Are You Having Trouble Reclaiming Your Life From A Traumatic Past?
Have you experienced a loss, life transition, or traumatic event so powerful that it’s always in the forefront of your mind? Are intense memories or vivid nightmares forcing you to relive the past day after day, night after night?
Perhaps you’re easily startled or always on edge—as if you’re never really sure you are safe. As a result, you may either lash out in pent-up fear or withdraw from everyone and everything to avoid reminders of your experience.
When you are dealing with trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it can completely disrupt the way you live. You may be so irritable, angry, or depressed that a gulf is developing between you and the ones you love. You may find it difficult to trust people, connect with others, or even be intimate with your partner. The constant stress and anxiety of worrying all the time is probably causing sleep problems, back pain, digestive issues, and a host of other unexplained ailments. Unable to move beyond the past, you may even start to blame yourself for everything.
What you are going through is not your fault, and there is a good reason why it’s been so hard to move on. At the Key Counseling Group, we understand just how painful trauma can be—and we want to help you function better and feel calmer by reprocessing the past so you can lead the life you were meant to.
Trauma Is More Common Than You May Think
Unfortunately, many people will have a traumatic experience within their lifetime. Military combat, sexual assault, being attacked or injured in an accident—all of these are well-known examples of severe trauma, and they can all be devastating. But trauma can also include losing a loved one unexpectedly, being bullied, or experiencing abuse—whether emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, physically, or sexually. Even witnessing a traumatic event or experiencing it through someone else can cause symptoms of trauma.
The truth is that the human brain is simply not equipped to handle some of the more painful experiences that life presents. Unable to process the memories of that event, they can get stuck, replaying over and over, intruding upon daily life. And though no one can predict a person’s reaction to trauma, unrelated life stressors, childhood experiences, and repeated exposure to trauma can all contribute to its impact.
The effects of trauma and PTSD are so overwhelming, that it can be difficult to know where to start when addressing symptoms on your own. Problems like an upset stomach, body aches, or sexual issues may not seem related, but there are many underlying factors that could be at work. So it’s easy to dismiss some of the subtler signs of trauma.
Working with a trauma counselor, however, gives you the chance to truly understand what is going on and find practical ways for healing and leaving the past in the past.
Trauma Therapy Can Help You Redefine Yourself And What You’re Capable Of
Most people who are struggling with trauma don’t have someone with whom they can share their story without the fear of being misunderstood or
even blamed. Therapy, however, gives you a safe space in which to explore your past with someone who can contain your pain and teach you how to process your experience so it no longer defines you. With our help, you can learn valuable skills for coping with the symptoms of trauma or PTSD while resolving any underlying issues for long-term healing and growth.
n our first session, we’ll spend a little time going over the necessary paperwork and addressing any questions or concerns you may have. At that point, we’ll start to explore what it is that brought you in, giving you space to share your story and to describe the sort of symptoms you are experiencing now. In subsequent sessions, we’ll begin to work on the underlying contributors to your distress, looking at how past events are affecting your current life while teaching you skills to manage stress and anxiety.
We’ll talk about your particular trauma symptoms, what triggers them, and when they first arose so we can identify your original wounding and start the healing process from there. While that may sound intimidating, we’ll make sure to equip you with the tools you need to feel safe and in control throughout our sessions. That includes breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and visualization strategies that give you a mental place to contain your fears as well as a place to seek refuge.
One of the tools we use, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, is a powerful trauma and PTSD treatment method that unlocks and reprocesses stuck memories so they no longer cause distress.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), is another powerful intervention. It looks at the interaction of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and enables you to challenge negative patterns that are holding you back.
And psychodynamic therapy focuses on how trauma inevitably affects your relationships with others and the world around you. All of these interventions are designed to help you identify triggers, negative thoughts, and your true feelings—as well as how all of these things are impacting your life.
Right now, it probably seems like the world is a dangerous, unforgiving place. But it is possible to have a life in which you feel safe and enjoy relationships that are not shaped or influenced by trauma. Your ability to trust others, build relationships, and focus on your goals is completely within you—you just need a little guidance getting there. With our help at the Key Counseling Group, you can decrease stress, overcome the past, and begin living for yourself.
Perhaps you are considering trauma therapy but still have some concerns…
Can trauma/PTSD counseling really help with what I am experiencing?
Trauma has a tendency to rob you of your ability to see the potential for healing and peace in your life. So it can be difficult to believe in the power of therapy. But our therapists at Key Counseling Group use a number of research-driven trauma treatment options that have been proven to reduce distress and increase clients’ quality of life. Though it may take a little effort on your own, you can learn practical skills and develop the self-awareness needed to move beyond your past no matter what it looks like.
Do I have to share everything about my experience in the beginning?
Absolutely not! Before we have any discussion, we’ll give you an assessment that outlines in advance any sensitive topics or painful life experiences you may be having a hard time addressing. Afterward, we’ll start the healing process slowly, making sure you trust and feel comfortable with your therapist before diving into the particulars of your trauma. We’ll also make sure to equip you with emotional regulation skills while moving at a pace that you always feel comfortable with.
Trauma took your power away. We want to help you get it back, and a part of that is you being actively involved in deciding what to talk about and when to do so.
I’m worried that trauma/PTSD therapy will expose me to my worst fears.
Therapy, to some extent, means facing your past, but you don’t have to confront it alone and you don’t have to endure it for long. Your brain actually has the power to heal itself in a relatively short time by restoring memories to their rightful place, but that can take guidance and a little work. Even so, we’re not going to spend every session rehashing the past. Your 50 minutes of therapy is for tackling whatever challenges may come up—not just trauma. Our purpose is to meet both your immediate and long-term needs.
Let Us Help You Discover A New Tomorrow
If you are ready to leave the past behind and start living without fear or pain defining who you are, we can help. Please email us or call 678-400-9477 for your free, 15-minute consultation or to set up your first trauma therapy appointment.