- Do you long for acceptance and appreciation from others but have difficulty making meaningful connections?
- Are you plagued by feelings of powerlessness, loneliness, self-doubt and shame?
- Do you withdraw from or attack partners, friends and family members whenever you feel emotionally vulnerable?
- Do relationships feel difficult and hard to hold onto?
- Is it hard to feel authentic with people?
- Is trust an issue for you?
- Are you a perfectionist who fears you’ll never measure up?
- Do you long to gain control over your emotions but feel powerless to make positive change?
If you feel easily overwhelmed with emotions like anger, sadness, fear and shame, you may be someone who is living in the shadow of childhood trauma. These experiences can have lasting impacts that stem far beyond childhood, affecting your interactions with others in ways you might not be fully conscious of.
Perhaps you cut friendships off whenever you feel hurt by someone, leaving you with a long line of ex-friends trailing behind you. You may have difficulty holding on to long-term romantic relationships because you’re easily triggered by your partner. Relationships might feel draining instead of nurturing, perhaps because you are the person people turn to for help and you wish someone was there for you. Maybe your perfectionism is sucking all the joy out of life. At work you might constantly doubt yourself and worry people will find out you don’t know what you’re doing, even though you are highly paid or in an executive or managerial position.
Right now you may be feeling confused, at a loss, and hopeless when you think about the repetitive patterns occurring in your life. Its hard to imagine things could feel easier and more joyful.
Trauma Can Arise From a Variety of Experiences
Many people have suffered from some form of trauma. Sometimes people don’t even realize that what they’ve experienced is technically trauma and not just life as usual. They often think these experiences are “normal,” and may not ask for help as a result. They might also believe that the past is just the past and there’s no point in dwelling on it. Plus, asking for help might feel weak.
The form of trauma that most of us are familiar with is abuse from a parent or family member, including emotional, physical or sexual abuse. If you were abused as a child, you might have often been put down or threatened by your parent, caregivers, or siblings in ways that were scary, painful or humiliating. Perhaps you witnessed or heard violence in your home and feared for someone’s life, or your parents used alcohol or drugs, causing them to be unavailable or absent. Childhood trauma can also take the form of bullying from peers, or even humiliation from teachers. Medical trauma is another kind that you don’t hear a lot about, but children can have terrifying experiences in medical settings.
Whether your trauma took place at home, in school or in some other setting, nearly all types of childhood trauma are associated with feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, aloneness, and shame. The good news is that trauma treatment can help you come to terms with the past and establish the emotional resiliency to deal with future issues as well.
Trauma Treatment Can Help Heal Wounds From The Past
There are generally two kinds of people who come to me for trauma treatment: those who have done some previous therapy but are still suffering, and those who have never told their story to a therapist before.
By telling your story to an empathic therapist, you can begin to express vulnerability in a safe and secure environment. Research has shown that simply sharing your story with someone who cares can actually impact the brain, making real change possible over time. The goal is for you to eventually be your full authentic self outside the office so that you can make meaningful, positive connections with others.
As a therapist who has been honing my skills since 1990, I’ve worked hard to make my treatment as beneficial as I can. I strive to create a nonjudgmental, supportive environment in which clients can identify challenges and build their strengths. I’m approachable, relaxed and easy to talk to; you won’t feel like you’re talking to a cold, neutral wall. I interact with my clients and believe that therapy doesn’t have to be something scary – my hope is that you will look forward to sessions and that we could even laugh and find humor in our lives.
In sessions we’ll be working as a team to change your response to the past so that you are no longer a prisoner of what happened. I can teach you important tools for coping with stressful situations that are perhaps causing you to become reactive or withdrawn. I also offer EMDR, which often accelerates recovery by releasing trauma “stored” in the body and brain. Many clients feel that EMDR is more effective than talking therapy alone.
During trauma treatment sessions you can learn to check in with your body and to calm and regulate your nervous system in ways that will help you be mindful and curious instead of paralyzed, frozen, numb or angry. Emotions tend to worsen when you run away from them. As you tell your story I will pay great attention and stop you at key points to help you process and integrate both emotions and body responses. Learning to focus and listen to your body should help you feel regulated so that you can become less reactive or depressed. You might even surprise yourself and feel more alive.
With the help of trauma treatment, you can step back from repetitive patterns, make better choices and have more fulfilling relationships. With the guidance of a supportive therapist, it’s possible to achieve a greater sense of self-worth and feel that life can be worth living.
Perhaps you’re ready to take the next step toward finding relief, but may have some questions and concerns…
I’m worried trauma treatment will cause me to become more depressed. What if I lose control and can’t stop crying?
I can tell you that you might cry, but it will be in a way that will ultimately enable you to find a sense of healing. I help people feel grounded and connected so that they won’t feel overwhelmed.
I’m worried I might become dependent on the therapist.
Good therapy should feel like a good relationship. While I hopefully will feel important to you, my goal is for you to feel more safe, secure and less alone, rather than needy and dependent (or conversely aloof and removed). Therapy can actually help you become more independent and interdependent by encouraging you to draw fulfillment both from within yourself and from those around you.
It’s Possible To Let Go of the Past
With the help of trauma treatment, it’s possible to live life with a renewed sense of peace in the present moment. Feel free to call me at 503-242-0233. I offer a free phone consultation and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.