Is An Incident From Your Past Adversely Affecting Your Life Today?
Have you survived an emotional, sexual, or physical trauma? Do you struggle with feeling stuck in the event, regularly experiencing anxiety, emotional distress, or avoidance? As a result, is it difficult to maintain trust or handle conflict in your relationships?
Trauma is an inevitable aspect of the human experience—we all struggle with experiences that leave us feeling bereft, unsafe, or out of control. Unfortunately, when these experiences are not processed properly, disruptive mental health symptoms can linger.
You may often feel anxious, panicked, or hypervigilant. Unsure of who to trust or whether you’re safe, you may frequently feel on-edge or uncomfortable in new situations. Finding it difficult to connect with or become intimate with others, you may feel overwhelmed and afraid to be vulnerable. And when conflict arises between you and your partner, family, or peers, it’s possible that you panic, shut down, or become defensive.
Emotional Distress Occurs When Trauma Is Not Properly Processed
Trauma has a way of making us feel emotionally unsafe. When our stress response is conditioned to go from zero to sixty, it is increasingly difficult to understand and manage big emotions. Though you may think what happened to you no longer has an effect on your life, the truth is that a wide range of conditions—from anxiety to depression to PTSD—have roots in trauma.
You don’t have to feel stuck in this experience forever, though. In trauma treatment at Pinkerton Psychotherapy, you can develop meaningful coping skills, adjust your perspective, and practice feeling safe.
Trauma Is Much More Than “Big,” Life-Threatening Situations
Trauma is so widespread and often detrimental to those who experience it, but the cultural conversation around trauma is only just beginning. No longer limited to just physically dangerous situations, the definition of trauma continues to expand, increasingly addressing the effects of early abuse, mental and emotional traumas, and generational patterns that perpetuate ongoing dysfunction among families. “Big T” trauma, which results from a life-threatening situation, is prevalent in instances of violence, assault, combat, and natural disasters, but “little t” traumas—any situations that result in acute distress—are arguably much more common.
Unfortunately, instead of processing trauma, many of us pressure ourselves to simply move on with life and bury the stress away. We may convince ourselves that our experience wasn’t traumatic enough, that it’s impossible to address intergenerational trauma with our parents, or that how we feel is ultimately out of our control. However, just because we cannot change what happened to us, it doesn’t mean that we cannot decide what to do with it.
Therapy is a meaningful opportunity to develop the tools needed to overcome the barriers created by trauma. Our therapists are highly skilled, trauma-informed clinicians who are here to offer empathetic support on the path to healing.
Trauma Therapy Promotes Healing On A Deep Level
At Pinkerton Psychotherapy, we deeply believe in the premise that our clients need to “feel in order to heal.” By establishing trust and safety in the therapeutic space, our clients process emotions, resolve attachment wounds, and develop a new narrative about themselves. Under our tailored guidance, clients learn to replace old, maladaptive coping mechanisms with new, healthy ones.
Therapy for trauma is available to individuals of all ages. If you are the parent of a minor, you will be asked to attend a parent session with the therapist separately before they begin individual trauma treatment with your child. From there, all clients are asked to fill out a standard intake before treatment begins, which will help us to better understand core traumas, underlying issues, and goals for counseling.
Over the course of treatment, our therapists will use a variety of trauma-informed approaches to target specific disturbing memories, cognitive distortions, and emotional triggers. We have clinicians who are trained in the highly effective method of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, which is particularly effective for trauma survivors. And we also use attachment theory to restore trust in relationships.
In addition, our practice owner, Jennifer Pinkerton, is a certified clinical sexologist, making her uniquely qualified to work with survivors of sexual abuse and trauma—whether from childhood or adulthood—in counseling. As a culturally aware, sex-positive practice, we can help you resolve the shame and sexual discomfort you might be feeling.
It’s possible to live a life that is healed, comfortable, and fulfilling. By learning to process your trauma and associated emotions in therapy, you can transform your outlook into a healthy, hopeful perspective.
Maybe You’re Curious About Therapy But Unsure If It’s Right For You…
I am afraid to confront or access repressed memories.
We understand that you may be hesitant to confront your trauma in therapy, but feeling is an essential element of the healing process. Fortunately, we use specific methods that don’t necessarily require you to talk about the trauma at length. For instance, EMDR is a highly effective trauma treatment that targets core memories using body-based exercises as opposed to verbal processing.
Regardless of our approach, we will make sure you feel safe and in control of the pace of therapy.
I don’t want to be retraumatized in therapy.
Therapists—especially those who are trauma-informed—are trained in how not to retraumatize clients. We take great care to make sure you feel a safe, trusted connection with your therapist and that we aren’t moving too quickly. Though feelings of discomfort are likely to surface in trauma treatment, you are less likely to be retraumatized with a qualified therapist present.
How long do I have to spend in counseling before I feel better about my trauma?
Time spent in trauma treatment will greatly depend on your history, the severity of symptoms, and long-term goals for therapy. There isn’t a universal timeline for counseling, and your objectives might shift as you peel back the layers of trauma with your therapist.
However, we are invested in helping you heal quickly and find relief. In fact, one of the reasons we use EMDR at our practice is because it typically shortens the time spent in counseling in the long run. Using this approach and other trauma-informed methods, we are confident that therapy can help you feel relief and a reduction in your symptoms.
Look Ahead To A Healed, Confident Future
Though what happened to you is out of your control, your response to it is not. In trauma therapy through Pinkerton Psychotherapy, you can heal and feel safe again. To find out more about our approach to trauma treatment or to schedule an appointment with a qualified therapist, contact us.
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