We will all likely go through some experience of trauma in our life. As a result, we will all likely seek some form of trauma therapy. Trauma has a wide range. It can be something like a breakup or car accident. It can be things like childhood abuse, intimate partner violence, or the loss of someone you care about. racial injustice, natural disaster.
A traumatic event can be anything that we experience as negative, that has a lasting effect. We specifically say that “we experience as negative” because we all experience life differently. Two people can live through the exact same event. While one walks away completely fine, the other may struggle to cope afterward.
Many have wondered why only some people experience trauma and develop symptoms of PTSD. Why are some veterans returning home to their lives, while others struggle to cope? How can some live through a natural disaster and return to work, while others can’t get out of bed each day?
Even family members can experience the same devastating event and react differently. One person may adjust to the event. At the same time, another may experience symptoms that are lifelong and devastating. Science is still trying to figure out why we all have such different responses to life events. What we do know, is that put: our brains and bodies are wired differently. Not good or bad. Different.
As you can imagine or experience, living with trauma symptoms in the long term can leave you confused, afraid, anxious, or depressed.
Moving Forward Feels Impossible
Someone who has been through a trauma may experience a wide range of emotions and be confused about why. They may not understand why they can’t “get over it”. After all, it’s in the past and they know they are safe now.
Many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) feel stuck in a loop. Replaying what happened like a movie, over and over again. They also might find that they can’t control their emotions. Or, are quick to anger, sadness, or feeling broken down. They may avoid their loved ones, friends, and activities they used to enjoy.
For people living with PTSD, moving beyond trauma can feel impossible. Yet, the idea of recounting and processing this trauma in therapy can be intimidating. After all, opening up to a stranger about what you’ve experienced isn’t easy. Thinking about it can be stressful. Even further, the idea of talking about it can be overwhelming.
For most people, replaying the traumatic events in trauma therapy can bring up lots of complicated emotions. Dissecting what happened in therapy can be scary no matter what you are bringing into the office. Many people suffer for years because the idea of working on their pain is paralyzing. Doing the work to heal can be terrifying. We understand and want you to know that seeking help to grow requires a lot of courage.
And once you’re ready, trauma therapy can be a powerful tool to help you move forward.
If you’ve been struggling by yourself for too long, it may be time to consider trauma therapy. Let’s explore a few of the benefits and find out why therapy can be an essential part of the healing process.
Trauma Therapy and Accelerated Healing
Not everyone who experiences and heals from PTSD goes to trauma therapy. But trying to navigate the messy healing process on your own can be risky and even dangerous. A professional can explain what is happening in your brain and body. And, why you feel the way that you do. Many people that have experienced a traumatic event feel like they are going crazy. We promise this not true. Instead, it’s your body firing up its survival mechanisms. A trauma therapist in Orange County, CA can walk you through the process to make it less scary.
Without help, you may end up struggling for years on end. Going to therapy for trauma can speed up the healing process. That’s not to say that your trauma therapist will rush you through healing. Your therapist can help to set goals and a timeline that feel safe and comfortable. Together, you can move toward healing at a pace that feels right to you.
Trauma Therapy Provides a Support System
Many people that have experienced trauma lean on friends and family when trying to heal. But many also lack strong support networks. Some feel that nobody around them can relate to what they went through.
Others find that they distance themselves from those they used to be close to. Working with a trauma therapist provides you with a support system. Sometimes, a trauma therapist can also set their clients up with group therapy sessions. Thereby giving them the opportunity to connect with others who understand what they’re going through.
It can be very comforting to know that you are not alone. A therapist that specializes in trauma can help you feel connected and supported. You will likely feel better knowing that your therapist has helped people like you heal from their past.
Trauma Therapy Helps With Thinking Ahead
When you have experienced trauma, it’s tough to form a positive vision of the future. You might often feel you’re defined by your past. Or, you’re fearful of moving beyond your trauma because it has become part of your identity.
But, trauma therapy can help you see that there is life beyond your trauma. The past can’t restrain your future, or you. It’s difficult to see this on your own. But in therapy, you can look to the future with a new perspective.
Your trauma therapist can help you to heal past wounds. Many people who have participated in trauma therapy feel like they get their life back. They find new freedom to develop and work on goals that they previously gave up on.
Developing Coping Mechanisms Through Trauma Therapy
You may experience anxiety or PTSD symptoms daily. Or, these symptoms may only become triggered in certain circumstances. Both experiences are normal for people with a trauma history.
Either way, it’s important to develop healthy coping mechanisms. This can be very hard to do without professional guidance. Some people may turn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances to cope. Others might pick up unhealthy behaviors that give them some relief at the moment. But, may also damage their well-being in the long run.
With guidance from a therapist, you can work on implementing healthy coping mechanisms. You can find joy again in hobbies and activities that you have neglected. You can also learn and practice new activities that you may never have tried before. When you do the hard work in trauma therapy, you can start to feel pleasure again.
Do you find that exposure to your triggers can send you spiraling? This is very common for people who suffer from PTSD or have experienced a traumatic event. Exposure to triggers can knock you off your feet. Because they are so distressing, many people try to avoid potential triggers at all costs. But to actually live again, you’ll need to learn how to encounter these triggers without feeling overwhelming fear or panic.
This is not an easy process, and it does not equate to “getting over it.” Instead, a therapist can help you get acclimated to safe exposure. You and your therapist will identify your trauma triggers. Together you can learn that you haven’t been avoiding these triggers because you are weak. You’ve been avoiding these because your brain has been falsely warning you that you are in danger.
In trauma therapy, you can learn the warning signs of trauma triggers and how to best handle them. You can learn how to remind yourself that you are safe and calm your body down. It is likely impossible to go about life free and avoid all the things that cause you distress. But, you can learn how to be aware of how your brain and body are reacting. And then, practice skills that will help you to cope better. With time and practice, you will find that these triggers have less and less impact on you.
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It’s proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences. Though some people think EMDR therapy only treats PTSD, it can also help other areas of mental health. Some include anxiety, depression, panic, self-esteem, shame, guilt, and unhealthy relationship patterns.
Research shows that EMDR therapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy to help with PTSD and trauma. When something upsetting or traumatic happens to you, if our brain doesn’t properly process it, it can “get stuck”. This is why many people with PTSD feel like they are re-experiencing the trauma over and over. EMDR therapy allows you to become “unstuck”. A trained therapist can help you access the distressing memory in a safe and non-threatening way.
Although you will not forget the event, you can heal from the hold that it has on you. EMDR therapy can help to put distance between you and the event. It can help you to experience as a memory and not something that is happening to you right now. Processing the trauma will help you be less triggered and distressed when you think about it.
How Can EMDR Therapy Help With My Trauma
During an EMDR therapy session, your therapist will guide you. Together, you’ll bring up the memory to help your brain successfully process it through BLS (Bi-lateral Stimulation). The BLS be done with eye movements, tappers, and auditory stimulation. The simulation allows each side of the brain to communicate and process the traumatic material. Most clients find that it reduces their extreme emotional responses to the memory. EMDR therapy can also help decrease anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings associated with the memory.
EMDR therapy can be a short-term therapeutic intervention. But, this will also depend on the type of trauma. And, whether it was a chronic or a one-time event. Many times it will get used along with other forms of talk therapy.
Before beginning EMDR therapy, you will meet with your for a few sessions so you have the chance to share your story. During this time, we will discuss the challenges that you are experiencing. Your trauma therapist will help you to develop relaxation skills to better help with processing the trauma. You will also work together to identify which memories or events will be most helpful for your brain to process.
EMDR therapy can help reduce many of the ways that trauma is impacting your life. Ultimately, allowing you to function better in your relationships, work, and social life. You will likely be able to better cope with previous triggers. And, find that your days, weeks, and months are less derailed by distress. We often hear things like “I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but that just didn’t upset me like it usually would”. Or, “I can think about what happened now without having a panic attack.”
EMDR therapy won’t erase your past memories or the trauma, but it can help put some distance between them and your life now.
You can also read our blog on if EMDR therapy can work for you to find out more.
Begin Trauma Therapy in Orange County
Are you struggling to live with the trauma you have experienced or PTSD symptoms? Therapy can help you heal. You don’t have to deal with the overwhelming effects of your trauma or hurtful experiences alone. Trauma Therapy can help you to be less reactive to triggers. It can also decrease your anxiety responses, help you reconnect with your loved ones, and feel safer in your own skin. Reach out to us today to learn more about Trauma Therapy and discuss your options.
To begin therapy in Orange County, CA simply:
- Fill out the form below to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.
- Meet with someone from our team of caring therapists.
- Begin trauma therapy to move forward from the trauma you experienced
Other Counseling Services at Moxie Family Therapy
Trauma Therapy is not the only service that we offer in our Orange County Counseling Clinic or via Online Counseling. Other mental health services Moxie Family Therapy provides include counseling for women, counseling for young adults, counseling for college students, couples counseling, counseling for teen girls, counseling for children, play therapy, art therapy, and family therapy. Contact our counseling practice to work on the issues that matter most to you, so you can get your moxie back!