Trauma Therapy in Cedar Park, TX—Counselors
Sebastian was riding the subway in his hometown of New York City when more people crowded onto his train. Suddenly, Sebastian’s back was against a metal wall, and he could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body. He responded how anyone would respond when frightened: he fled. At the next subway stop, he hopped off the train and ran the rest of his way home. In many ways, Sebastian’s response was a normal response to being in danger: the body naturally goes into flight or fight mode when threatened. The problem is that Sebastian was not in danger on that subway. Sebastian Junger is a combat veteran who had lived through the trauma of war. He told his story to Vanity Fair because when he return from his deployment to the safety of his own home, he was plagued by panic attacks whenever he was in a crowded and enclosed space. Sebastian had lived through trauma and he was fighting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He reached out for help and worked with a psychologist. His trauma healed, and Sebastian wants others to know that healing from trauma is possible.
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to
proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
When people live through trauma of any kind, it can be difficult to speak about the horror they have experienced. Sebastian and many others understand the challenge, but they also understand the many benefits of opening up about what happened. If you have experienced trauma, know that it is ok to talk about what has happened to you. It is ok to seek help as you seek healing. Skilled therapists understand the toll that trauma takes, but they also know that incredible healing and growth can come from incredible difficulty. Trauma therapy has helped many people find the healing from trauma that they need and deserve.
Thriveworks Cedar Park offers trauma therapy. We have helped many clients come to understand what has happened to them and how to find their own healing path.
Trauma and PTSD
Everyone responds to trauma differently. For many, the traumatic event does not end when they are returned to safety. The feelings and memories of the event can continue. Not everyone will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but there are certain risk factors that make it more likely. One important thing to know is that PTSD has nothing to do with whether a person is strong or weak. The risk factors for experiencing trauma and developing PTSD are often not in a person’s control. Those risk factors include:
- Living through a long-lasting or acute trauma.
- How an individual’s brain regulates hormones that help them respond to danger and stress.
- Genetics, especially a family history of anxiety or depression.
- Other traumas an individual has experienced, especially childhood abuse.
- Temperament that an individual inherits.
- Having employment where trauma exposure is a possibility: medical professional, military service, first responder, et cetera.
- A history of substance abuse.
- Inadequate support from one’s community, friends, and family.
Trauma can come in any number of forms. A few common ways that people experience trauma are combat exposure, physical assault, sexual violence, receiving a terminal medical diagnosis, childhood abuse (sexual, emotional, and/or physical), living through an accident (car wreck, fire, et cetera), being bullied or threatened, and more.
“Very minor threats can be experienced, by what the signals in your body tell you, as, ‘You’re in acute danger’”
—Sandra Bloom, former president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
There are four types of PTSD symptoms:
Re-living the Trauma
At any moment, people with PTSD can relive the event—feeling the same panic, fear, and horror as if the trauma were happening again. Reliving the trauma may look like…
- Experiencing night terrors and nightmares about the event.
- Having a flashback—a feeling as if they are re-living the event.
- Living with triggers: things they see, hear, or smell that remind people of the trauma.
Sidestepping Any Reminders of the Trauma
PTSD may also look like someone who completely reorganizes their life to avoid any reminders of the trauma. Unfortunately, in doing so, people may avoid hard feelings, but they also may isolate themselves. This symptom may look like…
- Avoiding crowds because that they can feel dangerous.
- If the trauma occurred in a car, refusing to drive oneself anywhere or ride in a vehicle.
- Not watching the news, movies, or TV shows.
Altering One’s Beliefs and Feelings
Trauma can negative impact an individual’s feelings and thoughts about themselves, the world, and the event itself. For example, an individual may…
- Stop trusting other people—event those who are trustworthy.
- Refuse to speak about the event.
- Come to see the world as a hostile and dangerous place.
Trauma can leave people in a state of hyperarousal. That is, they may never be able to relax, but instead, they are always on the look out. They may have
- Trouble sleeping.
- Trouble concentrating.
- A quick startle-reflex when they are surprised or hear a loud noise.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Cedar Park
If you have lived through a traumatic event, Thriveworks Cedar Park wants you to know that you are not alone. It is okay to talk about what happened to you. That is why we offer therapy for trauma. When you call our office, you may be meeting with a therapist the following day. Let’s get started on a healing journey. Call Thriveworks Cedar Park today.