Trauma and PTSD Therapy
Traumatic events are as diverse as people’s reactions to it. There is no formula for what causes a traumatic event, no set way to avoid them or a paved path to recovery. Experiencing one can be life-shaking, uprooting your very ideal of self. It’s something no one should go through alone. Thriveworks Stoughton Counselors are here to ensure that you won’t have to.
What is a Trauma?
A trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Not a very descriptive definition, but it’s that way on purpose. Traumatic events can be things like sexual assault, physical violence, or a natural disaster. Or, it can be things like a bad divorce, a miscarriage, or a sudden, major physical altercation. A trauma to one may not be a trauma to another.
Whatever the experience, it is something that cuts to the heart of your mental and emotional functioning. Left untreated, it can even begin altering your brain and body. At its core, trauma is something that attacks our humanity, leaving us raw and exposed. But it’s not something that has to haunt us forever. Thriveworks Stoughton is here to help guide you on this path of healing.
We want to stress that it is never the fault of the victim. You are not ‘weak’ for being affected by trauma. There are many factors that go into the severity of symptoms, including:
- The level of support they have
- The amount of additional stress they are under when the trauma occurs
- The stress tolerance level they have with day to day events
- Previous history of traumatic events
Traumatic experiences are unpredictable, and never your fault. The Stoughton counselors understand the pain and turmoil that accompanies trauma. We are here for you, and together we can find a way back to your normal self.
What are the symptoms of Trauma?
Most trauma will result in both physical and mental symptoms. Immediately after the event, and up to a week or so after, you may experience signs of shock. Things like denial, nausea and shaking may be present. It’s when those symptoms persist, and more symptoms add on, that healthy, natural reactions turn sinister.
Long term, trauma can impair how you feel and process emotions. It can also lead to suicidal thoughts, heart problems and drug abuse. Thriveworks Stoughton knows these are some high-stake risk factors. But they are far from set in stone. Once you recognize the symptoms, getting help quickly can get you feeling better faster.
Some physical symptoms to look for include:
- Sleeping patterns are thrown off. Inability to fall asleep and/or nightmares
- Difficulty focusing
- Body aches, Fatigue
- Difficulty in decision making
- Racing heart
Sometimes, when your thoughts are already clouded and emotions all over the place it can be hard to pinpoint the symptoms. Looking at how your physical health has changed can be helpful in knowing if you need help. No matter the severity of your symptoms, or your certainty in reaching out, Thriveworks Stoughton admires your bravery and we are excited to start this journey together. Talking to someone can never hurt!
On the mental and emotional side, some things to look for include:
- Feeling helpless and out of control
- Feeling anxious most of the day, even in situations you previously didn’t
- Experiencing difficult emotions or memories throughout the day, even when you don’t want to feel/remember them.
- Feeling disconnected, isolated
- Difficulty in trusting others
If you’re going through a trauma, know that you aren’t alone. The symptoms can be devastating and impairing, but don’t have to last.
What is Trauma therapy?
It takes a lot of courage to reach out after a trauma. You may be feeling guilt, fear or anxiety. That’s OK. Our Thriveworks Counselors understand the difficult decision in deciding to talk to a professional counselor, and we want to thank you for taking this first step.
Trauma therapy is largely individualized, depending on your current situation, your symptoms and what your goals are for the future.
There are some tried-and-true techniques though that we can use to help facilitate the healing process. During a Trauma session we may:
- Use talk therapy- simple but powerful. Talking through the traumatic event and how you feel about can be extraordinarily healing.
- Processing unnamed emotions and memories- if you give something a name, it holds less power over you then before. But oftentimes with trauma, emotions are mixed, and memories can have holes. Filling in the gaps and truly understanding what happened and the effect it had can be the next step in healing.
- Prolonged exposure- It’s uncomfortable to say the least, but a lot of research has shown that revisiting the memories of a traumatic event until they no longer distress or otherwise impair you is a great way to regain control of your mind and life.
There are many other methods therapists may use to help you overcome the traumatic event. It can be a painful process, but Thriveworks Stoughton counselors are here for you every step of the way.
Trauma can spread like a spider web of chaos and distress through your life. But you deserve better. Healing is possible, and Thriveworks Stoughton is excited to begin the process with you.