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Trauma Therapy

Does Trauma Keep You From Living The Life You Want?

man looking out over beachAre you a trauma survivor who feels stuck, unable to understand why certain memories cause emotional pain and physical discomfort? Do you wonder why certain situations make you feel unsafe? Is it hard to maintain intimate relationships because you’re always afraid of getting hurt?  Maybe you’re struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suffering from nightmares, flashbacks, and feelings of hypervigilance. Or perhaps you’re dealing with more nuanced symptoms of trauma—feeling depressed, anxious, numb, withdrawn, or not really present in your body. You might feel emotionally checked out, like you’ve built a protective wall between you and your feelings. You probably wish there was someone supportive you could talk to, but you’re not sure where to turn.   

The Effects Of Trauma May Be Impacting Your Relationships

If your trauma was inflicted upon you by someone you trusted, this may have affected how you relate to intimate partners, friends, and family. Lacking a sense of emotional safety, perhaps you remain closed off to others or enter relationships that lack healthy boundaries. Or you might people-please excessively and sacrifice your needs for the sake of others.  Trauma can leave you feeling like you can no longer trust yourself or your instincts. Perhaps you believe you should just be able to get over trauma and move on with life, but your body won’t allow you to forget what happened.  Fortunately, there are effective treatments for trauma that can help you process the pain of the past so that it no longer negatively impacts your life. Utilizing evidence-based approaches like EMDR and Brainspotting, the intensity of distressing memories can be reduced, allowing you to feel lighter and breathe easier.¹ ²  


Childhood Trauma Stays With Us As Adults

woman looking out to seaThe reality is that trauma is very common. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “about 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women experience at least one trauma in their lives.”³ What’s more, “every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.”⁴ And although trauma can happen to anyone, it’s vulnerable populations—such as children and the elderly—that are often at higher risk. This is why so much trauma occurs in childhood. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can “change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress,” leading to chronic health conditions in adulthood.⁵  

Our Human Survival Instincts Contribute To Trauma

Trauma results from how the human brain is wired. We remember things that will be useful for our survival and keep us safe moving forward. Because the brain wants to ensure that something painful or scary won't happen again, it preserves the memory of such things for future reference. This is how trauma becomes indelible in the mind and body. What’s more, we may believe that letting go of upsetting events will leave us unprepared the next time they happen. Without a constant reminder of what we experienced, we feel vulnerable and unprotected. In this way, the unwelcome side effects of our survival instincts can cause us to hold onto trauma that impacts our emotional well-being and physical health.  However, the good news is that therapy can address the negative effects of trauma in both body and mind. Working with a trauma therapist, you can move out of the past and into the present moment, finding peace there.  


With Effective Trauma Therapy, The Past No Longer Has To Impact The Present  

woman in seaIf you’ve experienced trauma, it’s common to wonder, “Why me?” After all, it’s unfair that what happened to you has resulted in so much residual fear, physical distress, and emotional pain. Understandably, you might wish you could let it go and move forward. However, once you stop trying to banish your memories entirely and create meaning from these experiences instead, you can begin to heal. Trauma therapy gives you a safe space to share your concerns openly and at your own pace. You will be provided with emotional support, validation, and the opportunity for honest and nonjudgmental self-exploration. Working closely with a compassionate therapist who is trained in evidence-based trauma and PTSD treatments, you will learn how to manage your challenging feelings. By learning effective coping mechanisms, you can reduce the intensity and frequency of your symptoms.  

What To Expect In Sessions

Working together, We will explore how you’re feeling and examine how past events may be impacting your current functioning and relationships. If there are specific memories that cause distress, we will identify which ones you would like help working through. Once we lay the groundwork and you feel ready, we will give you skills to help you take the emotional charge out of traumatic memories.  Your counselor will provide you with psychoeducation that will help you understand how trauma affects you physically. Utilizing strategies such as mindfulness, you will learn how trauma is stored in the body as well as strategies for staying calm in the moment.  Learning to remain in the present moment makes it possible to confront traumatic memories with peace of mind. And if relationships are an issue, we may work on improving healthy boundary-setting and assertiveness.  The long-term goal of therapy is to help you free yourself from painful memories so that you no longer feel hindered by the past.    

The Modalities We Use For Trauma Treatment

In addition to mindfulness and talk therapy, we utilize Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting to help you work through your traumatic memories. EMDR utilizes bilateral stimulation techniques, such as tapping or moving your eyes from side to side, to help you reprocess and heal painful memories. In addition to other types of trauma, EMDR treatment is an effective therapy to address sexual or physical abuse—whether experienced as a child or adult—car accidents, natural disasters, combat trauma, and addiction.⁶  Brainspotting is an “advanced brain-body therapy that focuses on identifying, processing, and releasing trauma and residual emotional stress.”⁷ By identifying “brain spots” where trauma is held, you can transform debilitating memories as well as the negative beliefs associated with them. Healing from traumatic memories and leading a fulfilling and meaningful life is possible. As someone who experienced trauma first-hand, Janet Bayramyan, founder of Road To Wellness, is an example of how transformative therapy can be. In her experience, trauma survivors are some of the most resilient people she has ever met.  


But Maybe You Still Wonder Whether Trauma Therapy Will Be Right For You…


I don’t think I can afford trauma counseling.

We realize that trauma therapy can seem like an expensive proposition, especially when you’re paying for sessions without knowing what the outcome will be. However, by learning how to work through the triggers that hijack your emotional well-being and prevent you from living joyfully in the moment, you can arrive at a new way of feeling and thinking. EMDR and Brainspotting therapy is an investment that can change your life.  What’s more, we offer a sliding scale for therapy and can also prepare a superbill to submit to your insurance carrier for potential reimbursement.  

How long will trauma or PTSD treatment take?

The amount of time it will take to address unresolved trauma in therapy is unique to the individual. Not only is each brain different, but every person processes trauma at their own pace. However, as long as trauma counseling is conducted mindfully and with intention, it will lead to long-lasting healing.  

Is EMDR or Brainspotting hard to do?

Trauma therapy will be conducted at a pace you feel comfortable with. Before introducing a treatment to process trauma, we will lay the necessary groundwork first, such as identifying your inner resources, engaging in mindfulness practices, and introducing coping and grounding skills. Your therapist will never use an approach that doesn’t feel right or that you’re not ready to engage in.  

Are You Ready To Seek Treatment For Trauma Or PTSD?

When you are no longer stuck in survival mode, the world around you will take on new meaning and offer fresh possibilities. To find out more about trauma or EMDR therapy with us, please visit our contact page or call (818) 646-7190 to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

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