Are you haunted by your past?
Are there shadows in your past that you won’t let yourself think about? Experiences you won’t speak out loud? Do you try to tell yourself “it was a long time ago” but the memories feel relentless? Are you constantly comparing your experience to others and telling yourself it “wasn’t that bad” or “it could have been worse?” Do you believe that the world is a terrifying place and nobody can be trusted? Do you ultimately feel alone?
Maybe you feel like life keeps happening to you rather than feeling empowered to pursue your own dreams. Maybe you’ve grown accustomed to ignoring your own feelings, hoping they will eventually go away. Perhaps you’ve turned to alcohol, drugs, or relationships to numb your pain. Maybe operating in extremes has become your M.O. and you’re not sure how to feel “stable.” You may observe others moving along in life while you feel “stuck.” Perhaps you’ve had ongoing physical symptoms such as chronic headaches, migraines, insomnia, or GI issues. It just doesn't seem like things are getting any better no matter how hard you try.
When we have experienced trauma it can often feel that our emotions, thoughts, feelings, and bodies are not in our control. It can feel as we are no longer the directors of our own lives, but more so a passive bystander watching as life happens. Often our every day lives become fighting to just stay above the crashing waves of life. Trauma experiences can rob of us of our capacity for joy and peace.
You can take control of your own life
Traumatic experiences including but not limited to sexual/emotional/physical abuse, neglect, loss, natural disasters, war, or health complications can disconnect us from our sense of self and have devastating consequences. The loss of control that occurs during the trauma can linger long after the event. The way your brain processed the situation might have resulted in a type of shutting down process due to the flooding of emotions that occurred during the trauma. Many trauma survivors describe feeling out of control in their lives as a whole, and operating in a perpetual state of “survival mode." It can feel scary to even think about discussing painful experiences, which is why a trauma therapist can help.
You are not broken; there is hope.
Trauma counseling can help you escape just surviving day to day, and move you toward connected living. Therapy can help you not only reclaim your life, but to also rediscover yourself as a whole being capable of the relationships, and life that you once thought were out of reach. The shame and fear we carry inside can be converted into hope, peace, and freedom - if we are willing to open ourselves to the healing process.
You might be wondering...
But if I talk about it, won’t my symptoms get worse?
This is possible and is a valid concern. Talking about difficult feelings and experiences can temporarily make you feel worse. However, you and your counselor will develop a plan for you to take care of yourself during the process of going through trauma therapy. You will learn how to tolerate uncomfortable feelings in new and effective ways rather than avoiding them. As you begin to tolerate your feelings, you learn how to manage them, reclaiming the control that your trauma took away from you. This is part of the process and that allows us to move beyond survival to trusting ourselves to live again.
What if I let myself feel my feelings and they never turn off?
This is a very common fear among trauma survivors. Many people are afraid that if they open the floodgates, they will drown in the intensity of their feelings. Think of it like a faucet: you want to be able to control how much emotion comes out rather than being flooded with feelings. Sometimes you might feel flooded, but trauma counseling will help you learn how to turn the faucet to just the right amount for you to safely process the experiences you have survived.
But I don’t trust anyone. Why would I trust a therapist?
This is a valid concern, given what you have been through. Trusting people can be a vulnerable process that takes time. Your therapist acknowledges that you need to figure out whether you can trust her. We do not assume instant trust, nor will we ask you to launch into your trauma story right away. We will often check in with you about how you are feeling in therapy and about our therapeutic relationship. We believe that emotional safety is essential in the therapy process and we will respect and tend to your needs. We will talk openly about if/when you are ready to talk about your trauma. In the meantime, we will empower you with tools and techniques to help you manage your symptoms, get through your days, and take care of yourself. Throughout the process, we are hoping to create a safe place for you to share your story with us and let us assist you in the healing process. However, if for whatever reason your counselor does not seem like a good match for you, we are happy to make a referral to another trauma counselor. Finding a good fit between client and counselor is essential in the healing process. We want to empower you to heal.
We can help you take back your life
We are a team of highly trained professionals who have spent many years working with clients suffering from various forms of trauma. We are empathic and provide a comfortable environment for you to process the events that you have experienced. For all of our clients, we offer holistic care that tends to your mind, body, and emotions. We have seen numerous clients gain back their lives after engaging in trauma counseling.
If you are considering trauma counseling or sexual abuse therapy, feel free to call for a free consultation. We can assess your needs and answer your questions to assist you in the process of finding a trauma counselor.