Therapy for Trauma and PTSD
Most individuals go through traumatic events in their life of varying degrees such as a car accident, divorce, death of a loved one, abuse, assault or a natural disaster. Often, people recover from challenging and/or traumatic events with time and support of family and friends. For some, the effects of trauma are lasting and cause a great deal of emotional pain, fear, confusion and, in some cases, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) long after the event has passed. I have specialized training and experience in aiding individuals, couples and families recovering from trauma.
What is PTSD?
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological reaction to a severely stressful or life threatening event that may result in anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, depression, hypervigilance or avoidance and numbing for an extended period of time. People who experience PTSD may continue to feel afraid or anxious long after the event has passed. It is important to remember the symptoms of PTSD can be managed and treated, and you can HEAL from the traumatic event(s).
What would we do in sessions together?
As a clinician, I am competent in working with individuals who have experienced a variety of traumatic events in their life. I know it can be difficult to talk about these events and often times you would just rather avoid them. However, avoidance often does not allow for deep healing. Therefore, I recognize the importance of creating a space in my office where you feel in control to go at your own pace. I do not want you to become retraumatized by your sharing. Therefore, we pace each session to allow for processing deep feelings, while working to calm any nervous system activation at the same time. When working with youth, sessions may focus on processing troubling memories through play, art and movement.
My goals during sessions are:
Create a safe space in which you feel in control of the pace and direction of the sessions
Learn tools to manage your symptoms and decrease nervous system activation
Understand the physiology of your body and nervous system so you know WHY your symptoms are occurring
Practice mindfulness skills to ground you in the here and now
Repair any disconnection with yourself: physically, emotionally, spiritually
Increase connection with others and your support system
Utilize EMDR (Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing) when indicated
Gain new insights into past trauma patterns and how they influence your current life and relationships and work toward shifting them
Learn how to communicate your needs and boundaries effectively
Move toward feeling empowered again
How long does therapy typically last?
It depends on the traumatic experience(s) you are seeking to heal and the range of your symptoms. EMDR is a relatively fast methodology of treatment in comparison to talk therapy alone, yet processing trauma usually does not fit into a brief therapy model of treatment. Contact me for your free 15-minute phone consultation, and we can discuss a possible length of treatment based upon the issues you want to address in therapy.