What is Trauma Therapy?

What is Trauma Therapy?

Not many of us will get through life without facing our own share of challenges. But some people experience not just stress and strife, but actual trauma. Trauma may come in the form of a physically or emotionally abusive relationship, a physical accident such as a car accident, rape, the sudden loss of a loved one, or war.

When a person experiences trauma, their entire world changes almost instantly. Many trauma survivors have a hard time feeling safe and secure. They begin to feel anxiety and depression, have trouble sleeping, and may experience other behavioral changes that are frightening to them and their loved ones.

 

How Does Trauma Therapy Work?

When you have experienced trauma and begin to see some of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s time to explore treatment so you can begin healing. The idea of therapy can feel scary and overwhelming to people with PTSD, mainly because they need to have a sense of total control to feel safe.

But trauma therapy is really something that can empower an individual with PTSD. With the help of a caring and qualified mental health professional, the person can begin to process past events, stripping that traumatic event of its power.

Trauma therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and has the potential to actually change the way your brain works through what is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity simply means our brains and neural pathways (how we think and feel) are malleable. Through specific mental health tools and strategies, we can retrain our brains to let go of the fear and begin to heal.

Some of the goals of trauma therapy are:

  • To safely process the traumatic event
  • To eliminate the symptoms of trauma
  • To improve day-to-day functioning
  • To regain your personal power
  • To obtain the skills and tools to prevent an individual from relapsing

If you or a loved one are living with PTSD, it’s important that you recognize the symptoms and seek help. Life does not have to continue to be scary or overwhelming. There are strategies that can help you process your pain so that you may continue to live your life full of joy and peace.

If you would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I would be very happy to help you leave the past in the past and move on to brighter tomorrows.

 

SOURCES:

Creative Expressive Therapies for Kids and Teens

Life hasn’t been the same for any of us for many months now. As we continue to try and adapt our lives to safely deal with this novel coronavirus, it has taken its toll on many, both financially and emotionally.

Kids have been hit particularly hard during this time. At first, many might have thought the idea of no school was “awesome!” But as the weeks rolled on, and they found themselves away from their friends and their routine disrupted, many kids began to feel depressed and anxious about the future.

Summer vacation is supposed to be a time of fun and freedom, but with many states still in lock-down mode and masks still being mandated, this summer isn’t filled with the same kind of fun and freedom as usual.

How can you help your kids deal with the stress and anxiety at this time?

You can get them involved in creative expressive therapies. These therapies, such as art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and drama therapy, to name a few, have been successfully applied in psychotherapy and counseling for more than 70 years.

Creative expressive therapies are valuable in helping people of all ages navigate stress and anxiety but work particularly well with children and teens. One of the biggest benefits of expressive therapies is that they calm the nervous system. When we are focused on creating something, our focus shifts away from the very thing we are worried about and ruminating on. Once this shift has occurred, we also have more access to the rest of our brain and our thoughts and emotions stored there.

But the real reason expressive therapy is so good for kids and teens is that it allows them to express themselves in a nonverbal way. Ask a young child how they are feeling about things and they are liable to give you a shrug. But give them some markers and paper and all of their thoughts and feelings will come flowing out onto that paper.

There are a variety of creative expressive therapies that your child may find very helpful during this time. If you’d like to explore any of these options, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help your child or teen cope with the anxiety they are going through because of the coronavirus.

 

SOURCES:

Are You a Man Suffering from Suicidal Thoughts? Therapy Can Help You

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die by suicide more than 3x as often as women. In fact, white males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2018.

Those are startling statistics. But what’s the reason behind these numbers? Well, according to a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, the number of men who seek treatment for depression is far lower than the number of women who seek out guidance.

Some mental health experts believe that certain cultural and social norms, as well as rigid views of masculinity, most likely prevent many men from seeking help. Men also have a much more difficult time trusting, opening up, and communicating their feelings.

Mental health issues also tend to manifest much differently in men than women, resulting in issues going ignored and untreated. Men often either don’t recognize they are in emotional pain or take a “walk it off” attitude toward it. This leads to unprocessed emotions building and building until the man may act out and commit violence against himself or someone else.

Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts

Should you or someone you know be experiencing thoughts of suicide, it is critically important that you seek help. While a high level of risk requires hospitalization or intense in-patient out-patient treatment, those not currently in a high-risk crisis can be successfully treated through psychotherapy.

Therapy offers a safe space for men to open up and admit they are hurting and need help. There is no judgment, only compassion, and guided healing. A focus of this therapy will be to address the factors that led to thoughts of suicide, ways to resist the urge to self-harm, and creating a plan that includes coping strategies to address suicidal thoughts should they recur.

Your therapist will also determine whether you may benefit from prescription medications, which are sometimes necessary as a temporary aid to cognitive behavioral therapy.

You don’t need to suffer alone. And seeking help does not make you weak. It actually makes you very strong. If you have had thoughts of harming yourself, please reach out to someone. You may contact me and I would be very happy to discuss what therapy offers in more detail and how I might be able to help.

 

SOURCES:

I will be seeing individuals in person and telehealth starting October 1st. New clients are welcome. Contact me today to schedule your telehealth appointment.