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Trauma Therapy & PTSD Treatment

Do you feel constantly on edge? Are you flooded with nightmares? Do you have sudden intense emotions that you can’t explain? 

As a therapist, I’ve specialized in supporting people process trauma over the past 10 years. Many times therapy with a new client will start like this. The new client will come in. They’ll share that they are feeling anxious, depressed, maybe having panic attacks.

And then they’ll say a sentiment I’ve come to hear often. But “what I experienced isn’t really that bad”. Or “I don’t know why this is suddenly happening”. Or “I’ve had a good life, so there must be something wrong with me”.  

Whether from the stigma of traumatic experiences or because what they experienced was repeated and became normal to them, often people are left feeling confused and overwhelmed by the trauma symptoms. 

It is common for people who’ve gone through adverse experiences to downplay it. This leads to confusion and even shame. Trauma is the impact that adverse experiences had on a person, therefore the way it shows up is idiosyncratic.  

The Signs You’ve Experienced Trauma

Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster. Additionally, trauma can arise from a context of being treated as less than or of being put down. For example, contexts that do not protect from systemic oppression such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism or contexts that cause religious or spiritual trauma.

While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover the effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.

In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist are fundamental to healing from trauma.

Trauma Symptoms

According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5.

Avoidance Symptoms

  • Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event

  • Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks

Hyperarousal Symptoms

  • Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance

  • Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm

  • Sleep disturbances

Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable

  • Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event

  • Change in habits or behavior since the trauma

But There Is Hope

Trauma is devastating, complicated, and painful. And there is a path for trauma to not be the author of the rest of your story. There is a phenomenon called post traumatic growth that shows us, it is possible for people to find new meaning and intentionality with their life following a traumatic experience. 

Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are used in treating trauma.

If you or someone you know matches the trauma symptoms listed above, I am confident that I can help. Healing is possible with the right tools and a therapist that you feel connected to and comfortable with. Contact Sarah Kate today for a complimentary consultation to see if she’s a good fit for you. 

I am considering trauma therapy but I still have some questions…  

How do I know that counseling will help me? Shouldn’t I be able to just move on?

You have gone through something that has overwhelmed your system and ability to cope. That’s not your fault. Your body is trying to help you survive even though the mechanisms it’s using- hypervigilance, anxiety, shutdown, numbness, etc.- aren’t working for you. 

Counseling can help you kickstart the stalled process of moving through these trauma responses in a way that actually helps your past disconnect from the present. So you can live your life with the past no longer controlling you. 

There is truth to the saying that we can’t heal what we don’t feel. So no, you shouldn’t be able to just move on and “get over” trauma- it’s trauma for a reason. But you can process and heal after trauma so that you truly can move on with your life. 

I don’t want to share details of what happened to me. I’ve already re-lived it with other therapists and that just makes it worse. Can I even do counseling without retelling everything? 

Yes you can. Healing from trauma can look very different from person to person. For some individuals, reliving trauma repeatedly is actually traumatic in and of itself. 

Sarah Kate is trained to provide trauma treatment that is effective and where her knowing or not knowing does not make a difference. You can choose how much or little to share. She will always honor the way healing works for you as a unique individual. 

Will I have to be in therapy forever?

No, you have choices for how you approach therapy. Some people benefit from time limited therapy to focus on trauma treatment in one or two specific ways. Others treat therapy more like how an athlete treats training, as an ongoing form of mental health care where they may shift frequency based on need but they keep it going over a longer period of time. 

Tell Sarah Kate what appeals to you- short term work on a few specific goals or long term treatment to go deeper. Both are valid options for therapy. 

I want help but I can’t see you in person. 

No problem! This practice is entirely virtual using secure video. I am licensed in the states of Colorado, Florida and Idaho. I can work with anyone located in these states. 

You Don’t Have To Go Through This Alone

If you’re struggling to recover after a single traumatic experience or ongoing distressing environments, contexts, or relationships, know that help is available. Click below to set up your complimentary phone consultation to see if Sarah Kate is the right therapist for you.