“Suppressing our inner cries for help does not keep our stress hormones from mobilizing the body.” —Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., trauma researcher and trauma therapy specialist.
Trauma therapy is important. Many people suffer from long-term negative impacts of trauma. It may look like depression, or anxiety, or irritability or fear. But it’s often trauma. Even if you don’t have an “official” PTSD diagnosis, you may be experiencing many negative effects from post-traumatic stress. Effective trauma treatment can often be very helpful for people who come to counseling.
Trauma is exposure to a situation where you are severely threatened, physically or psychologically. It is a fairly common experience. People often recover from its effects on their own, but many do not: They find that the traumatic stress (PTSD) is somehow “still there.” Even if the trauma was one event (or a few events), one may experience flashbacks or other physical symptoms. If trauma was ongoing (example: childhood abuse or neglect), then effects might be less obvious, but extremely damaging. Childhood trauma is correlated with a host of physical and medical problems, as well as depression and other mental health difficulties.
New forms of trauma therapy
Traditionally, trauma has been treated with talk therapy. But talking doesn’t always get the job done, and often not very quickly. This is because PTSD symptoms aren’t primarily caused by our thoughts. The traumatic stress we feel is held in the body. Currently there are powerful therapies available that access the deeper parts of our nervous system. These are the parts which control our breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and many other aspects of our experience. You’ll recognize these as many of the things that can be involved in PTSD symptoms. So working with our body’s responses to trauma is better than just talking about it.
I use a variety of methods to address trauma and PTSD, but some very helpful ones involve Trauma Dynamics. If you come for trauma therapy, I’ll explain it to you right away. There are no secrets about how it works, because it’s based on modern neuroscience. It can provide you with skills that you can use on your own to resolve traumatic stress, both mentally and physically.
How long it will take depends on a lot of things. But the goal of trauma therapy is to make a difference, and if we work at it, you can walk away with something helpful from just about every session. Your body wants to heal from the trauma, and we just need to tap into that. I’ll show you how.