Are You Struggling to Overcome a Traumatic Experience?
- Having trouble sleeping, waking in the middle of the night or suffering from night terrors?
- Experiencing flashbacks and intrusive imagery or reliving the event in vivid detail?
- Constantly on guard, hyper-vigilant or unable to relax, especially in public?
- Extremely sensitive to lights or sounds, easily startled, hyperactive?
- Going through intense mood swings of anger, grief, apprehension or paranoia?
- Dealing with panic attacks, anxiety, depression, amnesia or chronic pain?
- Self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs or engaging in other self-destructive behavior?
- Struggling with shame, guilt, low self-worth or overwhelming hopelessness?
Trauma can be the result of an intense, singular event, such as a natural disaster, mass shooting, sexual assault or combat experience. But, it can also be caused by a long, enduring exposure to danger and distress, such as childhood bullying or living in an abusive relationship. Regardless of its source, dealing with trauma can be a lonely and frightening experience, and you may wonder if healing is possible.
Are you searching for a way to feel safe in the present and hopeful about the future? Would you like to stop reliving the worst moment of your life and start living with intention and confidence?
Trauma Can Affect Anyone
Across gender, race, cultural identity, lifestyle and career, a traumatic experience can happen to anyone. Most of us, in fact, will endure some sort of accident, injury or loss at some point in our lives. It’s just a part of being human. But, when trauma won’t let go and you are haunted by painful memories and emotions, it can distort every detail of your life.
It’s estimated that 70 percent of all US adults have experienced something traumatic during their lifetime and 20 percent of those individuals will, unfortunately, develop PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if you don’t develop PTSD, the lasting effects of trauma can have a profound influence on how you live your life.
Right now, you are probably stuck in an endless cycle of fight or flight. This primitive survival mechanism floods your body with chemicals that put your system on red alert so you can cope with danger or stress. It sets your nervous system in overdrive, pumps your body with adrenaline and even raises your blood pressure. And although that can be a healthy, natural response when you’re faced with immediate danger, being stuck in that reactive mode can erode at your mental and physical health quickly.
It might feel like nothing will ever change or get better, but you can overcome trauma. With the help of a compassionate and experienced trauma therapist, you can let go of your painful past, regain your sense of self and enjoy a brighter, more peaceful future.
Trauma Treatment Can Bring You Peace
Trauma can be all the more painful when it seems that no one understands. As a therapist, I’ve witnessed how talking about the traumatic experience and feeling heard and validated can provide a great deal of comfort and facilitate the healing process. Trauma therapy gives you the chance to process your experience, heal yourself, protect your relationships and let go of the past. In time, you can take back your life and live with greater joy and freedom.
Beginning our sessions, I want you to feel as comfortable and safe as possible. We’ll talk about your story gently, at your own pace. As we start to explore and understand how your trauma presents itself and how you are currently trying to cope with it, we can find the insight you need to develop healthier, more productive coping mechanisms for managing your symptoms. I’ll also offer you psychoeducational information about the way trauma works so that you can better manage intense emotions and develop new self-compassion.
The effects of trauma can be different for everyone, so I always strive to understand your story and meet you where you are in your suffering. For example, if you have feelings of hypervigilance or anxiety, I can show you breathing and emotional regulation techniques that can help you in moments of crisis. I can also offer you grounding and visualization strategies to take yourself out of the fight or flight mode and lessen the impact of painful memories.
I may have you keep a journal of your thoughts that, in turn, will generate deeper introspection and help you sleep—something that is crucial for battling anxiety and depression. And to combat the source of your pain, I will use eye movement desensitization reprocessing therapy (EMDR), a profoundly effective method for treating PTSD or trauma, no matter how severe. In good time, you can learn how to regulate your emotions, come to terms with your experience and assume control over your life.
Regardless of what your situation looks like, I honor you for coming in and just sharing your story with me. I know it can be frightening, but asking for help is a sign of strength and hope. It shows that you want to face your pain and change your life. With me by your side, you can loosen the hold that trauma has on you and feel happy, whole and empowered.
Are you considering trauma treatment but still have some questions or concerns?
I don’t want to relive the past.
That is a completely natural and justified fear, and I understand your hesitation. However, ignoring the issue only perpetuates your suffering and the damage it is doing to your life.
In sessions, we will always work at your pace. If you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed, I will be right there beside you to help you understand and alleviate distress. The power of trauma therapy lies in having someone there to help you process your pain and move beyond it, which is what I will strive to do.
I think I am handling things fine on my own.
You very well may be handling things well on your own, or you could be silently minimizing the effects of your trauma to protect yourself from what you perceive as further harm. Our goal is to get you to a place where you don’t have to manage symptoms anymore. Working together, we can reveal how trauma is affecting your life so that you can see and understand its impact and change your life for the better.
I don’t know if I have the time or the money for trauma counseling.
Thankfully, EMDR therapy is an efficient therapeutic process that can produce a profound and enduring change in the way you regard yourself, your life and your world. The truth is, trauma is likely already affecting your relationships, happiness and success, robbing you of precious moments and opportunities.
It may be hard to believe right now, but you really can overcome this ordeal. And although the memory of what you’ve survived can’t be erased, you can loosen the grip it has on you and improve every aspect of your life indefinitely.
You Can Enjoy Peace and Happiness
If you have gone through a traumatic experience and feel like you can’t get away from the reminders of the past, I can help. Please call 805 374 1770 or email me at Linda@lindafisherman.com to discuss my approach to trauma treatment and how it may be able to help you.