your life and your relationships is not out of your reach. If you want to work through what happened to you and move forward with your life- without crippling anxiety and fear- we would love to help you get there.
Recovery is the primary goal for people who have experienced trauma. By recovery we do not mean no longer having any effects form the traumatic experiences that have happened. Recovery means that one is no longer overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings associated with past events and is able to live in the present moment.
There are different schools of thought on how one gets to recovery and on discussing traumatic events of the past. It will be a personal choice for each individual client. Some find it cathartic others find it far too distressing.
The first goal of trauma recovery is reestablishing safety. People affected by trauma tend to feel unsafe in their bodies and in their relationships with others.. Your therapist will assist you in prioritizing what needs to be stabilized in your life and creating short-term attainable goals to get you there. Additionally, they will teach you coping and mindfulness skills to help manage distressing memories, thoughts and emotions when they do arise. How long this process takes is dependent on the individual’s resources, as well as the severity and duration of the trauma they experienced.
Once safety and some base level coping strategies for managing distress have been addressed we will move to processing your trauma. This includes discussing the ways in which the traumatic events have affected your life and mourning the losses associated with them. It is importance for clients to be put what has happened to them into words and identify emotions in order to make meaning out of what has occurred.
The last phase of your treatment will be future building. Recognizing what has happened to you and taking steps towards empowerment and living the life you want to live. By this phase you will be able to recognize how your trauma is a part of your story- a chapter but not the whole book. And you will begin writing the rest of your story.