Do You Ever Feel Like You’re Running From The Pain Of The Past?
- Is there a painful experience that you never truly recovered from?
- Deep down, do you wish you could go back in time and erase what happened to you?
- Have you wondered if you experienced trauma, but you’re not entirely sure?
Maybe you’ve suffered from anxiety or depression for as long as you can remember, yet you’ve never considered its connection to a trauma. Perhaps you go to great lengths to avoid large crowds, stressful environments, and other places and circumstances that remind you of a previous experience. Maybe you have finally noticed you have been withdrawing from friends, family, and social activities. For the first time, you may find yourself considering therapy for trauma.
It’s Natural To Try And Push Trauma Down—But That Only Makes It Worse
Whether you experienced trauma as a child or as an adult, the natural impulse is to push down what is unwanted. This is how you protect yourself from your pain. In the end, however, the pain of trauma must go somewhere—unfortunately, it doesn’t just disappear. In fact, it slowly leaks into your mood by showing up as anxiety, depression, addiction, or irrational or impulsive decisions. It can also cause numbness, confusion, and dissociation.
These symptoms are known as defenses—your mind and body’s way of effortlessly trying to shield you from the pain of trauma. But to heal from trauma, you must first understand the depths of your experience. At Growth Thru Change, our mission is to help you get to the bottom of longstanding emotional wounds and learn to respond to trauma in a more thoughtful and empowering way.
We All Have Trauma In Our Lives, Whether We Know It Or Not
When most of us hear the word trauma, we think of violent or cataclysmic events such as natural disasters and military combat. Yet the actual spectrum of trauma is far more expansive. Experiences that threaten our sense of safety, security, and overall comfort can be considered traumatic. Therefore, it’s important that we think more broadly about events such as: social rejection, bullying, loneliness, parental ignorance, chronic illness, and economic hardship.
Unfortunately, our culture pays the most attention to major life traumas and does not consider the ways that daily life can be traumatic. All too often, society acknowledgment surrounds the traumas that are physical or more recognizable, and we tend to dismiss the ones that are subtler and more psychological in nature. Naturally, this causes many people who would benefit from trauma therapy to assume they haven’t experienced trauma at all.
It’s Easy To Internalize Trauma And Blame Yourself For What Happened
Years and years of trying to push trauma down or ignore it creates a lot of fuzziness around the event. We start to doubt what happened and begin to question who was responsible for it. Sadly, this often leads us to think, “It’s my fault,” “I should’ve acted differently,” or, “I deserved to experience that.”
In this way, people often end up taking ownership of their trauma—which is another form of re-traumatization. Believing that you’re at fault for your traumatic experience creates low self-esteem and feelings of guilt and shame. One of the key functions of healing from trauma is reframing the narrative around the trauma so that you see yourself and your story in a more authentic light.
Create A New Life Story With The Healing Power Of Trauma Therapy
Undoubtedly, speaking about your traumatic experience is challenging. However, it may be helpful to understand that speaking about it is not the essential piece—instead, the critical component is uncovering the burdensome feelings you still carry with you. Using a psychodynamic approach, we’ll work closely with you to break down the emotional complexity of your trauma so that you can work through its various layers.
Together, you and your therapist will identify the narrative which you’ve created about your trauma and told yourself over and over again. You’ll explore how the event was internalized, what fears you hold onto as a result, and how you live your life based on these internalizations. The hope is that this deeper understanding can help you free yourself from the ways that trauma has shaped your life, allowing you to live with greater serenity and peace of mind.
Tailoring Your Trauma Treatment Plan
Psychodynamic therapy forms the bedrock of our approach, but we implement other tools to treat what may arise throughout the deeper uncovering process:
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)—An approach that seeks to address the inaccurate beliefs (such as “It was my fault”) and unhealthy behavioral patterns (substance use, isolation, etc.) that often stem from trauma.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—This form of therapy uses bilateral stimulation exercises like tapping and side-to-side eye movements to help you release emotions that have been blocked by trauma.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)—An approach that facilitates the changing of distorted narratives that arise from trauma and enables you to break free from critical roadblocks to healing.
- Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy—Through the use of ketamine, this psychedelic approach to treatment allows you to dive into a dreamlike state where you can process trauma through a subjective experience.
By drawing from a wide range of evidence-based approaches, we’re confident that we can help you rewrite your story and take back the power that trauma took away.
You May Have Some Questions About Trauma Therapy…
I don’t know if my experience counts as trauma—other people have it worse.
Downplaying your trauma or comparing it to other people’s experiences is how your mind blocks you from seeking the help it’s afraid of. If you are holding onto a negative emotional response to interactions, encounters, or events in your life, then that means it’s traumatic for you. It counts, it’s real, and it’s worth getting support for.
Why bring up the past? Shouldn’t I just move on?
When left untreated, trauma often leads to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and risky impulsive behaviors. You may not realize that what you’re struggling with currently in life is a product of earlier trauma, but that’s the value of therapy—we are here to connect the dots between the past and the present.
I’m afraid that talking about my trauma will be like opening pandora’s box.
You may worry that you won’t be able to keep it together if you start putting words to your traumatic experience(s). But if you’re reading this page, there’s a good chance that you’re having a tough time keeping it together right now. In that sense, Pandora’s box may already be open.
You deserve to understand the ways that trauma is seeping into your life. Therapy can help you make an informed decision about whether or how to explore what’s in that box. After all, this process is not about ripping off a Band-aid—it’s about slowly uncovering your emotional wounds at a pace that’s comfortable for you. There is no pressure to open up about trauma right away.
Trauma Does Not Define You
By gaining insightful access into your life story, you can reframe your perspective and see yourself in a more hopeful and empowering light. To learn more about how trauma therapy can help you, you can call 215-377-3993.