Are You Struggling With the After-Effects Of A Trauma?
- Is unresolved trauma from your childhood continuing to impact your self-esteem, relationships and ability to engage in the world in healthy ways?
- Have you recently been involved in a frightening, perhaps life threatening situation, which has created feelings of fear, hyper-vigilance, anxiety or nightmares?
- Do you often feel irritable, have trouble falling and/or staying asleep, or struggle to trust and connect with others?
- Have you turned to drugs, alcohol or other potentially harmful ways to cope with fear, pain and other difficult emotions?
- Do you wish you could let go, feel safe again and move forward in your life?
Living with the after-effects of a trauma can be a frightening, lonely and distressing experience. Traumas come in many forms and affect different people in different ways. Some people experience ongoing traumas through abuse or neglect in childhood or in an unhealthy, destructive relationship. Others are traumatized or develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following an experience that caused them to feel that their life or the life of someone close to them was in imminent danger. People also respond to traumas in varying ways. The same experience that causes one person to feel uncomfortable may make another too afraid to leave his or her home. Regardless of the cause or severity of trauma, it’s not uncommon for those suffering from its after-effects to experience a shift in eating and sleeping patterns, develop anxiety or depression, avoid places or activities that remind them of the trauma, or to be on edge and easily triggered into painful memories or sensations.
Trauma Is Common In Our Culture
Millions of Americans are dealing with the after-effects of trauma, including PTSD. Roughly 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women will experience at least one trauma in their lifetimes. Women are more likely to experience trauma through sexual assaults and abuse, while men are more likely to develop trauma from accidents, physical assaults, combat, disaster or the witness of death or injury. Following severe trauma, about 7 percent of the population will develop PTSD. PTSD is characterized by nightmares, flashbacks and significant avoidance behaviors, such as refusing to engage in activities or spend time in places that could possibly trigger memories of the traumatic event. People with PTSD also often feel as though the traumatic event is happening over and over again.
Whether it’s BIG T trauma, such as PTSD, or little t trauma, which can occur following incidents such as bullying or interpersonal problems, traumas occur every day and affect many individuals. Traumas are often senseless, and it’s hard to try to make sense of a senseless experience. While some people are able to process trauma on their own, many – if not most – feel overwhelmed, out of control and highly fearful following a trauma, especially immediately after the event(s). If you’ve been affected by a trauma, whether recently or in your childhood, and are struggling to feel good and function with ease, trauma therapy can help you process the event(s) and regain a sense of calm and safety in your life.
Trauma Therapy Can Help You Reclaim Your Life
Trauma and PTSD are two of the most commonly and effectively treated mental health concerns. There are many highly efficient, proven trauma therapy approaches, and once you’re able to process the event or series of events that led to the trauma, you can begin feeling better and functioning with normalcy again.
In sessions, Dr. Amy Mistler will help you identify and explore your goals, values and needs as you collectively determine the best trauma therapy approach for you. You’re in charge of your treatment, and Dr. Mistler will meet you where you are emotionally, offering gentle guidance and providing support as you work through challenging thoughts and emotions. You’ll set both short and long-term goals and immediately focus on ways to experience relief from the most pressing issues, such as an inability to sleep, or fear of being in crowded spaces. As you continue to identify the causes of your pain, Dr. Mistler can provide you with tips, tools and techniques to manage stress and calm uncomfortable feelings and body sensations.
Throughout trauma therapy, you’ll also work on building resiliency, increasing self-confidence and developing healthy ways to cope with heightened stress and painful emotions. Using a strategy of proven trauma approaches that address your unique needs, you can release the trauma from your body, re-regulate your nervous system and reach your personal healing goals. With the right method, and the support of an experienced and compassionate therapist, it is possible to get back to being the person you were before the trauma. It’s even possible to feel better than you have in your life. You can put the trauma behind you, move forward and enjoy a healthy, relaxed and satisfying life.
Although you believe that you need additional support and guidance right now, you still may have questions and concerns about trauma therapy…
Shouldn’t I be able to get over this on my own?
Getting over a traumatic event requires someone to make sense of a senseless situation, which by definition is an impossible task. Following a trauma, it’s common to get stuck in fear and to struggle to heal and feel safe in the world. Like mending a broken leg or filling a cavity, there are some things in life that you cannot do without help. Hundreds of researchers have developed effective approaches to trauma therapy, helping countless individuals to find relief. There are valuable resources available for you, too. In therapy, you can process trauma much more effectively and quickly than on your own. Furthermore, if you’re experiencing PTSD, it’s highly unlikely that symptoms will go away without treatment. Thankfully, however, with help, you can get back to living the life you want and deserve to live.
I think that I need help, but I’ve heard that trauma therapy can be expensive and take a long time.
We invite you to consider therapy as a vital investment in your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Untreated trauma can cause you to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, poor health, depression and anxiety. It can also lead to diminished productivity and lost time at work, which can have financial ramifications. Alternatively, trauma therapy can help you effectively process your trauma and begin feeling better and functioning at your potential again.
I’m not ready to talk about my trauma. I think it will be create more pain than I’m able to handle right now.
You do not have to talk about your trauma until you are ready to. In initial sessions, you and your therapist will set therapy and personal goals and decide on the best course of treatment. Your therapist will support you, offer guidance, and can help you work on the issues in your life that are causing you pain while you build resiliency and regain control of your thoughts and feelings. If, in time, you’re ready for a more trauma-specific approach, there are numerous treatments that have been proven extremely effective in helping people process trauma. But ultimately, the course, pace, and method of treatment are up to you.
We provide services in the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area. We invite you to call us for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about trauma therapy and our practice.