Are You Struggling To Feel Safe, Happy And Whole?
Like so many others struggling with trauma, you may question what really happened, criticize yourself for past choices and carry a great deal of shame. It may be that you are plagued by looping nightmares and intrusive flashbacks, especially when you encounter a smell, sound or situation that conjures up the past. You might try to stop thinking about what happened, but feel unable to shake an impending sense of danger.
You might overfill your schedule so you don’t have time to think or feel. Or, maybe you withdraw socially, neglect responsibilities or avoid activities in an attempt to remain safe. You may have turned to substances or compulsive behavior to escape your pain, even though that relief never lasts. Despite your best efforts, you may be experiencing mood swings that make you feel out of control and defeated.
Do you wish you knew how to heal from trauma, find peace and feel comfortable in your own skin?
Many People Have Experienced Trauma
Even if you feel powerless and alone right now, know that what you have survived is not your fault. Trauma is caused by an encounter that shakes your sense of security and agency in the world and within yourself, eroding your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.
And you are not alone. According to the National Center for PTSD, roughly 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. From that population, 4 percent of men and 10 percent of women develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
These numbers only reflect those who have sought treatment for trauma and PTSD, not the countless others struggling with symptoms or doubting their experience. Cultural messaging that advocates “getting over it” and “toughening up” causes many (especially men) to live with the aftereffects of trauma without fully understanding or communicating their pain.
What Is Trauma?
There are many different types of trauma. Trauma can be a significant life event that leaves you feeling powerless and out-of-control. Trauma can result from exposure to violence and extreme danger, perhaps as a result of war, a car accident, a natural disaster or an attack or assault. Trauma related to such events is often referred to as “Big T trauma.”
It’s even more common to face what’s called “little t trauma.” Little t trauma can result from relationship conflict, divorce, betrayal, financial challenges, medical procedures or significant life transitions, such as a difficult birth experience or being fired. Little t traumas often go unrecognized or are rationalized because they may be fairly common. However, their effects are very real. Ongoing toxic stress can build up, leading to increasingly severe trauma symptoms.
Many people also struggle with “complex trauma,” which can result from prolonged, repeated exposure to physical and/or emotional abuse or neglect, especially (although certainly not exclusively) during childhood or adolescence. Gaslighting, intimidation, spiritual abuse/disillusionment, sexual coercion and harassment, a lack of privacy/boundaries and parental enmeshment are among some of the possible contributors to complex trauma.
It’s not really the objective facts of the experience that determine whether or not a person is traumatized from an event, but rather their emotional experience. The more scared and helpless a person feels, the more likely they are to be traumatized. This is one of the many reasons why childhood trauma can be so devastating. Children, by the very nature of their developmental stage, are helpless and more easily frightened by surprising events.
No matter what you’ve experienced or when, you are not weak. At your core, beneath the trauma, distrust and fear, you are resilient, capable and whole. With the help of an experienced therapist who takes an integrative, holistic approach to treating trauma, you can heal and live your life from your deeper, wiser, whole Self.
With Holistic Trauma Counseling, You Can Find Deep Healing
Unprocessed trauma affects how we show up at work, in relationship and in our bodies. It affects our beliefs about the world and the people in it (e.g. the world is an unsafe place to be, people always seem to hurt me). It is often a root cause underlying other issues that prompt clients to come see me.
Holistic therapy addresses trauma specifically and effectively. As a holistic psychotherapist, I work with the entirety of who you are, offering the compassionate guidance and support needed to heal your mind, body and spirit. I provide a supportive environment for you to explore deeply rooted experiences and acquire practical strategies that can positively transform your life.
Engaging the body is a key piece of trauma healing. Although it’s common to speak of mental health and physical health as if they are two distinct entities, they cannot be separated any more than the circulatory system can operate without the respiratory system. Studies show that trauma and toxic stress often lead to physical health issues, even decades later. Trauma can also change how the brain perceives and responds to stimuli, causing you to believe you are in danger even when you are safe.
The good news is that it’s possible to change your brain, repair misfiring systems and heal at your core. I can teach you effective practices for soothing both physical and mental distress. Using mindfulness-based, somatic (body) therapy techniques, you can radically reduce your overactive stress response, gain a new sense of inner calm and find relief.
While some body-centered therapies require assistance (e.g., bodywork, acupuncture), I can provide you with body-based self-care practices that connect you to a deep inner source of healing. Depending on your needs and interests, these might include mindfulness practices, meditation, exercise, yoga, aromatherapy and more. With the right guidance, you can learn how to navigate trauma responses as they arise.
Self-compassion is another essential component of trauma therapy. I began working with self-compassion in my 20s, in part, because I experienced my own trauma and resulting PTSD. From both a clinical and personal perspective, I understand how powerless trauma can make you feel. But you are not to blame for what happened, and you do have power—you have everything you need to live the life you want.
I can help you locate the deep well of your inner resources, reclaim your personal power and find a new sense of agency. You are wiser and more resilient than you realize, and it is possible to live your life from your true self—the one you were always meant to be.
You may have questions or concerns about trauma and PTSD therapy…
I don’t want to relive my trauma or awaken more memories.
While memories may arise in the course of therapy, it is not necessary to remember the trauma to heal from it. My goal is to help you heal in a profound and lasting way. Part of my job is to make therapy safe, which means I will be monitoring your level of distress. If a memory does arise of its own accord, I will help you process it in a way that does not overwhelm you. In my office, you can trust that you are safe.
Will I have to take medication as part of trauma counseling?
As a therapist, I do not prescribe medication, nor is medication generally my first recommendation. While it is true that there is no magic pill to heal trauma, it is also true that recovery is not just about choice and willpower. It’s also about biology and the effects trauma has on your hormones, nervous system and neurological functioning.
In most cases, trauma therapy can change biological responses. In other cases, I may suggest temporary medication to decrease the intensity of symptoms, including an inability to sleep, suicidality or frequent panic attacks, that may be blocking the effectiveness of our therapeutic work.
Regardless of your particular situation, I am here to support your best path to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. There is no shame in seeking the kind of help you need.
I’m almost certain that I have trauma, but I’m afraid of opening up.
I absolutely understand your fear. With that being said, I’ve been doing this work for a long time—including my own, personal therapeutic work—so I understand the courage it takes to be vulnerable. But, If you’re reading this page, a part of you is hungry for healing, and the only way healing can occur is by exposing the wound. I respect and honor the courage it takes to reveal your vulnerable places.
You don’t have to continue living with constant stress, fear and dread, or to keep struggling with trauma’s effects. No matter what you’ve been through, healing is possible. You can cultivate the kind of life you want to live and discover the wholeness of the authentic you beneath the trauma.
Step Into Your Innate Wholeness
I invite you to call me at (303) 955-8945 for a free, 20-minute phone consultation. You can ask me any questions about trauma counseling and my practice in Las Vegas, NV and Henderson, NV.
- Article ~ How Terror Hijacks the Brain ~ Maia Szalavitz
- Video ~ Art Can Heal PTSD’s Invisible Wounds ~ Melissa Walker
- Video ~ The Treatment of Trauma: How Childhood Trauma is Different than PTDS ~ Bessel van der Kolk