Do You Feel Too Weighed Down By The Past To Move Forward In Life?
Is there a painful experience you just can’t seem to let go of? Do you feel too stuck in the past to focus on the present? Maybe you feel frustrated and confused, like you should be able to just let bygones be bygones and put yesterday in the rearview mirror. There may be a feeling that something is wrong, but you can’t pinpoint what it is or determine why you feel the way you do.
When you’re dealing with trauma, it often feels like you’re lost in your own head. You may experience spikes and surges of heightened sensitivity or racing thoughts you can’t seem to control. Or perhaps you feel numb—listless, indifferent, and unable to connect with others. Over time, trauma can lead to anxiety, depression, overthinking, and trouble with relationships. It can prevent you from enjoying the things you would ordinarily love.
Oftentimes, however, the hardest part of living with trauma is that it makes you feel like you’re flying blindly through life. It’s difficult to figure out what you want or develop a sense of direction. If you’re looking for help sorting through your emotions and finding purpose as you go forward in life, then please consider contacting me.
Most People Don’t Recognize Trauma When They’ve Experienced It
We all have experiences that leave lasting impressions on us. Some of them leave emotions in their wake that are too difficult to sort out or work through alone. When this happens, it means we’re struggling with trauma. Unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize when we’re dealing with trauma. We often think that if we haven’t experienced sexual abuse or military combat, we haven’t really been traumatized.
The spectrum of trauma goes much deeper, however. There are two major types of trauma that can be called “lowercase-t trauma” and “uppercase-T trauma.” Lowercase-t experiences are often subtle, harder to recognize, and happen over long stretches of time. Below are some examples:
· Parent with mental illness, physical illness or substance abuse
· Emotionally distant or narcissistic parent
· Getting bullied or having trouble fitting in
Uppercase T-trauma, on the other hand, is generally easier to recognize and often happens in shorter instances. Examples include:
· Physical or sexual abuse
· Experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening accident or event
· Witnessing domestic violence as a child
One of the reasons coping with trauma is so difficult is that many people aren’t fully connected with their emotions. No one is given a manual for how to regulate their emotions or a guidebook on where those emotions come from. Many people are separated from parts of themselves that they need to integrate to fully understand their feelings and regulate them from day to day.
This is why seeing a therapist is not just important for all types of trauma survivors, but essential. Therapy and counseling will enable you to gain self-awareness and overcome the reactive emotions that keep you stuck in the cycles of trauma.
Trauma Therapy Is A Chance To Begin A New Chapter Of Your Life
Deep down, you may worry that your experiences don’t count as traumatic, or that others won’t take your suffering seriously. In trauma therapy, you are free to share your story with the knowledge that you are respected, validated, and taken seriously for what you’ve been through. This is a space for you to become more confident, improve your self-esteem, and learn to regulate your emotions more effectively. Beyond that, it’s a time to gain new insights into the howand why behind your feelings and behavior.
Unlike many intake processes, getting started working with me is very relaxed and conversational. The main focus is on getting to know you and your story. Prior to the first session, I will ask you to fill out a small questionnaire. From there, we will collaborate on a treatment plan for working on coping skills and setting personal goals.
In trauma therapy, we will explore how the past is overshadowing the present in your life. This will help you understand why certain situations make you defensive or trigger reactive emotions. You may feel an aversion to certain people in your life without knowing why, for instance. The goal of therapy is to uncover the sources of your stressors and understand how trauma is connected to any anxiety or depression in your life. By gaining deeper self-awareness, you will become more grounded, thoughtful, and relaxed.
One of the central approaches in my practice is mindfulness therapy. Mindfulness consists of conscious breathing exercises, calming and grounding skills, and strategies for balancing emotions in your life. I also utilize principles of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). At its core, CBT will help you understand how your thoughts and feelings are connected to your mood and decision-making. In all my approaches, I seek to remain solution-focused and strengths-based, incorporating your own unique needs and goals into the bigger picture of counseling.
Trauma therapy doesn’t have to take years (although I welcome anyone who wants to pursue long-term counseling with me). For many, it’s simply a time to sort through their emotions and figure themselves out. It’s a chance to begin a new chapter of your life, to jump-start a process of self-discovery and growth that has lifelong benefits.
If you’d like to begin that chapter, I would love to help you get started.
You may have some questions and concerns about trauma treatment…
How many sessions will trauma counseling take?
The most important thing is gaining control of your own progress. The number of sessions it takes to do so is of secondary concern. If you feel more balanced and grounded after just a few sessions, I won’t be offended if you decide to stop seeing me. If you’d like more long-lasting growth, however, longer-term counseling may be a more practical option.
I’m worried about the perception or stigma of being in therapy.
Nowadays, more people are going to therapy than ever before. While a stigma may exist in some places, it is becoming increasingly rare. In many ways, going to see a trauma therapist or counselor is just like going to the doctor or the dentist. Doing so when you’re dealing with trauma is essential for self-care, since trauma exerts stress on your life in ways that are often hard to notice on your own.
Can trauma therapy really help?
As long as you are engaged in the process and curious to learn more about yourself, there is absolutely no limit to the growth that can take place during therapy. Oftentimes, overcoming trauma isn’t as difficult or tedious as it sounds. It simply requires learning new things about yourself and grounding skills for dealing with day-to-day stress. It isn’t rocket science, but it can transform the way you see the world and help you expand your self-awareness in ways you never imagined.
Don’t Let The Past Overshadow The Present In Your Life
Dealing with trauma isn’t just hard, it’s confusing. This is why it’s so vital to have someone who can help you sort out all the contradictory emotions in your life and figure out how to move on from them. To get started, you can call me at 609-316-6696 for a free, 10-to-15-minute phone consultation. You can also contact me via email or the auto-scheduling portal on my website.
At the moment, because of COVID-19, all trauma therapy sessions are conducted by video online or by phone.