Is It Difficult To Feel Safe, Secure, And Present In Your Surroundings?
Do you or your child struggle with constant fear and distress? Are you holding onto some element of the past that is making it difficult to move forward? Is unresolved trauma preventing you from being able to be present in your daily life?
You may experience constant anxiety. Fearing the worst, you may have trained your mind to always be “on” or hypervigilant about your surroundings. Maybe you have started to make decisions based on fear rather than confidence because you’re always worried that something bad might happen.
Perhaps you struggle with symptoms, such as confusion or lack of focus. Maybe you disassociate from your surroundings during moments of distress, and feel a general sense of disconnection or numbness.
As the result of an inability to connect, your relationships are likely suffering or strained. Perhaps you struggle with mood swings or angry outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere. Or it could be that you have trouble feeling safe and secure with others.
If you have experienced any instance of emotional, physical, sexual, mental, or verbal abuse, or if you survived abuse and neglect as a child, you have likely put protective measures in place that are keeping you from being fully present in your life and relationships. And if your trauma is the result of an accident or life-and-death situation, your need to be hyper-aware of potential dangers is probably preventing you from feeling relaxed and at ease.
Yet, trauma is not always the result of a single, distressing event; oppressive systems can traumatize individuals across generations. At Pandora’s Awakening, we recognize the value of therapy in allowing all of our clients—across the spectrum of age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status—to explore their trauma and experiences.
Trauma Has Many Faces
For a long time, it was understood that trauma affected only a small subset of people who survived an attack, an accident, or an instance of abuse. However, as a society, we are now coming to acknowledge the far-reaching definitions and implications of trauma. In the process, we are making room for more narratives that allow us to better understand the effects of internalized fear and distress across cultures.
Take, for example, racial trauma, which is coming more and more to the center of the American mental health narrative. The last several years have seen further research done on instances of trauma within marginalized communities, underscoring the disproportionate harassment, violence, and abuse suffered by non-white, non-cis, non-heteronormative, and non-Christian populations.1
We know now that people of color experience traumatization and re-traumatization at higher rates than their white counterparts due to both direct and indirect instances of racism. This includes discrimination, media depictions of racism and violence against Black individuals (including police brutality), and exposure to racial stereotypes.2
Yet, this is just one example of how trauma impacts marginalized communities; there are many more.
Women, for instance, have long been an oppressed population in America, experiencing sexual assault at a rate of about 15 percent (compared to men, who suffer sexual assault at a rate of 3 percent) within the general population.3 And there are many systems at play—including cultural, legal, and religious ones—that reinforce the burden of trauma impacting all of these marginalized communities at alarming rates.
Whether your trauma stems from a painful instance from your past or from ongoing and intergenerational subjugation to oppressive forces, you deserve to heal. With therapy for trauma, you can learn more about the impact that distress and oppressive systems are having on you in a supportive environment where you will be seen, valued, and uplifted.
Therapy Gives You The Perspective And Tools Needed To Overcome Trauma
With all of the growing research into the field of trauma, it’s become increasingly evident that supportive, nonjudgmental, and evidence-based treatment can greatly help individuals struggling with the lingering effects of internalized distress.4 At Pandora’s Awakening, our clinicians provide an unbiased and confidential atmosphere where you can learn tools for overcoming the challenges presented by unresolved trauma.
Treatment begins with a 15-minute consultation during which
you or your child will be matched with one of our skilled and empathetic therapists. From there, throughout the first few sessions, you will begin the intake process, which will help your clinician to understand your trauma and the impact it has had on your life. We are trained in trauma-informed, evidence-based models and will be careful during this time not to push you too far, too quickly—always moving at a pace that works for you.
Over the course of therapy, your or your child’s therapist will work to understand the support systems at play in your life and how they are either helping you heal from or contributing to trauma. Armed with this information, we will work together to build individually tailored coping skills that can help you to calm the nervous system during times of distress and create meaningful boundaries within your relationships.
Our team at Pandora’s Awakening uses trauma-informed models, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to target uncomfortable memories and associations, ultimately releasing you from the blockages that trauma has created in your life. In addition, certain Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills may be enlisted to help you with distress tolerance and emotional regulation.
While our approach is rooted in evidence-based practices, we also like to provide holistic strategies when possible. Depending on your individual needs, we may incorporate elements of mindfulness into trauma therapy, as well as breathing, meditation, and yoga techniques. These kinds of body-based strategies can help you be calm and recenter yourself so that you feel distressed less often.
It’s possible to break free from the memories, sensations, and associations that have caused you pain. With help and support, you or your child can evolve with and move past your trauma into a new, refreshed state of being. Your story does not end with your trauma—at Pandora’s Awakening, a new narrative centered around your healing is possible.
Perhaps you’re considering therapy for trauma, but you have some questions…
I am afraid that talking about my trauma in counseling will just make it worse.
It can be daunting and uncomfortable to explore painful elements of your past, but our clinicians are specifically trauma-informed for this reason. We will never move at a pace that is uncomfortable for you, and we are trained to help calm your nervous system in a way that does not retraumatize. EMDR is highly effective for removing negative associations and blockages—ultimately helping you to feel better in the long run.
Will I ever heal from this trauma?
It is entirely possible to heal from trauma. In fact, EMDR has proven to be highly effective as a treatment for individuals struggling with unresolved trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Though it may seem unlikely to you now that you will be able to clear the negative associations and blockages that are a result of trauma, we are confident that EMDR and our other body-based approaches will, in time, help you to feel more at ease and less distressed by the traumatic event.
I’m concerned that information shared about my trauma in therapy won’t be kept confidential.
It is of the utmost priority that you feel safe and confident in the therapeutic process, so we would never share any of your personal information without your explicit permission. We are HIPAA-compliant, which means that everything shared in therapy is kept confidential.
You Can Feel Safe In The World Again
If you or your child live with ongoing pain and distress as a result of unresolved trauma, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Trauma therapy at Pandora’s Awakening can help you to cope with and overcome your distress. For more information or to schedule a 15-minute consultation, please fill out this form. We look forward to serving you.