Have you ever experienced any type of trauma in your life?
Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing event or experience. Traumatic experiences can come from anywhere. Whether it’s a car accident, a loved one’s death, terrifying birthing experiences, pregnancy loss, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, bullying, or military deployment, trauma may follow.
Trauma is generally not something you just “get over.” And it’s not just about the event or what happened to you that makes something truly traumatic. It’s often about how your body responds to the memory of the event, days, weeks or even months and years afterward.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
When we think about trauma, we might think only about life-threatening experiences. Perhaps war or terrible accidents. But as therapists, we’ve learned that trauma can even result from something like the possible loss of an important relationship, like a marriage.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can result from experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms can include:
- irrational fear
- intense flashbacks about the event
- mood swings
- difficulty concentrating
- fatigue, aches, and pains
- feelings of numbness or hopelessness
Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds, and trauma symptoms may stick around even after a period of time. People don’t just “move on” from trauma. Working through the effects of a traumatic experience often takes intention. This is especially true when whatever has been traumatizing is still happening.
Our feeling brain can be tricked…
When we experience traumatic events in our relationships, our brains can make us believe that we’re in physical danger even when we’re not. Have you ever tried to convience yourself that you shouldn’t feel something. Just because you think a certain way, doesn’t mean you won’t feel differently. Trauma doesn’t always give us the choice of how we’ll respond to something.
You can heal from trauma…
Just like anything that matters, trauma healing doesn’t come easy. But it is possible. If you’ve tried to heal from a traumatic event on your own, you quickly realize that it’s not something you want to try alone. You want a specialized, well-trained, and experienced trauma expert at your side. We will help you through every part of the healing process.
Change can happen more quickly than you might think…
Our approach to treating trauma is research based and very effective. Studies have shown that the approach we use (EMDR) is much more efficient and effective than other approaches to trauma treatment. Learn more about EMDR below.
EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing” and is a well-known and thoroughly researched therapy proven to help people heal from trauma. EMDR appears to mimic the rapid eye movements of REM sleep and helps your brain process traumatic memories in new and more helpful ways.
Our clients absolutely love the results they get from EMDR therapy. It’s not easy work. Confronting traumatic memories is certainly challenging. But through EMDR therapy, we trust that your brain knows exactly what it needs to do in order to heal. It’s believed that way these traumatic memories are “stored” in ways that actually get in the way of healthy responding today. EMDR allows your brain to “clean up” and put things where they belong–so to speak. It’s quite an amazing process, really.
Our therapists are trained in EMDR therapy. It’s an amazing treatment for trauma and we would love to help you work through your own traumatic experiences with this unique treatment protocol.
What is betrayal trauma?
Some types of trauma are harder to recognize than others. Many people don’t know that you can actually experience trauma when your marriage or primary relationship is in danger. If you rely on someone, like a parent or spouse, and that relationship is threatened, you can actually experience PTSD-like symptoms.
Because we specialize in compulsive sexual behaviors and sex addiction, we see this type of trauma all the time in our office. A wife of a person who struggles with compulsive sexual behaviors may feel intensely threatened by her husband’s behaviors and secrecy. She might often wonder whether their relationship can survive. These women can experience the very same PTSD symptoms they would experience if they had been hit by a semi truck. This type of trauma is sometimes called relational trauma or betrayal trauma.
The nightmares, fears, panic attacks, mood swings, and flashbacks are all there. Even good therapists don’t always understand this type of trauma. Someone who doesn’t know how betrayal trauma works can actually make things worse in their efforts to be helpful. Only helpers with specialized training and experience can provide the level of care that those suffering from betrayal trauma need to heal.