Are You Being Weighed Down By Heavy Emotional Baggage?
Do you often feel out of control of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, unable to stay calm and collected when distressed?
Are intrusive images or flashbacks keeping you from staying present?
And do you come from a background where emotional vulnerability or asking for support wasn’t an option?
As a grown adult in this often chaotic world, you’ve probably survived something difficult or painful. Whether your life was changed in an instant due to an accident, assault, or disaster, or you sustained periods of neglect, abuse, or attachment injury as a child, you may be living with unresolved trauma.
Trauma Manifests In Many Different Ways
Though our culture typically characterizes trauma in terms of single-incident events and clinical PTSD, the truth is that trauma is much more present throughout our lives than what we might think. On top of the intense emotions and discomfort we feel when put in a stressful situation, we are constantly adding fuel to the fire with unhealthy coping mechanisms and unresolved childhood wounds.
So, what does trauma look like? Avoidance is a big indicator of trauma. You may avoid sights, smells, situations, and sensations that remind you of a traumatic experience, or maybe you avoid closeness and intimacy with your loved ones.
Trauma tends to show up most within close attachments, defined by relationships with others (especially parents, caregivers, and partners). When these attachments are injured—often through abuse, neglect, or betrayal—the likelihood of carrying trauma into adulthood is higher.
Furthermore, symptoms of common issues like anxiety, depression, or substance abuse may appear to be surface-level or seemingly unrelated to past experiences. Yet, for most mental health struggles, there is some kind of core trauma at the root of symptoms resulting in physical discomfort, hypervigilance, sadness, guilt, and a desire to numb.
If these symptoms sound familiar and interfere with your daily life, a therapist can help you process and cope. Therapy for trauma gives you an opportunity to restore a constructive self-perception—improving your self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of fulfillment.
All Of Us Carry Unhealed Emotional Wounds
It’s estimated that close to 5 percent of Americans are struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress at any given time. And according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Trauma occurs more [and earlier] than you think. More than two thirds of children report at least 1 traumatic event by age 16.” Most of us carry the burden of trauma from an early age, even if we don’t characterize our experience(s) as traumatic.
How we respond to trauma in childhood shapes our entire emotional approach to life. We may have developed coping mechanisms that helped as children but have since outgrown their use or even become counterproductive. When exposed to new stressors throughout adulthood—whether those stressors involve recent loss, intimate partner betrayal, or job-related crises (as is the case with medical professionals and first responders)—our unprocessed trauma manifests as detachment, withdrawal, anger, and various mental health challenges.
Unfortunately, it’s common for survivors to downplay traumatic experiences and overlook unhealthy coping mechanisms, perpetuating the belief that we don’t deserve help or that other people have it worse. Systemic and generational trauma is so widespread, especially among communities of color, that trauma goes unacknowledged altogether. And certain religious or cultural factors can complicate the healing process as the mental health stigma remains, causing us to be skeptical of mental health support.
However, by connecting with the painful parts of yourself in therapy, you can find meaningful relief from the effects that unprocessed trauma has had on your life.
Therapy For Trauma At MINDplexcity
Whether survivors recognize it or not, we’re all living in the shadow of mistrusting something—whether that’s ourselves, our loved ones, or the world around us. My counseling approach aims to facilitate a warm, open, and compassionate space so that you can experience the authentic connections and breakthroughs that will ultimately aid in resolving trauma.
We will start by exploring the aspects of your life you wish to change and the experiences you’ve had that contribute to negative self-beliefs and perceptions. From there, my long-term goal as a trauma-informed therapist is to promote better self-understanding so that you can experience desired growth and proactive goal setting from within, no longer in doubt of yourself or your abilities.
Trauma-Informed Modalities That Get To The Heart Of The Issue
The treatment interventions I use are especially helpful for identifying and resolving core traumas. Drawing from an integrative, trauma-informed approach, I will likely use elements of body-based and emotionally focused techniques designed to form a more open and compassionate connection to your thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, as a therapist trained in David Grand’s Brainspotting (BSP) technique, I will incorporate this revolutionary yet gentle approach into treatment to help rewire the brain’s response to trauma.
Brainspotting operates from the premise “where you look affects how you feel.” Similar to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting uses eye movement to reprocess stored trauma in the brain. BSP finds a fixed, activating visual spot or “Brainspot” by way of using a pointer. Once the activating Brainspot is located, body sensations related to emotions and stored trauma come to the surface, guiding the eye to its Brainspot and thereby rewiring the brain’s trauma response.
The ebb and flow of my counseling style is aimed to assist you in growing toward more agency, choice, and joy in your life. As you foster a more profound sense of inner connection, you will be equipped to meaningfully connect with your experiences and the people around you.
Without the proper support of a therapist, trauma can have a long-term impact on your emotional accessibility and coping skills. Naming and identifying the trauma in therapy—regardless of if the trauma is recent or from childhood—is the first step toward healing. And I am here to encourage you along the way.
Still Unsure If You Would Benefit From Trauma Treatment?
I am afraid that I will be judged for my trauma/going to therapy.
The mental health stigma is still very prevalent throughout our culture, but the issues you are dealing with are real and can impact your mental, emotional, and physical health. You are considering therapy because you want to feel better and meaningfully address your trauma—that takes real courage.
As a trauma-informed therapist, I will treat your experiences openly and without judgment. Counseling provides you with a chance to feel emotionally safe and supported while exploring difficult emotions so that you can better understand and process your trauma.
A therapist won’t be able to relate to my trauma.
I understand that not everyone in your life knows how to support your experience of post-traumatic stress. However, a mental health professional who is uniquely trained to provide trauma treatment can help you manage symptoms and feel more in control.
Furthermore, because I am a woman and therapist of color, I understand some of the unique issues you may be facing as they relate to systemic, generational, or gender-specific traumas. I am here to walk alongside you on your healing journey, offering culturally aware and relatable perspectives throughout our time together.
I tried counseling before, but it didn’t resolve my trauma.
Not every mental health counselor is going to be the right fit—especially if they don’t specialize in trauma. As a trauma-informed therapist, I will focus on your safety and comfort in the counseling space, being careful not to retraumatize you.
If you have tried therapy in the past but have yet to experience meaningful relief from trauma-related symptoms, let’s talk about it. As I learn more about what didn’t work for you, I can tailor the therapeutic process to align with your specific goals for trauma treatment.
Unpack Your Experiences To Free Yourself From Trauma
If unprocessed trauma has compromised your work, relationships, and overall quality of life, therapy through MINDplexcity can help you heal core wounds so you can move forward. Contact me to schedule a free, 20-minute consultation or find out more about my approach to trauma treatment. All sessions are being conducted virtually at this time.