Therapy for Trauma, Complex Trauma, or Dissociation
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.
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 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.
Some people experience complex trauma, which can result after ongoing exposure to trauma over a significant period. Common causes of complex trauma include experiencing childhood abuse, living with interpartner violence, or serving or living in a war zone.
In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.
Photo by Lisa Aikenhead
“Everyone has a right to have a present and future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past.”
The following types of symptoms are common in survivors of trauma.
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Dissociative symptoms (feeling like you’re not yourself or separated from yourself or your environment)
- Intrusive thoughts
- Nightmares or flashbacks
- Anger or irritability
- Hypervigilance (constantly watching for danger)
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, sometimes including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances: disrupted sleep, nightmares or night terrors, unwillingness to sleep
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
I have specialized training in treating trauma and dissociation. I use a combination of evidence-based treatments including somatic psychotherapy, which helps identify and change hyperarousal symptoms; parts work, which helps address memory integration; and mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (MCBT) to deal with avoidance symptoms and other thoughts or behaviors that may disrupt your life. I have found this combination to be very effective in helping trauma survivors.
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.” Michelle Obama
Sometimes the parts of ourselves that we have closed off due to pain are the parts we need the most. If you or someone you know needs help with trauma, I am confident that I can help and invite you to contact me today for a free consultation