In Person and Online Therapy Available for Trauma
Have You Experienced Trauma?
- Have you been a victim of violence or physical, emotional or sexual abuse?
- Have you experienced a disturbing event that has left you struggling with upsetting emotions and memories?
- Have you been in a bad accident or had a frightening medical intervention?
- Have you witnessed violence, abuse, an accident or other highly stressful event that was very upsetting to you?
If you have experienced trauma then you may be suffering lasting negative effects. Trauma can leave you with overwhelming emotions and disturbing memories.
If you’ve been traumatized, your residual feelings may range from grief and hopelessness to anger and shame. Along with these emotions, you may suffer from disturbing thoughts and impulsive or self-destructive behavior. You may even sometimes go numb or find yourself disconnecting from the world around you.
Perhaps you are re-experiencing your trauma through flashbacks or nightmares. You may also find yourself easily upset or startled by triggers that you see, hear or feel during the normal course of your day.
Whatever the psychological, behavioral, and physical symptoms you have as a result of your trauma, they can severely affect your day-to-day life and relationships. While your traumatic experience may be preventing you from living your life fully and connecting with other people, the good news is that there is hope for your future.
Most People Are Affected by Trauma
If you’ve been affected by trauma, you are not alone. According to The National Council for Behavioral Health, 70% of adults in America have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives – that’s over 223 million people.*
Some people who have been traumatized develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 1 in 11 people that have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event will develop PTSD in their lifetime.*
What is Emotional Trauma?
Emotional trauma occurs as a result of extremely stressful events that jeopardize our sense of security and well-being. Still, it is not the objective circumstances that determine if the event is traumatic, but our subjective perception of that event. In other words, the stronger the negative emotions you experience, the more likely you are to experience psychological trauma.
Most people experience trauma after surviving or witnessing a severe, horrifying event such as a violent attack, a car accident, combat, or natural disaster. However, emotional trauma can also be a result of repeated exposure to stressful events. Ongoing, persistent stress such as domestic violence, neglect, bullying, discrimination, or battling a life-threatening illness may also cause you to be traumatized.
Similarly, some commonly overlooked causes such as the sudden death of a close person, intrusive medical procedures or the breakup of a romantic relationship may set off psychological and emotional trauma.
Trauma Can Cause Lasting Distress
If you’ve been traumatized, you may be experiencing severe anxiety or fear that is causing problems in your day-to-day functioning. You might find yourself avoiding people or situations that trigger your anxiety. This can leave you disconnected from the important people in your life.
You may avoid everything that reminds you of the trauma, but still find that the disturbing memories come back anyway. In addition, frightening flashbacks and nightmares can feel like you’re reliving the disturbing event all over again.
You could find yourself eating or drinking too much. Or instead you have no appetite for food so you don’t get enough to eat. You could even be having physical symptoms, such as bad headaches or unexplained aches and pains.
Whether your symptoms are simply bothersome or highly distressing, you can benefit from trauma therapy.
Trauma Treatment Brings Healing
Recovering from trauma is possible with the right treatment. With the modern treatment options available there is no reason to feel so distressed by the past. Trauma counseling can help you to process and overcome traumatic experiences and regain control over your life. When you heal the past, you can be present to enjoy your life now.
EMDR for PTSD and Trauma Treatment
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly effective trauma treatment that I use in my practice. It works by helping your brain to “reprocess” the painful memories, which releases the painful emotions associated with them.
According to the EMDR Institute, EMDR therapy has a very high success rate in relieving PTSD symptoms:
More than thirty positive controlled outcome studies have been conducted on EMDR therapy. Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions.*
Through the EMDR process, you will come to terms with your negative experiences and think about them from a more helpful perspective. While you’ll still remember what happened, your old negative thoughts and feelings about it will be replaced with more positive and productive ones.
Clients who successfully complete EMDR treatment notice that they no longer have the emotional and physical distress associated with their traumatic memories. After EMDR, my clients frequently report that it seems as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders and that they feel calmer and more balanced.
You May Have Questions about Trauma Treatment
Won’t my trauma heal over time?
Many of us have been taught to just “forget” about the past or just “move on” from it. What we understand now is that when we experience trauma, it changes the brain. Unlike other parts of our body that can heal (like when we get a cut and our skin heals in a few days) the traumatized brain is unable to heal itself, even with time. The good news is that with a trained EMDR therapist, your brain can heal, even in just a few sessions.
What if I don’t like talking about what happened?
It’s very understandable to feel uncomfortable talking about painful memories. Sharing your story with a trained trauma therapist can be an important step in healing. With EMDR, you don’t have to talk at length about every aspect your painful experiences. In fact, with this therapy there is no need to share all the details with your therapist for healing to take place.
How will I feel after EMDR treatment?
Most clients find significant improvement in their trauma related symptoms after working with an EMDR therapist. Clients often share that after EMDR, they feel tremendous relief from their emotional distress, even when other methods that they tried didn’t work for them. I often hear my clients tell me that they feel as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders, leaving them with a greater sense of well-being.
What if I’m still not sure if I need help?
I understand that it can be hard to reach out for professional help and I want to acknowledge you for taking the first step by learning more about trauma. However, simply reading about trauma is not going to relieve your troubling symptoms. Real healing begins when you find the courage to talk with a professional therapist skilled in healing trauma.
Heal the Past Today
As a trauma therapist, I know the emotional pain that trauma can cause. And I also know firsthand that healing that pain is very possible. I am here to help you heal and recover from the pain of your past.
If you are in the Phoenix, Scottsdale or Paradise Valley area, I hope that you’ll take the next step by giving me a call so that you can find the peace and healing that you deserve. Call Valerie Dawson, LCSW today 602-992-4318 to set up a complimentary phone consult and begin your journey of healing.
Trauma. The National Council For Behavioral Health. https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/ Retrieved from US Veterans Magazine https://www.usveteransmagazine.com/dev/2017/06/27/national-ptsd-awareness-day-tuesday-june-27th/
PTSD. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd
EMDR. Retrieved from The Permanente Journal The Role of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in Medicine: Addressing the Psychological and Physical Symptoms Stemming from Adverse Life Experiences https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951033/